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Mateo Kovacic advises Graham Potter what formation to stick with at Chelsea 

Mateo Kovacic advises Graham Potter what formation to stick with at Chelsea 

Mateo Kovacic informed his manager, Graham Potter, about the formation he believes Chelsea should use going forward.

 Despite missing their previous loss to Tottenham due to illness, the 28-year-old returned to Potter’s starting lineup for their 1-0 victory over Leeds United at Stamford Bridge. 

Kovacic was one of three changes made to the team that lost in their previous match, with Benoit Badiashile and Wesley Fofana stepping in for the injured Thiago Silva and Reece James in a back-three system that pleased the Croatian midfielder.

Speaking to the club website after the game, Kovacic said: “We prepared the goal well in training because we know that Wesley is good in the air. I think the formation worked really well.

“We prepared it good in training and we’re used to this system since a long time, so it’s a familiar one. We had a good game but the most important is that we continue.”

By opting for a back-three defence, Graham Potter was able to guide his team to a crucial three points, which was a much-needed result.

 This victory was particularly significant as it came at the beginning of a week that was deemed pivotal for Chelsea’s management. The former Brighton manager was finally able to devise a strategy that effectively utilized the talent of the expensively-assembled squad.

The utilization of this system is likely to evoke fond memories for Chelsea fans as it was previously favored during the successful tenures of Antonio Conte and Thomas Tuchel.

 However, it should be noted that Graham Potter had previously attempted this formation during his brief time as Chelsea’s manager, but without the same level of success.

For the recent match against Leeds United, Potter introduced Wesley Fofana and Benoit Badiashile in the center of Chelsea’s defense alongside Kalidou Koulibaly. Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Ben Chilwell were deployed in the wing-back positions. 

With Reece James expected to be available for the crucial Champions League match against Borussia Dortmund on Tuesday, Potter may choose to continue using this formation, with James possibly taking up the right wing-back role, which he has previously excelled in.

After the game on Saturday, Graham Potter concurred with Mateo Kovacic’s views on the team’s ideal formation. Potter acknowledged that the back-three defense had a positive impact on the team’s confidence and made them appear more secure on the field.

 He said: “Yeah, I think it would. Obviously it hasn’t been as straightforward as it sounds because we’ve had people dropping off regularly really, which has made it hard to have that consistency that you need, that we want.

“But in the meantime we have to keep working, which is what we’ve done. But yeah, I thought we had a nice balance about us. We were better in terms of attacking certainly of the first half. And that’s something for us to improve.”

Mateo Kovacic advises Graham Potter what formation to stick with at Chelsea 

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