How can Chelsea FC improve defensively?

Opponent analysis: Chelsea FC

On Thursday, Liverpool FC will host Chelsea FC in the top match of the 29th matchday of the Premier League. The opponent analysis of the Redmen Family.

After having to serve a transfer ban by UEFA in 2019, the company was finally able to return to the transfer market this summer. Due to the lack of spending in 2019, there was more money than usual, which was particularly noticeable in the current Corona crisis. While most of the big clubs could hardly spend any money, Chelsea benefited on the one hand from the lack of competition and on the other hand from the falling prices.

Squad - full offensive

Timo Werner (24), Ben Chilwell (24), Kai Havertz (21), Thiago Silva (36), Hakim Ziyech (27) and Edouard Mendy (29). Six top-class players could be piloted into the blue part of London this summer. The new additions were used to address the clearly visible problem areas of the last season. Werner and Havertz should improve the inadequate exploitation of opportunities, Silva, Mendy and Chilwell strengthen the shaky defense. Silva should also lead the young people next to him with his experience. With Ziyech you have a player who can also play defensively oriented opponents very well thanks to his crosses from the half-field.

Of the players who played a role last season, only Willian (32) was given up. The Brazilian joined Arsenal FC on a free transfer. Alvaro Morata (27), who has already been awarded, has been signed by Atletico Madrid. Thanks to the newcomers, the roster is broad in almost all positions. So the second team of the Blues could probably play for the European places in the Premier League.

Thomas Tuchel - football genius with a difficult character

"He is an exceptional coach. I am sure he will succeed. I am happy to see him here in this country." Those were the words of none other than Manchester City coach Pep Guardiola (50) when it was clear on January 26th that Thomas Tuchel (47) would take over from Frank Lampard (42) in the Blues coaching bench. It is understandable that Guardiola should say that, as Tuchel is one of the coaches who have copied a lot from the Spaniard and want to adapt his style of play.

The German began his coaching career in Stuttgart and Augsburg in the youth field. His first position in professional football was 1. FSV Mainz 05. After five years, he moved to Borussia Dortmund as the successor to Jürgen Klopp (53). Here, however, the dark side of Thomas Tuchel showed up very quickly. Despite good sporting achievements, including winning the DfB Cup in 2017, Tuchel had to resign after only two years due to differences between him and the club's management.

After a sabbatical year, Tuchel took over the French series champion Paris St. Germain in 2018. In the two full seasons under his leadership, the capital city won two championship titles, in 2020 they won both domestic trophies and reached the Champions League final (0: 1 against FC Bayern Munich). All these successes and the very good relationship with the players could not prevent the dismissal at the end of December 2020. In addition to second place in the league, the main reasons were disagreements with the sporting director Leonardo (51). Just a month later, Tuchel had a job again, he signed with Chelsea FC.

The new coach also brings a new tactic

Tuchel also brought a new tactic to London. Instead of Lampard's 4-3-3, the Blues now play with a three-way chain. Tuchel has also repurposed some players for this. The trained right-back Cesar Azpilicueta (31) forms the right part of the chain of three, in front of him as a track player acts the actual winger Callum Hudson-Odoi (20). In addition, players who had played little or no role under Lampard were ordered back into the team. Antonio Rüdiger (27) is in central defense, on the left wing Marcos Alonso (30), who was last in the squad under Lampard on matchday three, is mostly given preference over Chilwell.

The full-backs also have a very important role to play here. They are the only outside players, the offensive forces act very centrally. So Alonso and Hudson-Odoi have to cover a lot of space on their own. The advantage that the two have is that Chelsea had almost 68% possession of the ball in previous games under Tuchel through strong pressing and the two were therefore able to save themselves a lot of ways back. This should look different against Liverpool, it remains to be seen how they manage it.

On the offensive, Tuchel is still experimenting a lot. Of the 810 possible minutes played, none of the numerous offensive players reached over 600. Mason Mount (22) stood at 592 minutes, Werner as the second best in this statistic at 534 minutes. A total of eight players have already been used for the three positions in the front line, seven of which are likely to claim to be regular players. How well Tuchel can moderate this remains to be seen.

Defensively top, offensively expandable

As probably already thought in the last paragraph, things are not really going offensively yet. You dominate most opponents, but in the last third the blues are far too harmless. Hardly once do you get more than two top-class chances in one game. The defense, on the other hand, works all the better. The switch to three central defenders has worked wonders, in the nine games under Tuchel the team conceded only two goals.

The results are correspondingly good. Chelsea are still unbeaten, with six wins and three draws. The good run brought you very close to the Champions League places and, among other things, overtook Liverpool. The results should be treated with caution, because apart from Manchester United (0: 0) there were not yet any strong opponents in the league. But the beginning of a successful time under Thomas Tuchel seems to have been made.


As already mentioned, Thomas Tuchel and his new system should face the first real test on Thursday. Above all, the full-backs and the half-strikers in 3-4-2-1 will be challenged significantly more defensively than before. Liverpool are known to work particularly well against teams with a back three as full-backs Andrew Robertson (26) and Trent Alexander-Arnold (22) will have plenty of space. Also the injury-related loss of defense chief Silva weighs much more heavily in the game against the champions than last time. In addition, keeper Mendy has repeatedly shown weaknesses in recent weeks when the opponent approached him. This is where the Reds should definitely start and put the Senegalese under pressure as often as possible.

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