Keith Satuku is writing an interesting series at Off the Post; short review pieces on different formations. This one is one the 4-3-3 with a false nine:
In terms of shape and implementation, this formation looks like a hybrid between the 4-4-2 diamond formation and a conventional 4-3-3 formation with a targetman.
It is usually a formation designed to get the best out of special players like Lionel Messi and Mario Gotze, who thrive in confined spaces because of their finishing, close ball control and low centres of gravity.
The formation comprises four defenders; two central defenders and two full-backs. In central midfield, there is usually a holding midfielder sitting at the base of a central midfield and two advanced central midfielders.
Up top, there will be two forwards who will press the opposition defensive line and a false 9, who assumes a more withdrawn role through the middle.