Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone is reportedly considering making a tactical change ahead of the second leg clash against Chelsea.
While the Blues deserve credit for how solid they were defensively in the first leg, Atleti’s lack of attacking intent clearly played a part in Bucharest.
On paper, Atleti opted for their new three at the back systems, a 3-4-3 in this case with Angel Correa and Joao Felix playing behind Luis Suarez.
But they often defended deep with six or more players around the penalty box — and as a result did not manage a shot on target throughout the game.
According to Marca, Simeone might abandon the back-three structure and revert to their famous 4-4-2 at Stamford Bridge.
The report added that Atleti have experimented with the tactical tweak in training.
Ahead of the game, Simeone has also had his say about the potential formation change.
“We have worked on both systems [4-4-2 and three at the back],” he said in his pre-match press conference on Tuesday (via Marca).
“We don’t know how they [Chelsea] are going to approach the game, but we know what we want, which is to win.”
Deploying Kai Havertz in a No.10 role, rather than No.9, might be a sensible option if Atleti goes with the 4-4-2 structure.
Atleti are famous for their flat, rigid midfield line when playing the formation — and Havertz is arguably Chelsea’s best bet for exploiting the space between the visitors’ midfield and defensive lines.
Ideally, Chelsea would have Havertz and Mason Mount operate in the two No.10 roles if it wasn’t for the latter’s suspension.
Hakim Ziyech could be an interesting alternative option considering his superb vision and ability to pick a pass.
On the other hand, speedsters such as Timo Werner, Callum Hudson-Odoi, and Christian Pulisic might have a hard time finding space to run into.