Antonio Conte’s 3-4-3 formation – Is it here to stay?

As Chelsea prepare for Manchester United and Jose Mourinho this weekend, there has been plenty of debate over Antonio Conte’s decision to...

As Chelsea prepare for Manchester United and Jose Mourinho this weekend, there has been plenty of debate over Antonio Conte’s decision to switch to a 3-4-3 formation. I ask the question, “Is it here to stay?”

Chelsea have only played two games against Hull City and Leicester City with the using the new approach but it’s been so far, so good with two wins, six points and two clean sheets. After a shaky start defensively and having been opened up by both Liverpool and Arsenal beforehand, those have been key in building confidence.

It’s clear that the players have adapted to the new formation and look to have settled into it quicker than expected but having made the decision to play with three centre backs it causes us a massive problem higher up the pitch?

You need natural width in the side if you play with a three at the back. The width comes from wingbacks and who pretty much pick themselves on a weekly basis with Marcos Alonso and Victor Moses performing well in both games so far.

It’s the key midfield and attacking areas that cause Conte a problem. I think we can all agree that N’Golo Kante, Eden Hazard and Diego Costa all pick themselves at the moment. That’s three of five positions if you include our wingbacks, which leaves just two places that are really to be contested between key members of our squad and that’s the position next to Kante in Midfield with the additional player in attacking areas alongside Costa and Hazard being the other.

In effect, Nemanja Matic, Mikel, Cesc Fabregas, Oscar, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Pedro, Nathaniel Chalobah and Willian are all in contention for those places in the starting line-up and will be selected on a game-by-game basis. If anything, I still personally believe that Conte could alter the formation again to include Michy Batshuayi up front, which is another debate in itself with a 3-5-2 formation.

N'Golo Kante has been speaking to the Official Chelsea Website of the new formation this week and he believes it suits him and the team. He said:
"The new system is working well. We have been better with and without the ball, and we have conceded fewer chances."
One thing I am certain of is that the 4-2-3-1 formation that Chelsea had adopted for a number of seasons is dead in the water, as we do not have the players that fit into the formation. If ever you need an example of that, watch the first halves of the Liverpool and Arsenal game!

I still believe that we have an option to switch to 4-3-3 or 3-5-2 under Conte but it looks as though the 3-4-3 is going to be the way forward this season.

What do you think of the new formation and our performances in the last two games compared to earlier in the season?

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