There’s two variations of protecting the ball from opponents in the game, one is push and pull and the other is the original and standard version of holding the ball up to bring others into play. The first thing we must discuss is the controls which are so simply, to protect the ball and shield it you must hold down the LT/L2 button and nothing else not even the left analogue stick.
When a through pass is played through either in defence or attack and your defender or striker is catching the ball up to latch onto it to stop the opposition from getting to the ball first you smash the LT/L2 button and this will do exactly that. In defence your defender will use his body to protect the ball and stop the other player from getting to it which is extremely effective and a must have if you are to become a top player.
In attack when your striker runs onto a through ball you can do the same tapping that LT/L2 button and whilst still sprinting and using the left stick and you’ll get to the ball first. It goes without saying that the players with more physical and upper body strength will be better at this but it doesn’t matter or have to much effect in all honesty.
This push and pull technique is used by all the top gamers and can be the difference in matches sometimes as knowing this knowledge will give you the upper hand against your opponents.
Using the standard kind of protect the ball with just LT you can use it literally anywhere on the pitch which is a huge bonus. In defence, midfield or with a big strong centre forward this is so OP and is great for bringing other into play. In the opponents final third you should use it if your striker is isolated and wait until there’s sufficient support from other teammates and then simply lay it off to them.
One thing to combat this and you need to be aware of this when using it yourself it teammate control which is where the opponent will call another player to help tackle the player who’s protecting the ball. One will try and tackle from the back and the other will go round the front and put in a challenge and at that point that’s when you need to release the ball and pass to a free teammate.