Chelsea boss Frank Lampard must avoid similar tactical mistake vs Man Utd

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Chelsea boss Frank Lampard will aim to record his first Premier League win over Manchester United counterpart Ole Gunnar Solskjaer this evening.

Solskjaer’s Red Devils done the double over the Blues last season, first thumping Lampard 4-0 on his top-flight debut before claiming another 2-0 victory later in the season.

United also got the better of Chelsea in the Carabao Cup, with Marcus Rashford ’s breathtaking long-range free-kick the difference in their fourth-round win at Stamford Bridge.

Nevertheless, after three straight defeats against Solskjaer, Lampard finally came out on top when they met in the FA Cup semi-finals over the summer.

Chelsea stormed into a 3-0 lead at Wembley, before United added a late consolation when Bruno Fernandes swept home from the penalty spot.

In that victory, Lampard switched from his typical 4-3-3 setup to a 3-4-3 – which is a formation United have become accustomed to using themselves against top-level opposition.

The Blues cancelled out Solskjaer’s men on the day as a result, with Fernandes and Rashford enjoying little success against a well-drilled back three at the national stadium.

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It proved an inspired tactical switch from Lampard, who had came unstuck against the same opposition three times earlier in the season by using a four-man backline.

The absence of midfield anchor N'Golo Kante admittedly influenced his decision on the day, yet it still proved one of Chelsea’s most dominant and compact performances of the 2019/20 campaign regardless.

Lampard also enjoyed success against Tottenham by setting up in similar fashion, becoming the first ever manager to do a league double over former boss Jose Mourinho last season.

It is no secret that his side have encountered defensive problems since he returned to Stamford Bridge, conceding an alarming 54 goals in his debut season at the helm and nine in their first five outings of the new season.

However, fielding a three-man backline often gives Chelsea some much-needed solidity when faced with a elite-level threat, and Lampard should be seriously considering it ahead of tonight’s pivotal showdown with United.

After adding an array of world-class talent to his ranks in the summer, he will have long-term plans to steer away from such a formation in order to accomodate the likes of Kai Havertz, Mason Mount, Christian Pulisic and Hakim Ziyech.

But Lampard simply cannot afford to come away from Old Trafford empty handed this evening, which he very well could do by deploying his preferred 4-3-3 setup.

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United are designed to sit deep and hit on the counter. It’s why they registered two wins over Chelsea in the Premier League last season and it’s why they also snatched a late 2-1 victory away at Paris St-Germain in the week.

Lampard's new-look Blues appear way too vulnerable right now, so he should cast his mind back to that fine Wembley outing in July and cancel Solskjaer out again tonight.

  • Frank Lampard
  • Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
  • Chelsea FC
  • Manchester United FC

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