Thiago Silva drops Chelsea team news hint ahead of Man City that suggests Tuchel formation change
Chelsea defender Thiago Silva has hinted at a potential formation change for the Blues in their Premier League title decider with Manchester City.
Silva, 37, made a 24 minute cameo appearance from the bench in the west Londoners London derby victory in the Carabao Cup semi-final against Spurs.
Previous to that, the veteran defender, alongside N'Golo Kante, had been side-lined with Covid-19 that he picked up in the build-up to the first leg 2-0 win against Antonio Conte's side on January 5.
Now back and fitter than ever in the twilight stage of his career, Chelsea's No.6 is in line to start against the side that he picked up an unfortunate injury against in the Champions League showpiece at the back end of last season.
Coupled with the fact that the ever present defender is back in the fold, the latest injury and Covid news in regards to the likes of Andreas Christensen, Trevoh Chalobah, Reece James and Ben Chilwell.
“No new news which may be good news. Trevoh [Chalobah] will be out, Ben Chilwell will be out, Reece James out. That’s it from the injuries," Tuchel said in his pre-match press conference on Friday.
"And we have one positive Covid test with Andreas Christensen, so he is out for the game.”
Questions are there for everyone to see regarding who will start in the No.9 position out of Romelu Lukaku and Kai Havertz but the defensive personnel coupled with the formation chosen could prove the more important issue come the team news being release.
Obviously, the 3-5-2 that resulted in the limp 1-0 defeat earlier this season against the Citizens at Stamford Bridge will most likely not be used again due to how unsuccessful it was, and Tuchel was quick to admit he got it wrong ahead of this weekend's clash.
He stated: "My approach was the wrong approach tactically. It made us too passive, we could have done better, but I think the approach was too passive, too defensive. It was not meant like this but it turned out this way. So lesson learned.
"They were too aggressive for our build-up play, we did not have the solution to escape from our own half. We defended very well in the last 20 metres of the field, but we did not see much of the other 70 meters.
"Second half was better, a bit wild, and maybe it's not the worst thing to have a wild match against Manchester City and to break out of the structure and all the control situations. The second half was better, lesson learned."
With this admission in mind, there are only a couple of formations that could be deployed against the side that the west London outfit managed three wins against in different competitions.
Will it be the traditional 3-4-2-1 that has been the tactic most used so far this season by Tuchel and co. or will they go for the more expansive 4-2-2-2 that was used in both legs of the Spurs Carabao Cup fixture?
Well, Silva's latest Instagram story post has certainly alluded to the fact that he will most likely be starting in a back three/five formation as Tuchel is likely to opt for the conservative approach here in a game of such high magnitude.
On his Instagram @thiagosilva, he posted his customary match day graphic that hints at his involvement in this fixture.
Although we know that this doesn't necessarily mean that he's an automatic starter, with the lack of options at the back coupled by his superb experience and leadership, it would be a massive shock to see the Chelsea boss not rely upon his true ally.
In conjunction with this latest social media hint, football.london's expected team for this fixture has confirmed the idea that the well trusted 3-4-2-1 will be used here with Christian Pulisic being the surprise player to fill in at right-wing-back.