Antonio Conte has explained that he was forced to deploy a 3-5-2 over recent weeks due to injuries to some of his forwards and hinted that he could return a 3-4-3 against Chelsea.
Although Conte employed a 3-4-3 in his first few weeks in charge at Tottenham, the Spurs boss has deployed two strikers up front in Lucas Moura and Harry Kane over recent weeks due to Son Heung-min’s injury absence.
Arguably, Tottenham’s two best performances under Conte – their 2-2 draw at home against Liverpool in December and their 3-2 win away at Leicester on Wednesday – have come when the Italian has played with two strikers.
However, Steven Bergwijn has potentially put himself in contention for a place in the starting line-up following his heroics from the bench at the King Power Stadium.
Ahead of Spurs’ trip to Stamford Bridge, Conte explained that Bergwijn and Son’s absence forced him to employ a 3-5-2.
When asked which formation we will see at Tottenham over the long term, the 52-year-old told Football.London: “I think that many times in these two months I’ve faced different situations, especially for the injuries.
“We started to play with the two strikers because I think we have important strikers and when you have to try to build something you do it around the best players in your squad.
“When all the players are available a lot of times we started with three strikers. Then Sonny has had an injury, a bad injury, and for this reason, I didn’t have the possibility to continue this way. Also, Bergwijn was out with injuries.
“In this type of situation, you have to try and find another solution. Maybe it could be possible to change again. The important thing is that the players know very well which are our principles and try to put this on the pitch with the system that we decide to play.”
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I expect Conte to stick to a 3-5-2 against Chelsea with a midfield trio of Winks, Hojbjerg and Skipp. Despite his impressive cameo on Wednesday, I expect Bergwijn to start the game on the bench. The Italian will perhaps once again look at the Dutchman as an impact substitute against tired legs in the second half.
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