A standard defensive formation consists of 1 up to 3 central defenders and a left and a right wingback. Central defenders are the heart of your defense and obviously their defending skill is their most prominent attribute.
The abbreviation CD is commonly used for central defender.
- Normal -- The defending skill contributes to the defence ratings (Mainly the central defence but also to the wing defence of the side he's playing.), The playmaking skill contributes to the midfield rating
- Offensive -- The defender uses less defending and more playmaking. His defending still contributes to all three defence ratings. His playmaking contributes to the midfield ratings (though less than an extra inner midfielder or even a winger towards middle
- Towards wing -- More of his defending contributes to the wing defence (and less to the central defence). Also he starts using his winger skills.