What Tuchels Chelsea and the 3 at the back shapes do so well is the ability to overload the first line of the oppositional press as the shape naturally creates a number of passing angles when building from deep. Giving the side variety of ways to build out from the back. The central midfielders may drop alongside the back-three and this gives Chelsea another option in possession to by-pass an opposition’s high press.
Chelsea are patient in possession when building and instead of resulting in the more direct ball, they'll look to circulate the ball or switch play to the wing-backs in order to progress up the field. They also play a number of one-touch passes, circulating the ball at pace, even despite the patience.
This is something we want to capture but when building, we want to focus on freeing up our wing-backs so it's important to overload one side of the pitch, to free up the opposite wing-back who can then drive into space or be isolated in a 1v1 against the oppositions defender. In order to find the wing-backs in space, we'll look to work the ball inside forcing the opposition to defend in central areas, then play the out to a free wing-back.
Going forward and in true positional play fashion, Tuchel wants his side to be able to find the players between the lines of the opposition, particularly the two wingers and lone centre-forward who are constantly creating angles. This is also what we want to achieve with our 3-4-3, by having the wingers invert and forming a box-like shape with the central midfielders causing an overload, and with the wingers looking for space in-between the line. Chelsea’s attacking structure resembles as a 3-1-6 or 3-1-5-1 depending on the positioning of the striker, whilst we'll look very similar in a 3-1-1-5.
Strengths of the 3-4-3
- We can shift into 5-4-1 lengthy spells without the ball and/or in a mid-block.
- Having 4 wide players can protect against wide overloads, alternatively, the attacking wing-backs and wingers can be 2v1 against opposition full-backs.
- With wing-backs advancing, the shape can create overloads in the attacking third with the two wingers and CF.
- 5 at the back allows us to cover all zones when defending.
- And the shape naturally creates a number of passing angles/triangles.
- Get wingers to play very narrow, forming a box with CMs and operating in-between lines
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