Just like Frank Lampard, former Chelsea captain Marcel Desailly has also suggested Antonio Conte to use out and out striker for the Barcelona game.
Antonio Conte used ‘False 9’ formation against Barcelona in the first game and it backfired. The manager used it once more against Manchester City and the Italian was heavily criticized for his tactics. For the second leg against Barcelona, Desailly has suggested Conte to field a natural striker.
The Frenchman believes it will be difficult for the Blues to come out on top in the Camp Nou atmosphere and wants his team to work hard.
Two HUGE knockout successes v Barcelona in recent years… which is your favourite?
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) March 13, 2018
“I was expecting Chelsea to do better than that (in the first leg). Obviously, it’s going to be difficult away. The Nou Camp has a special vibe that does not allow you to really express yourself.” Desailly told ESPN.
“It’s going to be tough, we want to have back at Chelsea that collectiveness, especially defensively to handle the opponent, so let’s see.”
Number 9 instead of false 9:
The Italian manager benched both Alvaro Morata and Oliver Giroud for the first leg against Barcelona. The former captain was unhappy with Conte’s tactics and backed Morata to perform well on his return to Spain.
“We were surprised about the tactical setup that he used (in the first leg). But maybe for the return match he will now bring back Morata on his Spanish soil and have all around him players that will run very fast to make the difference.”
Chelsea are expected to ditch the ‘False 9’ in their second leg against Barcelona and field Morata in front of the goal. Another Ex-Chelsea player, Lampard backed Morata to repeat the heroics of Torres from 2012 game against Barcelona.
“What Fernando Torres did in 2012 shows what a recognized striker can give you against Barcelona. There is that opportunity to play balls over the top to get out.”
But the Spaniard will face competition from Chelsea’s winter signing Oliver Giroud who had a good game against Crystal Palace. Despite failing to score in the game, the Frenchman hit the post on one occasion and also watched his shot being cleared on the goal-line. Morata on the other hands came off the bench, only to earn a yellow card in the dying moments of the game.
Both Desailly and Lampard are right, Chelsea needs to use the regular No. 9 striker as ‘False 9’ is definitely not suiting their game right now. But based on their current form, can Morata or Giroud really help them in front of the goal? And while the Chelsea legends are busy with attacking bits of advice, one must not forget that they need to defend much better than the first leg. Because, Lionel Andres Messi!