Conte needs Fabregas in 3-4-3 Formation to Demolish Baggies

EPL By: Jide Alaka | 10/12/2016

There will always be tests for whatever formation is in vogue and no matter the sophistication, sooner rather than later, managers and players will get a hang of it and decipher it.

That would be Tony Pulis’ job on Saturday as he takes his high-riding team to Stamford Bridge, hoping not to become like the eight teams that have been crushed by Antonio Conte’s Chelsea 3-4-3 juggernaut. In that time, the Blues have won with straight matches; scored 22 and conceded just two goals.

But the Baggies are also in good form, with three wins in their last five matches and have scored 10 goals.


West Brom Tactic

Pulls would likely play narrow in a 4-5-1 formation, with definite instructions to Matt Phillips and Chris Brunt to hog the flanks to curtail the movements of Victor Moses and Marcos Alonso. And there would be a lot of dependance on set plays even though Chelsea are the only team in the EPL that have yet to concede from a set play this season.


Chelsea Tactic

West Brom are not expected to have more of the possession like Manchester City had last Saturday so it is very likely that Fabregas starts again. This would ensure that Diego Costa plays on the shoulder of either Gareth McAuley or Johnny Evans. The diagonal ball is going to be employed a lot to hit Eden Hazard and either of Pedro or Willian as they seek space close to the opponent’s box.


For Chelsea, they need to follow up their strong showings against Tottenham and Manchester City, though no Pulis side is ever a pushover.

And Conte recognizes this after saying he does not believe his team are guaranteed any win come Sunday.

“I suppose it’s normal when you are playing well and winning a lot of games, but we have to make sure we don’t lose our hunger.” 

Whatever challenge Pulis will pose with his team at the Bridge - it would be no less awkward. In the last two seasons, when they were crowned champions and when they finished 10th, the Baggies have wrestled a point off the Blues and that would be the concise intention again on Sunday.


Probable Chelsea XI: Courtois; Azpilicueta, Luiz, Cahill; Moses, Kante, Fabregas, Alonso; Willian, Costa, Hazard


Probable West Brom XI: Foster; Dawson, McAuley, Evans, Nyom; Jacob, Fletcher; Phillips, Chadli, Brunt; Rondon


N.B – There are doubts about the fitness of David Luiz and Gareth McAuley.

Referee: Mike Dean


Kick-off: 1pm