Alternate Formations – Chelsea

The defending champions are off to a shocking start in the Premier League. After totally dominating England last season, manager Jose Mourinho is under a lot of pressure as Chelsea hover just above the relegation zone.

Chelsea already had a very strong team last season, but Mourinho decided to bolster the squad by adding attacker Pedro Rodriguez to his squad. After the Spaniard’s acquisition, Chelsea looked a formidable force and all set for another dominating season.

But things haven’t gone as planned for The Blues. So, we are here to see Mourinho’s current tactics and provide some alternates. Not that he’s going to come here, read and then implement (I would be honored if he did), but this is just what fans do.

 

FORMATION 1 (Current Formation)4-2-3-1

This is the first choice formation of Jose Mourinho (Not considering recent injuries/suspensions).
Defense – With Thibaut Courtois in goal, the defensive line in front of him holds Branislav Ivanovic in the right full back position, John Terry and Gary Cahill as the two center backs and Cesar Azpilicueta as left back.

Midfield – A perfect midfield, some would say, as it holds a rigid holding midfielder in Nemanja Matic and a creative and tempo controlling midfielder in Cesc Fabregas. Ahead of them, Willian was drifted in from the wing into a central attacking position and Pedro takes care of attack from the right side with Eden Hazard on the left.

Offense – Brazilian by birth, Spanish by nationality, prolific by personality and performance, Diego Costa is the solo striker up top with the attacking support by both wide players and with Willian right behind him.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with this formation on paper. It looks perfect, but the only thing that lets the team down is the individual performances and poor form of players. For instance, this season, Ivanovic has struggled down the right side and has been beaten by multiple wingers. Also, the center back pairing isn’t constant as Mourinho is giving regular chances to Terry, Cahill and Zouma.

Now let’s take a look at some alternate formations for Chelsea.

 

ALTERNATE FORMATION 1
4-1-4-1

Defense – With Courtois currently injured, Asmir Begovic will guard the net. Azpilicueta returns to his natural position at right back. Chelsea must start preparing for life after Terry, so Zouma and Cahill will be the two center backs and new signing Baba Rahman will fill the void left by Azpilicueta on the left.

Midfield – A more attack minded formation will see just one midfielder sit in front of the defence and in my opinion Matic is the perfect player for that role. In front of him will be two attack minded midfielders in Willian and Oscar. Pedro will play on the right and Hazard on the left as usual.

Offense – Who else but Diego Costa will lead the attack. It looks lonely up top, but during the game, he will have constant support from the wide players and also the two attackers right behind him.

The attack looks mouth-watering, when the opponents counter, it could be trouble deep inside the midfield where Matic will be all alone. The defence is there but Chelsea may miss that extra man in midfield and suffer defensively.

 

ALTERNATE FORMATION 2
3-6-1

Defense – Begovic stays in goal till the time Courtois is injured. A solid 3-man defence sees Zouma, Terry and Cahill all start and form a formidable defence. Willian and Azpilicueta can be the two wingbacks on the right and left, respectively.

Midfield – Right in front of the defence, Fabregas and Matic will be present. Hazard and Oscar will be in front of them providing support to the sole striker up top. The wing backs will also contribute in attack.

Offense – Yet again, Diego Costa will lead the attack. It looks lonely up top, but during the game, he will have constant support from the wide players and also the two attackers right behind him.

I know that just after reading the “3-6-1” part, people must be laughing. It may be unrealistic, but it might happen. Very, very slim chances, but still a possibility. A decent formation but honestly, I don’t see Chelsea moving away from their current formation.

 

ALTERNATE FORMATION 3
4-3-3

Defense – With Courtois currently injured, Asmir Begovic will guard the net. Azpilicueta returns to his natural position at right back. Chelsea must start preparing for life after Terry, so Zouma and Cahill will be the two center backs and new signing Baba Rahman will fill the void left by Azpilicueta on the left.

Midfield – Matic is one player who cannot be dropped and so, he retains his position as a holding midfielder. Ahead of him will be Fabregas to provide some creativity from midfield. In a little more advanced position will be Oscar who will play as an attack minded midfielder.

Offense – Hazard will retain his position on the left. Either one of Willian or Pedro will be on the right with Diego Costa as the target man and main striker.

If there is a formation after the 4-2-3-1 that suits Chelsea, it has to be this 4-3-3. Every player fits in perfectly and Mourinho can execute it perfectly. Although, this attack minded formation might not fulfil Mourinho’s demand, which is wingers dropping deep and defending.

 

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