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Conte's Chelsea Conquer

Thursday 26th January 2017
With game week 23 just around the corner in the Premier League, we analyse the progress of high-flying Chelsea and how Antonio Conte's men have managed to be sitting 8 points clear with 16 games still to go, not to mention their immense improvement on last season

Conte's side are a massive 30 points ahead of themselves than at this time last season and have even managed to be on five more points NOW than they had at the END of last season!

So, just how have the Blues managed such impressive form?

On September 24th 2016, Conte's men suffered a heavy 3-0 defeat to fellow title rivals Arsenal, having also lost at home to Liverpool as well as taking only a point away from their game against Swansea in the same month. Since then, however, the Blues have gone on to win 17 of their last 18 games in all competitions, managing 14 victories on the trot (13 in the Premier League), Tottenham Hotspur being the only club to get the better of the Blues this season in their impressive 2-0 win at White Hart Lane earlier this month.
This change in luck is largely down to the new tactics implemented by Conte, in particular, the change in their formation. His go-to formation of 3-4-3, which worked so well during his times at Juventus and Italy, turned out to be just what the doctor ordered.

The use of the energetic-yet-disciplined fullbacks in Marcos Alonso and Victor Moses proved to be a touch of genius, utilising the pair for both attacking and defensive purposes. In addition to this, David Luiz has been acting as almost a sweeper, slotting in between the two centre-backs but also being granted the freedom to push forward and carry the ball into the midfield, effectively getting attacks going. This has served the side well as it allows players such as N'Golo Kante and Alonso to drop deep filling in the gap, while the more creative players like Nemanja Matic and Moses push on.
In addition to these tactics, Conte has created a genius technique whereby he always has at least one attacker guaranteed to be free. The formation allows this to happen by adopting a 2-3-5 shape, the front 5 taking the form of Diego Costa leading the pack, Eden Hazard and Pedro as the inside forwards and Alonso and Moses as the wingers, who drag the opposition full backs out of position creating space for Hazard and Pedro to attack in between the fullbacks and centre-backs.

Another contributing factor is the fact that Chelsea are not in any European competitions this season, unlike the other title contenders Arsenal, Manchester City and Spurs. This not only gives the Chelsea squad a much-needed rest but also gives Conte more time to prepare for each Premier League match.

And when you've got a front three of Hazard, Costa and Pedro, who have netted a combined 30 goals this season (9, 6 and 15 respectively), you're always in with a shot.
Daniel Felix Hobson

I'm a 20-year-old film student and writer of all things football.

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