Chelsea boss says he’s ready to play without a striker again

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Antonio Conte says playing without a recognised striker can suit Chelsea and could well be a tactic he uses again.

The Blues have won all four matches in which boss Conte has played with a ‘false number nine’.

Their latest success came in midweek at Huddersfield, where Eden Hazard led the attack.

And Conte believes the system remains an excellent option for the reigning champions.

Speaking at a press conference on Friday, the Italian said: “We played this way last season and I think this is a good option because you don’t give a point of reference to your opponent.

“You can play, with your three players, very good technically and also very fast and very good one-v-one – creative players.

“At the same time, it is very important to have a good balance. If our three strikers want to sacrifice without the ball to give us the right balance then, yes, I think this could be a good option for the present and for the future.

“You have to have a balance or you risk losing the game, risk a counter-attack, and I don’t want this. I think my players know very well what I want.”

However, Alvaro Morata, who missed the Huddersfield game with a slight back problem, is in the squad and is expected to return against Southampton later today.




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