And so we’ve come, to the eve of the Premier League season. Tonight, Manchester United vs. Leicester City get us underway, with a full slate of games to follow over the weekend and most of the next nine months worth of weekends. That sounds like a long time, but as usual, it will go by very quickly.
First up for Chelsea are Huddersfield, but more importantly, this will be the first match of the rest of our Sarri-ball lives. As you may have noticed, there’s only one formation choice. That’s how Sarri-ball rolls. It’s not about reacting and countering; it’s about pro-acting and imposing. It might be “fun”. If we get it right.
But getting it right could take 2-3 months, according to Sarri himself, and some in the squad are still practically brand new to the coach’s ideas thanks to World Cup vacations (Hazard, Kanté, Giroud, Cahill, Bashuayi) or later transfers (Kovačić, who may also be lacking match fitness).
There is also the issue of Chelsea having too many non-homegrown players in the first-team squad at the moment, but since squads don’t have to be locked down until August 31, despite Premier Leagues now unable to make new signings, Chelsea do get a couple freebies for now. (That’s as far as I understand the current situation; it’s a bit convoluted with multiple deadline days, registration cutoff dates, and so on.)
So, 4-3-3, and the choice is yours.