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EA Sports looks to FIFA's past as it's forced to change the way Ultimate Team works

Lingard! Bale! Arnautović! More!

EA is having to change the way FIFA Ultimate Team works because of the coronavirus outbreak - and it's looking to the past for inspiration.

Normally, EA runs Team of the Week promotions in which new cards are introduced into packs based on the outstanding performance of real players. These new cards have fancy designs, and boosted stats to reflect the real players' good form.

But with football off for the foreseeable future across the world, EA no longer has real players to base Team of the Week cards upon. So it's ditched Team of the Week for the foreseeable, replacing it with a new promotion called Team of the Week Moments.

TOTW Moments is a recurring promotion based on a historical TOTW release from previous FUT titles, EA said. Each squad is a reflection of a specific TOTW released from March onwards in each product year. "We want to keep these items distinct, to help distinguish between authentic performances taking place this season and in previous seasons," EA explained.

The player ratings won't be the same as they were. All players released will reflect their current teams, and their overall stat increase will be in-line with their FUT 20 upgrade path. For example, in FUT 18 TOTW 28, Manchester City fullback Kyle Walker was given an 86 overall rating item in-line with his FUT 18 upgrade path. But for his TOTW Moments item, Walker will be an 87 overall based on his FUT 20 upgrade path.

Here's the squad for FUT 20's first Team of the Week Moments promotion, which is based on FUT 18 TOTW 28, which ran in March 2018:

Simpler times.

Other players who were in good enough form in March 2018 to make the FUT 18 TOTW 28 cut that are part of this first FUT 20 TOTW Moments squad include Welsh winger Gareth Bale, who would go on to star in Real Madrid's Champions League final win against Liverpool in May 2018, ex-West Ham forward Marko Arnautović, and Manchester United midfielder Jesse Lingard, who was playing well enough at the time to earn a starting spot in England's 2018 World Cup team.

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TOTW Moments replaces TOTW in FUT Champions Rewards, in packs, in the weekly featured squad battle within squad battles, in SBC requirements, in future FUT objectives and in draft mode. If a player has retired, been banned, or is no longer in FUT 20, they will not feature in that week's TOTW Moments squad.

TOTW will be replaced with a weekly squad of TOTW Moments players until the regular football seasons resume, EA said. But when will that be? It's impossible to say right now. All Premier League games have been postponed until at least 4th April, and while the Premier League has said it wants to complete the season, it seems unlikely it will resume action for some time.