Chelsea’s change to a 3-4-3 system has yielded incredible results. Antonio Conte may have started the season with a four-man backline, but those who followed his work in Italy with Juventus and the national team were counting the days until he opted to utilise his famous three at the back set-up, and a run of poor results against Swansea, Liverpool and Arsenal prompted the tactician to pull the trigger.
Many were expecting a 3-5-2 formation, but Conte has tweaked the system to fit his crop of players, opting for a 3-4-3, which allows the wide attackers to cut inside, with the work of N’Kolo Kante and Nemanja Matic crucial in the centre of the pitch – as the pair are effectively doing the duties of three players. The results, as we mentioned, have justified the shift, with Chelsea winning four games on the spin with their new layout in place…
Chelsea’s Premier League record since switching to 3-4-3:
4 clean sheets
Conte’s masterplan. pic.twitter.com/IVEDdUqDNB
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) October 30, 2016
Although Kante and Matic are earning praise for their work while Diego Costa and Eden Hazard are making it stick in the final third, the wing-backs have been excellent, with Victor Moses on the right and Marcos Alonso on the left both providing energy and drive.
And the latter was truly excellent against Southampton on Sunday:
As the numbers show, he won all of his aerial battles, made 27 passes, weighed in with eight clearances and completed three tackles. He did all of this while being an attacking outlet on the overlap, facilitating for Hazard to cut in from the flank.
Some scoffed when Conte signed the former Sunderland and Bolton man from Fiorentina during the summer, but he’s looking a shrewd buy now.