Sarri bringing positive changes to Chelsea
By James Vost
With the signing of new boss Maurizio Sarri, Chelsea will be using a new playing style that Stamford Bridge hasn’t seen in a very long time. Sarri instantly appears to be binning the 3-4-3 formation which was used as The Blues lifted the Premier League and FA Cup in Antonio Conte's two seasons with the club.
The formation most preferred by Sarri is the 4-3-3 formation, often used last season by Liverpool who gained a lot of success out of it, reaching the Champions League Final. This formation will bring more of an attacking style to the Stamford Bridge outfit and should benefit the team individually and as a group.
As of the Chelsea squad available today, this could be how Sarri lines up The Blues at the start of the 2018-19 season...
The formation and the players at Sarri's disposal offers plenty of flexibility to how they can play, with and without the ball.
In possession, it is likely that Jorginho will take the holding role in midfield, able to pick the ball off the back four and play forward, allowing N'Golo Kante the freedom to play a little further forward and use his energy in attacking situations and meaning they'd have five attacking players who will offer great options.
Out of possession, Kante can drop deeper to a more defensive position alongside Jorginho to offer more stability until they regain possession and look to counter quickly with the pace of Willian and Eden Hazard in the wide forward positions.
Why might Sarri and the 4-3-3 formation bring Chelsea success?
In recent years at Napoli, Sarri likes to play with a high tempo, and this will support the formation, especially when going forward and applying pressure on opponents. We have seen this work well for Liverpool against the likes of Premier League champions Manchester City.
Chelsea have the players to make this formation work. With the likes of Pedro, Jorginho, N'Golo Kante, David Luiz and Fabregas offering passing, speed and strength which are key assets to making the formation play the way Sarri wants it to. They have exciting attacking options going forward, but also players with enough discipline to work to a more defensive set-up without the ball.
Another important factor to success is the squad depth. In the 2016/17 season, this was one of the reasons why Chelsea won the league as they had enough important players to rotate the squad. With new signings coming in and loanees returning, Chelsea’s squad looks to be packed with talent.
The transfer mill
It's the time of the year when transfer rumours are rife, and at Chelsea it's no different. Players are rumoured to be coming and going from Stamford Bridge.
By the first game of the 2018-19 Premier League season, The Blues could possibly be lining up like this...
Whatever happens in the transfer market between now and the window closing, Sarri's Chelsea should be a more attacking and exciting proposition to watch. Will this give them a better chance to challenge the likes of Manchester City, Liverpool and Manchester United for honours in the Premier League this term? Time will tell.