With the Premier League set to begin in less than two weeks, Antonio Conte will be keen on putting his squad in order before Chelsea’s competitive campaign begins.
That includes having an intended first team lineup ahead of the fresh season which will, of course, see some players favoured over others depending on the preference of the new boss at Stamford Bridge.
Conte’s aim will be to win the League in his first season in charge at Chelsea.
The club’s hierarchy will probably not settle for anything less than a spot in the top three (top four at most) and on that note, we can expect to see some beautiful football backed up by Conte’s tactical masterclass next season.
The Italian appears to be heading into the new season with an open mind. Conte looks set to make use of a 4-2-4 formation, though this is likely to be a flexible tactical ideology as it’s still relatively unproven in the Premier League.
The formation looked good against Real Madrid in the second half of their International Champions Cup clash, although it had its shortcomings such as the fact that Chelsea were overrun in the middle of the park on a couple of occasions.
While Conte’s tactics haven’t been fully revealed ahead of the new season, here’s what we feel would be Chelsea’s best lineup for the 2016/17 season.
A list of players that could secure them the League title based on the 4-2-4 system:
1 Thibaut Courtois
There’s no doubt about the fact that Courtois is a world class Goalkeeper comparable to the likes of Manuel Neuer and Gianluigi Buffon.
The Chelsea shot-stopper endured an injury-filled campaign last season with Asmir Begovic coming in to replace him on numerous occasions. When available, the Belgian was not as convincing as he perhaps should have been however, and needs a strong season this year.
With Conte now at the helm, we can expect to see more clean sheets from Courtois thanks to the defensive stability Conte’s preferred style of play ensures.
2 Cesar Azpilicueta
The full-back has been a mainstay in Chelsea’s defence for a couple of seasons now, and he’s expected to continue in his full-back role next season.
3 Garry Cahill
Cahill is a similar type of player to John Terry; he’s got the ability to score goals and defend. He’ll be an instrumental figure at the heart of Chelsea’s defence next season.
4 Kurt Zouma
It’s quite unlikely that Leonardo Bonucci will be making his way to the Stamford Bridge anytime soon. Hence Kurt Zouma will take on a consistent role in the heart of Chelsea’s defence.
5 Ola Aina
The youngster could break into Chelsea’s first-team this season having already featured for the Blues in their US Pre-season tour. Although Conte could opt to bring in a new full-back rather than play Aina, we’ll just have to wait and see how things pan out.
6 Eden Hazard
Hazard is expected to play a decisive role in Chelsea’s title challenge. The Belgium international had a ghost season for Chelsea last term but managed to rekindle his form towards the end of the campaign.
He seems to be back to his best and will return to do great things for Chelsea next season.
Having been told that he’s going to feature next season, the skilful Brazilian will be keen on contributing to Chelsea’s success in the League.
He’s got the ability, desire and backing from the manager, so there’s no reason for Oscar not to be at his best right now.
8 N’Golo Kante
Following Kante’s arrival at Chelsea, the France international is expected to walk right into the starting lineup next season due to his immense proficiency in midfield.
If he can replicate his performances at the King Power Stadium for Chelsea, then the Blues have a chance of winning the League.
Arguably the only bright spark in Chelsea’s relatively dim league campaign last time out, the bushy haired Brazilian will play a vital role in Chelsea’s bid for the Premier League title.
Willian did it all for Chelsea last season, goals, assists, and dazzling performances. He’s expected to be even better under Antonio Conte.
10 Mitchy Batshuayi
Batshuayi’s influence will undoubtedly be felt next season as the Belgium international boasts immense technical proficiency as well as a real poacher’s instinct.
11 Diego Costa
Costa’s impact at Chelsea can’t be overestimated as he performs an array of roles for the team. Despite being dubbed as an aggressive forward, Costa’s aggression does more good than harm for Chelsea.
He can play mind games with the opposition which tends to give Chelsea the competitive edge; he can bag quite a number of goals, and also helps out defensively.
Costa is an all-rounder and will definitely play a key role in Chelsea’s league campaign.