A look at Thomas Tuchel’s 3 at the back formation for Chelsea


Chelsea have gotten off to a decent start under new manager Thomas Tuchel with 1 draw and 2 wins in his first 3 games. A more reassuring statistic for Chelsea fans would be the three clean sheets they have kept under Tuchel so far. One of Frank Lampard’s biggest issues, when he was the Chelsea coach, was his inability to effectively create a defensive structure that provided solidity and also at the same time provide a platform for their attacking players to thrive. Tuchel’s first few games have given us an idea of how he wants to set up his team and it looks like he has been inspired by Chelsea’s last title-winning coach, Antonio Conte. and his use of the back three formation.

Thomas Tuchel formation at Chelsea

chelsea formation under thomas tuchel
Chelsea ‘s 3-4-2-1 formation against Burnley Source:WhoScored.com

After a dull 0-0 draw against Wolves in his first game, Tuchel opted for a 3-4-2-1 formation against Burnley handing Mason Mount the critical role of linking the midfield and the attack. At half time, Tuchel changed the formation to a 3-4-1-2 when he brought on Pulisic for Tammy Abraham. The movement of the two forwards into the channels created problems for Burnley’s full-backs allowing Chelsea’s wing-backs to take advantage of the space available. It was clear from the game against Burnley that Tuchel intended for his Wingbacks to play a critical role in Chelsea going forward. This was also made clear with Tuchel’s selection of Alonso who had last played in September 2020. If you believe Alonso would again be an integral part of Chelsea winning titles just like under Antonio Conte, you should check out football betting tips on Sportytrader and place your bets.

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thomas tuchel formation chelsea tactics
Chelsea’s 3-4-1-2 formation against Spurs Source:WhoScored.com

Tuchel stuck to the 3-4-1-2 formation against Spurs and he again entrusted the number 10 role to Mason Mount. In the first half, Chelsea were quite comfortable, dominating the ball and keeping Spurs at bay. They were unable to create many chances though having scored their goal through a penalty. Spurs came out in the second half pressing high and aggressively which Chelsea dealt pretty well with their 3 centrebacks along with two deep midfielders. But Chelsea’s attacking combinations were not effective enough to take advantage of the spaces Spurs had left behind.

It is clear that Tuchel is still experimenting and trying to figure out his best starting eleven but from his first three games, there are some clear indications of how he wants his team to play. A back three, attacking wing-backs, functional but resistant to press midfield and some combination of the plethora of attackers at his disposal which he is still yet to figure out. The Premier League was very slow to react when Antonio Conte implemented the back three formation at Chelsea and they must not make the same mistake again.

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