Antonio Conte sprung a shock in his team selection for today’s Premier League clash with Southampton when he left Alvaro Morata out for the second league game in a row.
The Spanish striker has been one of the Blues’ top performers this season since joining from Real Madrid over the summer and it was widely expected that he would return to the starting XI after being left out of the team to face Huddersfield on Tuesday night.
But Conte kept the faith in the formation from that 3-1 victory and left the club record signing on the bench once more.
Chelsea have utilized this striker-less formation already this season, here we take a look at how it works.
With no main focal point, the concept of Conte’s system seems to be interchanging players, drawing defenders out of position so that they can fins space for each other.
The main central player is Eden Hazard in a false 9, however the Belgian isn’t really in a set position, while when he does find himself central then he has Pedro on the left flank and Willian on the right.
In the past, Hazard have often come over to the left to got on the flank, where he usually plays in a 3-4-3, while Willian and Pedro would drift centrally and allow space on the right.
There are several concerns from Chelsea supporters with the formation as it gives a lack of point up the top, but Chelsea were obviously keen to use balls over the top for the pace of the three frontmen, especially Hazard and Pedro.
However, the formation seemed to pay off in the 23rd minute on Tuesday night with the opening goal as Hazard and Willian pounced with some lovely link up play between the two of them. Willian then played it to Tiemoue Bakayoko and he chipped it over Jonas Lossl, with Chris Lowe only able to carry it into the net.
We look forward to seeing if it can work again today.
What do you think of Chelsea’s formation? Let us know in the comments below.