Chelsea are back to competitive football this weekend after a cursed International break which was more pain than joy for the club. The injury to N’golo Kante should have given Conte much food for thought as much as finding replacements for both the French midfielder and injured Spanish striker, Alvaro Morata.
Here are potential tactical solutions Conte can adopt in the absence of the injured duo with suitable replacements:
3-4-3 TACTICAL SETUP: ARTISTRY OVER PRAGMATISM
Conte’s use of this system has often been seen in big games where midfield possession and control is key. But in a different variation and in a more attacking sense, the usual three could be shielded by Fabragas and Bakayoko. The attacking trio of Hazard, one between Pedro or Willian and with Batshuayi as the focal point.
This system very much covers for the absences of Morata and Kante, but gives Chelsea an attacking game plan with six attack-minded players in the team (including the wing-backs).
3-5-2 FORMATION – PRAGMATISM OVER ARTISTRY
MIDFIELD OPTION – LUIZ – BAKAYAKO – FABREGAS
ATTACKING OPTION – HAZARD – BATSHUAYI
PROBABLE TEAM: Courtois, Azpilicueta, Christensen, Cahill, Moses, Bakayoko, Luiz, Alonso, Fabregas, Hazard, Batshuayi
Another way for Conte to set his team would be to pack up the midfield with more defensive than attacking options. The deployment of Luiz and Bakayoko as double-pivot and with Fabregas at the top of the midfield triangle gives the midfield a combination of flair and force, thus giving the team a unique balance. With Hazard and Batshuayi in tandem wrecking havoc upfront.
4-3-3 FORMATION – ATTACKING/ DEFENSIVE FLEXIBILITY
MIDFIELD OPTION – FABREGAS – BAKAYAKO – LUIZ
ATTACKING OPTION – HAZARD – MOSES – BATSHUAYI
PROBABLE TEAM: Courtois, Azpilicueta, Christensen, Cahill, Alonso, Bakayoko, Fabregas, Luiz, Hazard, Moses, Batshuayi
The beauty of this tactical setup is that it can be converted into a 3-4-3 or 3-5-2 formations. With Moses being able to slot back into wingback roles and also with the trio of Luiz, Fabregas and Bakayoko forming a midfield triangle in or double pivot.
Conte’s flexibility in Chelsea’s forthcoming game might just be the Midas touch needed to supercharge our ambitions this season.
Let’s hope for the best. Cheers!