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How many at the back? Oscar reveals Antonio Conte's new formation and tactical plans

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Thanks to the success of Antonio Conte's 3-5-2 formation at both Juventus and the Italian national team, many expected him to stick to the system at Chelsea as well.  But Conte's never been one to shoehorn players into non-ideal formations, and the success of said 3-5-2 depended greatly on the defensive trio of Bonucci, Barzagli, and Chiellini, none of whom have followed the boss to Chelsea.

Perhaps in the near future Chelsea can attempt such a transition.  Once Andreas Christensen returns from his loan spells, he can be our Bonucci, and if Zouma recovers fully from his torn ACL, he can be our Barzagli, and somebody can be our Chiellini, and if Conte's still in charge by then, maybe we can give it a shot.  Until then, the new boss will be reverting to a system he used before he took over at Juventus:  the 4-2-4 from his Bari and Siena days (eventually winning promotion from Serie B with both teams).

"The idea is to play 4-2-4. We tried this every day in training - we're getting better."

-Oscar; source: Mail

Two midfielders, two striker, two wingers.  Quick passing.  Pressing.  Proper width.  Oh my!

We saw the system in action against both Rapid Vienna and Wolfsberger AC.  Results were mixed, but it's early days and the manager's still feeling out the best combinations and partnerships to deploy.  One of the more interesting wrinkles tried so far was putting Oscar into central midfield, a move that we here at WAGNH have been advocating for almost as long as Oscar's been at Chelsea.  Roberto Di Matteo did try it a few times (in the double pivot of a 4-2-3-1), but he ran out of time before he could truly make it work.  Hopefully Conte will have better luck.

"It's been a little bit different for me because I always play number 10. I try to play my best always and try to help my team."

-Oscar; source: Mail

This may not be Oscar's permanent new position, though he will no doubt partner new signing N'Golo Kanté in certain situations.  We'll just have to wait and see what Conte has in mind, and how all the other pieces (Fàbregas, Matić, Mikel, etc.) fall into place.

Until then, Oscar assures, the squad will be doing their utmost to get ready for a most crucial season.

"The players and fans need to be strong and confident for the new season. Everyone knows that last season we didn't play well. But everyone knows the calibre of the players and we have a chance to do well this season."

"Last season, we had a lot of problems. We had a lot of injured players and we didn't play for titles. Always in the past, we were playing for titles and last season we won nothing. It's so difficult to explain last season. But everyone is now fresh for the new season."

"The Premier League is always difficult. Champions League or not. There is so much quality in the league and we have a lot of quality too so we will work hard and try to win the title."

-Oscar; source: Mail

Out with the 4-2-3-1, in with the 4-4-2/4-2-4!  So say we all.