I think he will stick to his tried and tested formation which proved so successful for him at Porto. This includes one winger staying wide to provide width. The other winger is a classic inside forward, with direct running inside with and without the ball. Villas-Boas used the strength and pace of Hulk here for Porto but due to Porto’s transfer demands, I can’t see Hulk being brought in, at least in this transfer window. Instead we could see either a conversion of a striker or a player being brought in specifically for this role. I think Villas-Boas may convert Didier Drogba, a player much like Hulk, to play in this role. Drogba created 13 goals last season, which is more than what he scored which was 11. This may be the early warning signs that Drogba is becoming more of a creative rather than an attacking player.
I’ve left the right back unnamed as I have no idea who he will deploy here as Ivanovic is unlikely to get chosen due to him not being the greatest going forward. The ideal target here would be Philip Lahm, although Bosingwa may get the nod.
If Lampard gets the role as the attacking midfielder he will have to be able to move into the channels when necessary to replace the winger, however if the full back is sufficiently attacking this may not be as necessary. The other midfield roles are also up in the air as Mikel is probably the weakest player in this side. Especially as Michael Essien is injured again, Mikel has a lot on his shoulders, only Romeu a very inexperienced player is another natural in this position in the Chelsea side.
However, shown by his entrance into Porto, he does not mind upsetting the apple cart. In Porto, he demonstrated his intent by getting rid of established players and Portuguese internationals Raul Meireles and Bruno Alves. Could we then see Lampard and Terry getting shown the door? I doubt it, but it is still a possibility. With all the talk of big money moves for the goal scorers from inventive tabloid journalists, I think midfielders Moutinho and Fernando are more likely targets.
Also expect Stamford Bridge to become a fortress, shown by Portos unbeaten home record last year in the league, the only loss was to Villareal in the Europa League. This Chelsea team will definitely challenge for the title, it is just a question of whether it can dethrone what looks like a strong United side.