After Antonio Conte was announced as Chelsea’s new manager, many looked forward to seeing his traditional 3-5-2 formation in the EPL.
The former Juventus manager won the Scudetto and started the club’s reign of dominance with that formation.
However, upon the arrival of N’golo Kante, who starred for Leicester City last season. Other tactics have popped up. With many thinking Conte will continue with Mourinho’s 4-2-3-1.
That does not seem to be the case, as the Italian manager will utilise the 4-1-4-1 formation at Chelsea. It looks more like the 4-1-2-2-1. And you can expect to see the 4-1-4-1 metamorphose into the 4-1-2-2-1 during a match.
The tactic is a versatile one, as it favours both massive attack and massive defence. And with Kante serving as the tie between the midfield and defence, you can expect to see him track back first, and be the last to drive up front.
Back 5: Courtois; Ivanovic, Terry, Cahill, Azpilicueta
Until Kurt Zouma returns to full fitness you can expect the same back four Chelsea fielded last season. With the familiar faces of Terry and Cahill in the heart of defence.
You would think a different crop of defenders and goalie will feature for the blues this season, owing to the performance this set displayed last season.
The Terry-Cahill combo was a formidable force, but last season saw them dwindle. Hopefully, they’re back to their best.
Ivanovic is one to worry about also, his quality is one that is known. However, he didn’t impress last season. Azpilicueta could shift to right-back and allow youngster, Ola Aina feature in left-back.
Midfield 5: Kante: Willian, Fabregas, Oscar, Hazard
Last season defensive midfield duo of Matic and Mikel was rotated, with Fabregas sometimes playing alongside Matic. Kennedy also played alongside the Serbia midfielder.
They were not impressive, with Matic looking a shadow of himself. Chelsea were more defensive with Mikel and more attacking when the other players featured.
The attacking midfield featured the trio of Hazard/Pedro, Fabregas/Oscar, Willian. The new addition of Pedro was not felt by the blues. This midfield was feared in the 2014/15 season won the EPL, but their inability to defend proved detrimental to the blues last season.
Kante’s presence in front of the back four is going to allow Conte to deploy a very talented attack-minded midfield four, and that could be deadly.
Kante’s presence will make up for Fabregas and Oscar’s inability to track back and defend. Matic is expected to join Juventus as a replacement for Pogba and Oscar could be on his way out.
Chelsea have been linked with signing Mahrez and if the deal does go through, Willian or Hazard could drop to a central midfield role and allow the Algerian his favoured right-wing role.
Forward: Diego Costa
Despite the acquisition of Michy Batshuayi, you can still expect Diego Costa to lead the line for Chelsea.
The Spain international was sub par at the beginning of the season, but rediscovered his form towards the end.
The blues are still looking to sign Romelu Lukaku, and if the Belgian joins, Conte could play 4-4-2 or use his traditional 3-5-2.
After missing out on Spain’s squad for the European Championships, Costa will be hungry to rediscover the deadly form that fired Chelsea to the title in the 2014/15 season.
The EPL season starts August 13. And Chelsea play West Ham in their first match.