There is much debate regarding Chelsea’s strongest midfield and what formation they play in, but a lot depends on the opposition they are facing.
I believe that they have two strong setups they can use in midfield that will be effective against most oppositions, and both of them have Ruben Loftus-Cheek named as the first guy on the team sheet for me.
We of course must be patient with him once he returns to the field very soon. However, he is a link that we are badly missing right now and will make a huge difference to the dynamics.
The first formation I would chose would be Chelsea’s strongest option against all oppositions, using a 4-2-3-1.
I would chose a midfield pivot of N’Golo Kante and Mateo Kovacic giving that balance of ball control, quality, defensive stability and plenty of energy and athleticism.
Kovacic would be the one dropping in and ball playing, and Kante would be doing what he does best, hitting box-to-box breaking up play, carrying the ball forward and benefiting the defence and the attack – this is his absolute best role for me.
Loftus-Cheek would be just ahead of the two, dropping in as well as supporting the striker when he can. His dribbling ability, scoring prowess, and creativity would be well utilised here, and for me he starts ahead of Mason Mount and Ross Barkley every time.
The second option which can be just as effective, is a 4-3-3.
This formation utilises Jorginho’s best attributes, who is much more comfortable in a midfield three rather than a pivot.
This allows him to sit in and dictate the play, build from the back and conduct the resistance against the press. It’s worth noting that Kovacic could also do this role.
Then I would have Kovacic just ahead of him on the left hand side in the 6 role, and Loftus-Cheek on the right in the 8 role. Imagine that Loftus-Cheek, Reece James, and Callum Hudson-Odoi link up on the right… mouthwatering!
Kante would be just as good as Kovacic in the 6, but I believe having the Croatian’s dribbling ability as a double threat with Loftus-Cheek’s, would give us the attacking edge.
However, this is one of those formations that would be opposition dependent – Kante over Kovacic for the teams with more attacking threat.
This would be Loftus-Cheek’s best position, playing a box-to-box role but having freedom to attack, and also help out defensively. It would also give him the chance to drive with the ball from deep, which he does so majestically.
So to sum up, in my view our two best midfield options are; in a 4-2-3-1, Kovacic, Kante, and Loftus-Cheek. And in a 4-3-3 Jorginho, Kovacic, and Loftus-Cheek.