Possible tactical options: 4-1-2-1-2/4-1-3-2 and 4-2-2-2

I'm going to approach this post from a different angle to the the 
last one-recognising our strengths andbuilding a coherent tactical 
formation around them rather than moulding our team to what we want 
to do. Sort of making the tactics do what the team wants to do 
rather than making the team do what the tactics want them to do.

First of all, I'm going to list our (tactically relevant) strengths 
which basically excludes changes to defence because I always want 
a 4-man defence. So as I see it our strengths are; an excellent 
DM in Zokora, a strong set of wingers in Navas and Co., three 
very good strikers and to a slightly lesser extent, 3 solid pretty 
good attacking midfielders. I say to a lesser extent because Renato
 and Romaric aren't the same standard as the others I've listed 
and Cigarini is largely unproven.

So with our strengths addressed I'll move on to the first of two 
formations I'm going to discuss; the 4-1-3-2 or 4-1-2-1, which I'm 
going to refer to by as 4-1-3-2 to make things simpler. The 
formations are slightly different but in the fluid movement which
we hope Alvarez is working on they would become very similar, so 
I'll lump them together. In a 4-1-3-2 we put Zokora on his own at 
the back to hold things together defensively which I think he 
could manage. The '3' would be made up of the same people as in 
the 4-2-3-1 (Navas-Renato or Cigarini-Perotti or Capel). Then pick 
two strikers to be our frontmen. 

A major difference between the 4-1-3-2 and the 4-2-3-1 is that 
because there are two strikers in the 4-1-3-2 the wingers should 
look to remain on the wings and not drift inward looking to play 
off the main striker and be more defensively aware-something which 
could prove a bit of a negative for our wingers, especially 
considering their performance yesterday. The big change in how we 
attack this formation compared with a 4-4-2 is that instead of 
playing with two central midfielders with two wingers playing ahead 
of them who they will always want to pass the ball to you now have 
Zokora with an option to pass it to a more offensive central 
midfielder who can look to distribute down the middle to the 
strikers orplay it out wide to the wings.

4-1-3-2

A potential problem with 4-1-3-2 is the amount of pressure on  Zokora to defend and distribute. To combatthis we must take a  man from elsewhere in the field-a striker, in which case we end  up with the highlypopular 4-2-3-1 or we can take the attacking  midfielder and replace him with another DM, creating a4-2-2-2.  Although similar to a 4-4-2 it is more accentuated and is similar  to a more defensive 4-2-4. Itmay seem a bit of a strange idea but  it has been successful at other clubs occasionally. If we playwith  the wingers paying more attention to controlling the midfield (which  they would need to, without aCigarini it could be a stable formation  for us, provided we place importance on using Navas and Other to  link the DMs with the attack and make sure that the DMs take their  defensive duties seriously. Before Ifinish with the 4-2-2-2 I would  like to point out that rather than being an all out attacking  variant ofthe 4-2-4 this is more a variant of the 4-4-2 but one  which can give our wings a licence the roam in theattacking third.

4-2-2-2

Out of these two formations I think we are more likely to see the  4-1-3-2 in a fluid way, possibly withthe attacking midfielder  dropping back to behind the wingers to ease the pressure on Zokora.  The 4-2-2-2is an interesting idea but I can't see us just dispensing  with creative CMs and clubs who have used it areusually ones with a  surfeit of strikers (Madrid, for example) so a 4-1-3-2 seems the  more likely of thetwo although it is a little more unusual than the  4-2-3-1 which is quickly becoming very popular as afreer footballing  philosophy. Of course with one of these new formations we should  win 6-0 (there-i saidit Jeremy!) Let me know your thoughts and feel free to disagree.