Formations with 3 at the back have made a resurgence of late. West Ham Boss Slaven Bilic has used it to a good degree of success lately, most recently as he got West Ham back to winning ways against Crystal Palace.
One other man who has revived his clubs fortunes is Antonio Conte, with his club winning two games on the spin and scoring 5 without conceding since switching to his 3-4-3 formation. His latest victory was a 3-0 demolition of last season’s title winners Leicester City.
There is a debate that seems to run eternally on football tactics. Some say they don’t matter – that the quality of your players and how they perform is what dictate results regardless of fancy formations. However, for some, tactical disincline wins the day over creative freedom.
A big proponent of 3 at the back formations are the Italians. They love defending – the art of defending runs through their veins. They are masters of it. I’m pretty sure that Italian kids don’t have pictures of Messi on their wall – they have pictures of Chiellini, Nesta and Maldini. So what better way for Italian managers to get their defensive kicks than to have an extra central defender on the pitch!
Which brings me onto Conte’s Italian counterpart, Ranieri. His team last season were born in the vision of the great Italian teams. They defended for their lives, they scored goals, and they shut up shop. And it won them a title. However, they have struggled so far this season, letting in a huge amount of goals. Would they benefit from following Conte’s lead and moving to a 3-4-3 formation?
This formation could be great for Leicester to play their defensive counter attacking football.
It adds an extra defender into the mix centrally for shutting up shop. It will require hard work from Albrighton and Schlupp to get up and down the wing, but both have pace and stamina to burn. Whilst Fuchs and Huth have both played at fullback and would be comfortable playing on the outside of a back 3. With Morgan being the rock in the centre that knits it all together.
Drinkwater and Amarty could provide a solid base in midfield – like Matic and Kante do for Chelsea in this formation.
Then when in attack, they would have pace and tricks to burn on the counter attack. Defences would really struggle to cope with the blistering pace of Musa and Vardy, with Mahrez supplying them with the ammo.
What do you think, could this make Leicester City title challengers again?