The only question remaining about Antonio Conte’s 3-4-3 formation at Chelsea is why he didn’t switch to the system earlier, after the Blues romped to a 4-0 success against Manchester United.
Using the tactic, the Londoners recorded their third consecutive victory without conceding and were catapulted back into the thick of the title race just one point behind the leading pack.
While three at the back certainly seems set to stay at Stamford Bridge, there remain areas of the squad that can be improved to better fit the formation.
One such position is wing-back, where Conte looks particularly light on bodies, despite an impressive adaptation to the position by Victor Moses on the right flank.
With Cesar Azpilicueta forming part of the impenetrable back-three and Branislav Ivanovic far too immobile for the roving role, Moses has been called on to prop up one end of the midfield four in Conte’s plan.
Should the Nigerian get injured it would drastically unsettle the balance of Chelsea’s side, so looking for January reinforcements in that department may become one of the Italian tactician’s top priorities.
The 47-year-old need only look to his last club for two options, with Juventus defender Stephan Lichtsteiner an old Conte favourite and Juan Cuadrado in Turin on-loan from Chelsea.
32-year-old Lichtsteiner would clearly only be a short-term solution for the Blues, but has made just four Serie A appearances this season.
He was used 99 times by Conte when the pair last worked together at Juve, often at right wing-back, and would represent a plug-and-play alternative when required.
Cuadrado, like Moses, naturally operates from the right side of a forward line, but is capable of dropping deeper.
The Colombian moved to Italy in a somewhat unprecedented three-year loan this past summer, which would see him run down the Chelsea contract he signed when joining the Blues in 2015.
But with the success of the three-at-the-back system now clear, Conte may wish to rethink the 28-year-old’s future.
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