3-5-1-1 or 3-4-1-2: Which formation will lead Lazio to success?
One aspect of Simone Inzaghi’s tactics will remain unchanged ahead of the new Italian 2018/19 Serie A TIM season. That is, there will be three defenders at the back, with two wingbacks, and a minimum of two attackers: Strakosha will be the number one starting goalkeeper, the backline will consist of Radu / Acerbi / Luiz Felipe, Lulic / Caceres are expected to start on the flanks, and Luis Alberto and Ciro Immobile will be starting once again in their attacking positions. One component is unclear however, and this is based on the midfielders: does Lazio play with two or three centrocampisti?
With five new signings so far, Brazilian 21-year-old striker Wesley Moraes from Club Brugge is set to join Lazio within the next few days to become the sixth. This will be the most exciting signing for fans, as last season Ciro Immobile did not have a proper substitute to back him up when injuries occurred. Yes, Francesco Acerbi will slide right into the teams backline; yes Durmisi and Berisha have the potential to be in the starting eleven (which will most likely occur after a few games, replacing Parolo and Lulic); yes Silvio Proto will be the perfect leader for Thomas Strakosha; and yes, Sprocati will most likely shine in this Lazio side; but the main transfer that has will excite fans, is that of the 6’2″ forward. This is the only player either then Durmisi that Lazio fans worldwide have probably not seen play before. He is a youngster, but seeing what has happened in the past with the likes of Keita Balde and Felipe Anderson, it is without a doubt that Wesley Moraes has the potential to become another fan favourite. For this reason, is Wesley Moraes intended to be a starter in a 3-4-1-2 formation alongside Ciro Immobile, or a direct substitute?
In my personal opinion, I think Lazio – though multiple new signings – will continue to play as they did throughout all of last season: a 3-5-1-1, with the players aforementioned, plus Lucas Leiva / Milinkovic-Savic / Parolo – the main 3 centrocampisti of last year. Of course, this is subject to change if Milinkovic-Savic ends up leaving which would drastically change the way Lazio would play. However, throughout the course of the season, I believe we will start to see some of the newer players earning their chance to be introduced into the starting eleven, replacing the aging players of Lucas Leiva, Parolo, Lulic, and Caceres. This will see Durmisi on the left-flank, Berisha somewhere in the middle or on the right-flank, and Wesley Moraes enter to change the formation to a 3-4-1-2 and give a more attacking approach. Though experience is highly sought for, fresh legs tend to have a better effect, and this is when we will see Tare’s scouting tactics in full effect.