Chelsea entered a whole new chapter in the club’s history by appointing Italian manager Antonio Conte this summer. The Premier League giants had a season to forget last time around and haven’t done all that well this time either. The minimum target will be top four but that is only possible if Conte has the best players in the squad available. If all Chelsea players are fit and available for selection, what would be their best possible XI?
Antonio Conte started every game this season apart from the last one in a 4-1-4-1 formation. The team did not manage to perform to their standards in that formation which is why the Italian reverted to three at the back against Burnley on Saturday. Chelsea won the game 2-0 and they looked much solid defensively. That is why we also opt for a 3-4-3 formation.
Thibaut Courtois has been pretty shaky under the bar in some games this season but the Belgian still remains the first-choice keeper at Stamford Bridge ahead of Asmir Begovic. John Terry is an obvious choice at the heart of the defence despite the age of 35. The Chelsea skipper still remains the best defender in the club, which says a lot about the rest.
Alongside Terry, we would go with Kurt Zouma and David Luiz. Both are brilliant passers of the ball and Conte loves this trait from his defenders. Luiz is not the best defender when it comes to defensive abilities but in a system consisting of three central defenders, ignoring the Brazilian does not make sense at all as he is a tailor made defender for such systems.
The two wide players in the 3-4-3 system operate as attacking wing-backs who also provide enough defensive cover for the back three. Cesar Azpilicueta and summer signing Marcos Alonso would be the first-choice wing-backs in this system. The two central midfielders will be Nemanja Matic and N’Golo Kante. The duo offer plenty of steel in midfield and have to do well in order to help Chelsea succeed in the 3-4-3 formation.
Neither Cesc Fabregas nor Oscar are as sound defensively as the two which is why they have to ensure that they do their best as Conte do not have any more option.
Diego Costa is in the form of his life at the moment and is an obvious choice up front as the solitary centre-forward. Eden Hazard will be the left winger while Willian deserves to start on the right flank. Moses, Pedro, Oscar, Batshuayi are all solid options if Conte needs cover for the star trio.