Chelsea's next manager: How Blues could line up if Frank Lampard is sacked

Thomas Tuchel, Rafa Benitez and Nuno Santo

Chelsea manager Frank Lampard is now the second-likeliest Premier League boss to get sacked, according to the bookies

The Blues have endured a run of just one win in their last five games and on Monday night could only manage a draw at home to Aston Villa, who have now resultantly leapfrogged the west Londoners in the Premier League table. 

Roman Abramovich isn't one to wait for results to turn around on their own so considering the money Chelsea spent in the summer, it certainly wouldn't be surprising for the Blues owner to pull the trigger. 

But who could come in to replace him? Well, The Sun recently listed the six most likely Lampard successors and we've decided to take a look at how three of them might set up the Stamford Bridge outfit upon their arrival. 

Here's Chelsea's potential starting XIs under Thomas Tuchel, Rafa Benitez and Nuno Santo...

Chelsea under Thomas Tuchel

Chelsea under Thomas Tuchel

The former Dortmund and PSG boss has always favoured adventurous football with pushed-up full-backs and a team that presses high up the pitch in classic Black-Yellows style, predominantly in a 4-3-3 formation. 

That's not a million miles away from what Lampard has been trying to build at Chelsea and Tuchel's predicted line-up is largely what many would have considered to be the Blues' strongest XI going into this season - perhaps with the exception of absentee Kai Havertz. 

We've anticipated favouritism towards Mason Mount instead purely because of how effective he can be pressing the ball from the No.10 position, while the other big change for similar reasons comes at centre-forward. 

Despite Olivier Giroud's impressive form of late, playing Timo Werner up top allows for more creative talent in midfield and gives Chelsea greater mobility - both in and out of possession - in the final third. 

Reece James and Ben Chilwell will be key influences, while Jorginho's inclusion echoes the role Marco Verratti performed for Tuchel at PSG, as a deep-lying playmaker alongside a more physical midfielder. 

Chelsea under Rafa Benitez

Chelsea under Rafa Benitez

Benitez is no stranger to trying to steady the ship at Stamford Bridge and his previous interim spell demonstrated some typical Rafa characteristics. Just like at Napoli and for much of his Liverpool spell, he favoured a 4-2-3-1 formation that partnered two incredibly defensive midfielders - with centre-back David Luiz even featuring in the engine room - behind an out-and-out No.10. 

In that respect, Havertz surely leads the way amongst Chelsea's squad even if he's not exactly set the world alight at Stamford Bridge, while we're tipping an unexpected role for Andreas Christensen in defensive midfield - a position he has played, albeit somewhat briefly, before. 

Perhaps that's a tad unrealistic but it nonetheless highlights a type of player Benitez likes to play in midfield that Chelsea currently lack, so perhaps his arrival would be met with some business in the January transfer window. 

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Up front, while Benitez has worked with some fantastic poachers and all-round centre-forwards before in Fernando Torres and Gonzalo Higuain, he'll likely see Giroud as the striker he can get the most immediate use out of, mirroring how Salomon Rondon was the focal point of his attack at Newcastle. 

The defence is perhaps where we'll see the most significant changes, though. Benitez worked with Cesar Azpilicueta during his first Chelsea spell and could easily turn to the club captain once again in search of an immediate bounce.

We also reckon he'll take a liking to Antonio Rudiger, purely because he does the simple things well and has the physicality Benitez tends to like in his centre-halves. 

Chelsea under Nuno Santo

Chelsea under Nuno Santo

He may have changed things up recently in search of better results but Nuno Santo is probably the manager most synonymous with playing a back three in the Premier League. 

Chelsea seem to have the players to pull off Wolves' system as well. Rudiger isn't a million miles away from Willy Boly as a physical, no-nonsense defender, while the same can be said of Kurt Zouma and Silva has the experience to sit in between and marshal both of them a la Conor Coady. 

Of course, Chilwell and James have the natural profiles to be incredibly effective wing-backs, just as Mount and N'Golo Kante should have the energy to operate as a two-man midfield, even if they lack natural height and power. 

The forward line, meanwhile, sees plenty of pace and trickery from Christian Pulisic and Werner surround Giroud - very similar to how Nuno often had Diogo Jota and Adama Traore flanking Raul Jimenez at Molineux last season. 

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