5-a-side football is all about three things: escaping from the daily grind, reliving the dreams of your youth and taking on nine of your peers in a raw, physical battle to the final whistle.

With the Premier League starting tomorrow, it's only a matter of time before you get the itch, dig out your boots and start scouting Gumtree for team mates.

To give you the edge next time you step out on the pitch, we've picked out five types of player you're likely to come across, and explain how to end up on top.

Nemanja Vidic for FHM five-a-side
ROLE MODEL: Nemanja Vidic

CAN OFTEN BE FOUND: Crunching into tackles. Flattening you against the wall. Trying to rip the shirt off your back.

SCOUT'S REPORT: By day: a put-upon, disillusioned estate agent who never expected his life to turn out so much like an episode of The Office. By night (well, early evening): a vengeful destroyer looking to take out his frustrations on your ankles, your shins and any other part of your body he can get his studs on.

The Lawnmower measures success in bruises and stud marks rather than goals -- think Eric Cantona vs the Crystal Palace home support, but not quite as subtle -- and he's the reason you'll never forget your shin-pads. A certain level of cunning is required to avoid his blocks, pulls, elbows and lunges.

HOW TO BEAT HIM: Aside from simply moving to the other side of the pitch at every opportunity, you can avoid dwelling on the ball or showing too much of it (likely to be a red flag to a bull). If you have the gumption, you can always try dishing it right back.


Ronaldo for FHM five-a-sideROLE MODEL: Ronaldo

CAN OFTEN BE FOUND: Beating you once then turning round to beat you again. Doing too many step-overs. Scoring with a backheel.

SCOUT'S REPORT: You can spot this lad during the warm-up -- he'll be juggling the ball or attempting a multiple step-over combo while the rest of you are stretching your cold muscles into life and sorting out the bibs.

Having spent much of the previous seven days honing his skills on FIFA and watching classic YouTube clips, the Skills Kid will try and bewilder you with fancy footwork and changes of direction Eden Hazard would be proud of.

Try and distract him by asking about the time he had trials with Oldham. You can expect just as much cockiness and flashiness outside the 5-a-side arena too -- chances are he'll be driving a stylish and incredibly impractical two-seater to and from the game.

HOW TO BEAT HIM: Avoid diving in too early or too often -- unless he really is Ronaldo in disguise you can keep him out of harm's way with some careful jockeying and tactical nous. Failing that, just make sure you're not the one marking him.


Bobby Moore for FHM five-a-side
ROLE MODEL: Bobby Moore

CAN OFTEN BE FOUND: Standing still. Having a sortie upfield once everyone else is knackered. Explaining how many years ago he would've caught that pass.

SCOUT'S REPORT: The Veteran should've hung his boots up ten years ago, but instead bought two knee straps and retreated to a sweeper position (i.e. slowly patrolling the edge of his own penalty box).

In his mind he's bringing experience and wisdom to the back line; in reality, he spends sixty minutes watching opponents jog past him, reluctant to put in a tackle in case he can't get back up again.

This is the player most likely to be wearing a faded shirt from the 80s promoting a company you forgot ever sponsored a football team -- Crown Paints, anyone? -- and off the field you'll usually find him clinging on to other memories of his youth -- could be a motorbike. Could be Led Zeppelin records. Could be The Professionals DVD box set. Might be all three.

HOW TO BEAT HIM: Accelerate into something approaching a jog and watch out for flailing limbs and elbows.


Luis Suarez for FHM five-a-side
ROLE MODEL: Luis Suarez

CAN OFTEN BE FOUND: Loitering near the opposition penalty box. Fetching the ball from over the fence. Celebrating loudly in front of your face.

SCOUT'S REPORT: You can easily spot The Glory Hunter in the cold light of day -- in the centre of Facebook group photos. Talking incessantly about himself. Disappearing halfway through a night out with some new friends to a different club.

On the pitch, after greeting his team-mates with some cheerful banter, he'll promptly forget about them for the next hour, banging in shots from every conceivable angle and distance like he's in some kind of frantic Soccer AM competition. On the off-chance that one flies in, he'll run the length of the pitch, fist aloft, taking in the adulation of the crowd (one dog walker and one guy waiting to lock up).

On the plus side, there's no need to run up in support of the Glory Hunter -- save your breath for the inevitable goal kick or counter-attack.

HOW TO BEAT HIM: The Glory Hunter's weakness is his predictability -- there's no need to cover the runs of his teammates or wait for a sideways pass. Get in early to block the inevitable shot, or if the angle is anything other than decent, leave it to go sailing over the bar.


Theo Walcott for FHM five-a-side
ROLE MODEL: Theo Walcott

CAN OFTEN BE FOUND: Running into corners. Chasing down lost causes. Out of position.

SCOUT'S REPORT: The super-skinny mate you know, who never puts on any weight and goes down to the park for a 5K every weekend, is the fastest man in the game when it's time for 5-a-side.

It's a shame, then, that he's so awful at everything else.

He'll gladly bolt up and down the wings and across the pitch to hassle, harry and chase, but also tends to run down blind alleys and has the first touch of a brick wall.

The Speed Merchant can certainly cover some ground, but this isn't school Sports Day, and unfortunately for him his new personal best and freshly purchased ProFitPlus wristband activity monitor aren't much use on the astroturf.

Expect to see him cycle home afterwards, and time himself doing it. To be fair to the guy, if he happens to be on your team, he can save you a lot of legwork.

HOW TO BEAT HIM: In every other way except speed. Stand back and wait for him to fall over his own feet when defending, then move the ball as fast as possible when it's time to attack.

Words by David Nield.