Antonio Conte Must Not Pick This Player Against Arsenal
Chelsea head off to North London on Wednesday to face Arsenal in the semi-final of the Carabao Cup. Coming off the back of a fine win over Brighton & Hove Albion, that saw Antonio Conte revert back to last season`s favoured 3-4-3 formation, Chelsea can head to the Emirates bursting with confidence.
This season, particularly against the stronger teams, Conte has switched to a 3-5-2 system that utilises Alvaro Morata as a lone striker with Eden Hazard playing just behind him. The downfall of that system, comes from the resulting midfield. With five players in there, the two holding players stifle Chelsea`s attacking abilities.
Recent games have produced consistent form from the back three, whoever has played. As Conte has said, despite a constant barrage of criticism, Chelsea are unbeaten in 12 games in all competitions. As it stands, they remain in both domestic cups and have reached the round of 16 in the Champions League.
If Conte has a fault though, it`s his belief, that this use of the five man midfield is his best option against the so called 'big teams`. Alvaro Morata has struggled in his role at the head of Chelsea`s attack.
We saw against Brighton, how having three players in attack benefited the whole team. Hazard, Batshuayi and Willian linked well and were involved in three of the goals. In particular Batshuayi showed a strength on the ball that Morata has lacked.
Come Wednesday evening, and with a chance to get to the seasons first final, Conte must retain the 3-4-3 formation. Arsenal aren`t in great form, although they do seem able to raise their game against us, but Chelsea can defeat them.
Conte must accept that Morata is badly lacking confidence and wildly out of form. From what was displayed yesterday at the Amex, Batshuayi is suffering neither. He needs a run in the team and the Italian must give him that time.
Morata will come good. But for now, he needs time out to reassess his game and reboot his mindset. The Spanish triumvirate of Fabregas, Pedro, and Morata were all missing yesterday, and Chelsea flourished.
It`s time Conte put aside all this nonsense about tiredness and focus more on playing a team of players willing to fight for the jersey. We saw that in spades yesterday and a repeat of that performance and that attitude will see Chelsea in the final of the Carabao Cup on Wednesday.