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Friendly Matches - How To Work Them To Your Advantage?

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I am playing as Shakhtar at the moment and was wondering what other people do during winter breaks involving friendlies? Should i be playing like 2 or 5, should they be weak teams to keep my side fit but happy or challenging teams, and do you give your team a friendly when the internationals are on as only 12 of my 30 man squad got called up so i gave the rest a couple of friendlies to keep them occupied.

Thoughts?
 
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1. I always give friendlies to my team in winter breaks. I combine them with rest days to keep players match fit but also rested and happy.
2. The amount of matches to be given depends on team/squad/length of winter break. If I have a 2 week winter break Ill give them 2 max 3 matches all with lesser opponents (mostly much weaker).
3. International breaks are different. If I have many internationals and I cant keep them from going/issue instructions they ll be tired to return. So the remaining players will usually get rest coupled with fitness training. If I can make up a decent squad (including decent up and coming youngsters/reserves) I may have one friendly against a very weak opponent.
4. Also as I dont like entrusting important things to the AI if I have big squads I dont make people from it available for reserves but rather, I arrange freequently friendlies with lower teams to keep them match fit.
 
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Most winter breaks I'll play a much weaker team during the first week for rotation players and a few younger ones, a fairly strong team 4 days after mostly for first team players then again another weaker team another 4 days after that for whoever I feel could do with playing it.
 
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So with the Ukrainian league its 80 days off from when you play your last champs league group game and the first knockout game how long do you think i should give them off before i arrange my friendlies? As i feel as if my players struggle for fitness in the first month back
 
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If you have two full starting 11s then play two a week against weaker opponents throughout the break. If you don't have a large squad, play 3 games in two weeks/a game every 5 days also against weaker opponents, it will help you keep your players fit, there is a small risk of injury and keep morale high. Also, if you have a high tempo tactic in which your players are constantly running around for the whole game, make a tactic with a slower tempo which will reduce the risk that your players will get injured while still keeping them fresh, results should be easy to come by against the weaker opponents anyway
 
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So with the Ukrainian league its 80 days off from when you play your last champs league group game and the first knockout game how long do you think i should give them off before i arrange my friendlies? As i feel as if my players struggle for fitness in the first month back
If you have so much time you need to arrange a lot of friendlies -do it as if the league continues - otherwise you ll experience what you are: lack of (match) fitness. But give players a bit more rest as well to keep them happy
 
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