"I think the manager would have played 4-3-3 last season but with so many injuries - both myself and Arjen Robben missed most of the season - his hands were tied," said the midfielder. "But I think that's our best formation and much better than playing the diamond.
"It's going to be tight this season. I've got a lot of respect for Manchester United. They were brilliant last year, they deserved to win the league and the pressure is on them a little bit as champions. We know what that felt like. But this year our squad is stronger and we are quietly confident.
"[Florent] Malouda has looked good. He got himself a goal in his first game [against America on Saturday], looks a quality player and has great pedigree, having played in a World Cup final and for Lyon for years.
"He has come in and settled in really well. I think he's going to be a really good addition to the squad. The first year we had Robben, Duff and me. We were all fit and played some good football. We've got four, maybe five wingers so we've got strength in depth and options now.
"There are other games when you have to play the diamond and be a bit more solid, especially when you have Ashley Cole or Wayne Bridge bombing down the left, and Paulo [Ferreira] and Glen Johnson on the right. It can work, but the 4-3-3 gives you balance and with Didier Drogba and Andriy Shevchenko up front it gives you so many options now. I think the squad is as strong now as at any time that I've been at Chelsea."