As briefly mentioned in the previous slide, Tuchel is extremely unpredictable. Many—myself included—thought he’d stick with the base formation his predecessor used during his time at the club. Lampard used variations of the 4-3-3 and 4-1-3-2, both very familiar to Tuchel during his managerial career. However, instead, he chose to switch things up entirely and play a 3-4-3. Tuchel’s thrown Chelsea fans for a loop with the formation and his team selections in the first two games; there’s no doubt that’ll continue.
Popularized by Antonio Conte at Stamford Bridge, the 3-4-3 made a handful of appearances under Lampard, as well. Most notably against Thursday’s opponents when the Chelsea legend became the first manager to ever do a league double over Mourinho. The Portuguese coach has even elected to deploy his team in a similar formation over Tottenham’s last two games against Liverpool and Brighton.
This means both managers will stick with the 3-4-3 for this clash, right? Wrong—probably. Mourinho will likely head in another direction as the formational change has seen his team fumble the last two results, taking zero points away in the process. Meanwhile, Tuchel is more likely to continue on with three at-the-back, seeing as his team has taken four points from its last two games. All of that being said, it’s a crapshoot trying to predict the shape the managers will set their teams up in on Thursday. Tuchel has made a career out of his formational flexibility and Mourinho tends to overthink things when the going gets tough.
Perhaps the one aspect of this match more crucial to the two sides’ success than the formation is the team selection. Tuchel has experimented with his side during the first two games and left out many great players in the process. Could he have been saving the likes of Kurt Zouma, N’Golo Kante and Reece James for Spurs? Only time will tell.