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Michael Tucker

Qarabag 0 Chelsea 4

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59 minutes ago, Martin1905 said:

I've seen City, United, Arsenal and Tottenham all switch between a back 4 and a back 5 in the last couple of years. We just seem determined not to even think about it. Which is strange considering Conte is supposedly renowned for being tactically versatile. 

To be fair, we have done that too, with Azpi this year and last often being the CM most willing to push into midfield.  On grass (not paper) that is much the same as Dier dropping back to CB as and when.  Unfortunately at other times we have seen the FBs join the CBs in a flat back 5.
But it does still make your point.  A 4 man midfield of Azpi, Kante, Fabregas and Bakayoko is just way too defensive.

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jones   

QARABAG. This team is more than good enough to beat them. If we struggle to break them down, we have game-changers in Cesc and Eden to come off the bench at 45-60 mins. If not, we get to rest half the team that is playing Pool on Saturday.

Courtois

Azpi Luiz Rudiger

Zappa Drinkwater Kanté Alonso

Willian Morata Pedro

 

LIVERPOOL. You can't do anything else than field the strongest XI is this type of match. Azpi, Alonso, Kanté and Morata are the only four players to start all three matches, and a couple of them should be allowed rests in one of the following home matches against Swansea and Newcastle.

Courtois

Azpi Christensen Cahill

Moses Bakayoko Kanté Fabregas Alonso 

Hazard Morata

We have a lot of fresh legs for both matches, as we make five changes for Qarabag and six changes for Liverpool. Two wins. Easy.

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Against Liverpool half the game is about shutting down their ability to counter against us with speed. 

One way to do that is to give them posession that is non-threathening while keeping central areas compact and the corridors covered. 3511 makes a lot of sense. 

Maybe a more adventurous 352 could be seen against Carrier bag?

Courtois; Azpilicueta, Luiz, Rudiger; Zappacosta, Kante, Drinkwater, Bakayoko, Willian; Pedro, Morata

 

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With Batshuayi and Moses injured we're down to 15 senior outfield players tomorrow:

Azpilicueta, Christensen, Cahill, Luiz, Rüdiger, Zappacosta, Alonso, Kanté, Drinkwater, Fabregas, Bakayoko, Pedro, Willian, Hazard and Morata.

Musonda, Kenedy and Ampadu are also unavailable so one of Clarke-Salter, Scott or Sterling makes the bench. Bare bones!

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Holymoly   

Assuming Roma don't cock this up it looks like we're going to be playing PSG, Barcelona or Besiktas in the next round. Knowing our luck it will be PSG. That said the other English teams may draw Madrid, Bayern or Juventus so I suppose it isn't that much difference. Just once though it would be nice to get the clean end of the stick and go up against Besiktas.

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xCELERYx   
11 hours ago, Martin1905 said:

Play a back 4 with Azpilicueta at left back. Means Alonso, as much as I like him, does have an alternative. We seem too set in playing a back 5 when at times a back 4 would allow us a much more balanced side and also allow us to rest some players that otherwise have to play every game.

I've seen City, United, Arsenal and Tottenham all switch between a back 4 and a back 5 in the last couple of years. We just seem determined not to even think about it. Which is strange considering Conte is supposedly renowned for being tactically versatile. 

 

Maybe, just maybe, it's because Conte started with a back four here to begin with when he took over. Gave it a fair run in both pre-season and the beginning of the season and we were extremely underwhelming. Since changing to a back three, we've been a far more balance and cohesive unit be it in a 343 or 352 system. 

There's good reason we aren't using a back four and that's because we're a better side with a back three, like it or not. 

And for whatever it's worth - Conte's favourite formation is actually 424. It's what he used at Bari, Siena and started off with at Juventus, Italy and here. So, he's not adverse to using it if it's viable.

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9 minutes ago, xCELERYx said:

Maybe, just maybe, it's because Conte started with a back four here to begin with when he took over. Gave it a fair run in both pre-season and the beginning of the season and we were extremely underwhelming. Since changing to a back three, we've been a far more balance and cohesive unit be it in a 343 or 352 system. 

The change to a back 3 was incidental.  We were playing crap because we kept filling our own box and ignored any opponent outside it.  It had to change urgently, and it did.  But essentially he did it by changing as many players as possible.  Ivanovic, JT, Oscar all got replaced and were barely seen again.  Willian not much after that.  Luiz, Moses, Alonso came in.  The change to a back 3 was more of a way of getting the new guys in - 2 defenders and an AM not good enough to play AM but who could cope at RWB.

The implication, btw, that Oscar, Ivanovic, Mikel or Ivanovic were responsible for the silly play of early season is most unfair.  These are players who in their long Chelsea careers have never played such suicidal football.  The only explanation is poor coaching or more likely poor communication (which amounts to the same thing).

Still Conte did get it right suddenly, and with the problem fixed a great set of players went on to win the league, for which we are all very pleased.

 

What upsets me, and probably Martin, is not the back 5.  It is the back 7 or 8 when you add in Bakayoko, Kante and a mostly withdrawn Fabregas.  It certainly isn't the way we played best last season which was with Fabregas, Kante, Hazard and Willian/Pedro.

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2 hours ago, Holymoly said:

Assuming Roma don't cock this up it looks like we're going to be playing PSG, Barcelona or Besiktas in the next round. Knowing our luck it will be PSG. That said the other English teams may draw Madrid, Bayern or Juventus so I suppose it isn't that much difference. Just once though it would be nice to get the clean end of the stick and go up against Besiktas.

...and what do you think the chances are ? (imogi of a yellow face pissing itself with laughter)

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