If you want to have any hope of being successful at this game without spending any of your own money, you must focus primarily on your preparation. Even with an excellent team with great individual players, you will struggle to win trophies with a preparation level constantly below Superb. This applies to EVERY match that you wan to win.
Your teams condition does matter and it matters quite considerably. If your team has poor overall condition do not expect to win many matches, no matter how great your team rating is. You should be looking at getting all of your players at least 70% rested before your next match.
Using rests to boost your players’ condition is a must if you want to win matches and trophies come the end of the season, this is mostly important when you are fighting on two or three fronts. This is why it is important to collect as many rests as possible throughout each day. Don’t be a hoarder and use them!
Your teams morale also matters. There’s no need to get too obsessed with your team’s morale though. As long as your players’ morale varies from very good to superb that will go a long way to helping you achieve a superb preparation status.
Training schedules will also improve your preparation. If you have one match a day you need to do 4 sessions, if you have two matches you need to do 2 sessions. Failure to do the necessary training will make it impossible to get a superb preparation. A successful session can be as simple as training one reserve player with just one drill.
Make sure you’re fielding 11 eligible players. If you start a match with an injured or suspended player your preparation will be penalized and that player will be automatically replaced by the most suitable player by the Top Eleven computer.
If you start matches with poor preparation don’t be surprised if you lose easily to an inferior team who could have superb preparation.