The Power Of Three
Antonio Conte’s 3-man defence proving to be impregnable
When David Luiz made his second Chelsea debut in September the Blues suffered back-to-back Premier League defeats to Liverpool and Arsenal, raising more eyebrows about Conte’s decision to fork out £34m, to bring the Brazilian back to Stamford Bridge.
However, Luiz, who boasts the brilliant nickname ‘Sideshow Bob’, has been in outstanding form since Conte switched to a 3-man defence. Flanked by Gary Cahill and César Azpilicueta, Luiz has made the Chelsea defence almost impregnable and the Blues have gone on a 6-game winning streak that has seen them claim top spot in the English Premier League table.
Oualala have taken a look at their stats during this winning sequence and to say that they have been impressive would be something of an understatement.
While Diego Costa and Eden Hazard have been grabbing most of the headlines, having scored 10 and 7 goals respectively, there are a number of unsung heroes that deserve a bit of recognition.
On the right, Pedro has seized his chance to show glimpses of the form that enabled him to make over 200 appearances for Barcelona, while Victor Moses looks like he might actually carve out a career out for himself at the Bridge. N’Golo Kanté has been instrumental in the middle of the park, eating up the ground and it’s easy to see why champions Leicester City are struggling so much without him.
After an indifferent spell, goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois seems to have rediscovered the type of form that marked him out as one of the best young stoppers in the world and the Belgian hasn’t conceded a goal in the last 6 matches.
Marcos Alonso has also been something of a revelation and if he’s not on your fantasy football shortlist by now, you really should readdress your strategy.
Classified as a defender in most game formats, the Spaniard has been playing on the left of a midfield 4, displaying boundless energy, hugging the touchline and getting forward at every opportunity. His positional sense is superb, freeing up space for Hazard to work his magic and he already has a goal and assist to his name, on top of those 6 clean sheets. The former Bolton defender has an eye for a key pass as well and isn’t afraid of getting into shooting positions in the penalty box either, marking him out as something of a fantasy football ‘must-have’ pick!
It was suggested that Conte would go with a 3-man defence when his appointment was announced and the formation now looks like it could be in for the long haul. The Italian has had luxury of naming an unchanged team in each of Chelsea’s last 5 matches and with the form that his players are all showing, it’s unlikely that he will be tinkering too much in the near future.
Let us know what you think of Chelsea’s 3-man defence.