Tag Archives: Timo Werner

Chelsea put Europe on notice by dominating Atletico Madrid

Chelsea have put the entirety of Europe on notice, as they completely dominated Atletico Madrid to progress into the Champions League quarter-finals.

The Blues made it home and away wins over Atleti thanks to goals from Hakim Ziyech and Emerson Palmieri to seal a 2-0 win on the night and a 3-0 win on aggregate, completely nullifying Diego Simeone’s side across 180 minutes of action.

The La Liga leaders were the clear favourites when the draw was made to progress, but they continued their horrendous form in recent months by failing to create any real chances against Thomas Tuchel’s side.

Simeone’s men are usually known for their ability to defend at will and make it difficult for anyone to break them down, while chipping away at the opposition defences and eventually working a goal.

Instead, the roles were reversed as Atleti managed just four shots on target in the entire tie and never once looked like they were on the verge of breaking through Chelsea’ titanium defence.

The clean sheet in this game means Chelsea have still conceded just twice since Tuchel took over at Stamford Bridge, with Takumi Minamino the only opposition player to score against them. 11 clean sheets in 13 games is mightily impressive, but even more so when you consider that they have played Atletico twice, Manchester United, Liverpool at Anfield, Everton, Leeds United at Elland Road and Tottenham in north London during that run.

Tuchel must be credited with the upturn in fortunes of the side as a whole, but also certain individuals in particular. Antonio Rudiger has been exceptional since returning to the team, while Cesar Azpilicueta has played in every game since Tuchel’s appointment. Kai Havertz and Timo Werner have both turned in their best performances of the season since their fellow countryman came into the club, while Callum Hudson-Odoi has been impressive also.

His use of the 3-4-3 formation has been influential in not only making Chelsea incredibly solid defensively but they’re also a much bigger threat in attack and while they’re not yet scoring a vast amount of goals, you do feel it’s just a matter of time before they start becoming more clinical.

After incorrectly tipping Atletico as potential winners in Europe before this tie because of their new 3-5-2 formation, you could potentially now swing that to Chelsea.

Their squad is so deep that Tuchel is able to rotate freely without affecting the quality in the lineup too much and he is so tactically flexible that they are always a threat, no matter who they get drawn against.

With the Champions League quarter-final and semi-final draw being made on Friday afternoon, the path to the final will be set and it will be clearer how difficult the road will be.

Despite that though, nobody will want to draw Chelsea in the next round – especially after this latest performance.

Chelsea show versatility and quality in win over Everton

Chelsea made it 12 games unbeaten in all competitions and 11 since the arrival of Thomas Tuchel with a relatively comfortable win over Everton at Stamford Bridge.

The Londoners made it consecutive wins in the league to bounce back from their 1-1 draw with Southampton with a 2-0 win over the Toffees thanks to a Ben Godfrey own goal and a Jorginho penalty either side of half-time.

The win moves them into the top four, four points ahead of Everton and two points ahead of West Ham United having played a game more than both. You could say Tuchel is doing the job he was brought in to do, or the job that Lampard was supposed to do.

It was a performance that we’ve somewhat come to expect from Tuchel’s Chelsea, as they dominated possession and overloaded the wide areas to create chances while limiting Everton to half-chances and snap shots for the most part.

The impressive part of the performance was that the manager was able to rotate the side and still come away with a good performance and result. Kurt Zouma, Marcos Alonso, Jorginho and Kai Havertz all started the game in place of Antonio Rudiger, Ben Chilwell, Ngolo Kante and Mason Mount and the level of performance from the team didn’t really change.

It also showed a great versatility in the squad. Zouma came in as the left-sided centre-back as opposed to playing centrally as he did in his last appearance, while Havertz was fielded as a false nine with Timo Werner on the right wing and Callum Hudson-Odoi on the left.

It was a relatively free-flowing performance from the Blues as Alonso and Hudson-Odoi seemingly worked well together on the left hand side while Havertz seemed to thrive in a more central role with speed on either side of him, as opposed to the right wing role Lampard had him in a lot.

It was a positive display from him individually as he saw a goal taken off him and credited as an own goal before having another ruled out for offside, in what was arguably his best performance since his hat-trick against Barnsley in the Carabao Cup third round.

With a Premier League clash Leeds United coming up at the weekend before the Champions League last 16 second leg against Atletico Madrid in midweek, Chelsea will be very keen to ensure they can maintain this form going into the final stretch of the season.

The depth of the squad is on show, the manager has got them purring and the players that you would expect to be match winners or difference makers and starting to fill their boots. Things are looking up for the Blues.

Champions League last 16 predictions: Atletico Madrid vs Chelsea

It’s Champions League time once again as the last 16 is back and the second round of fixtures commences.

Last week we saw the first eight teams compete, with some thrilling fixtures to take us through to the second leg and this week we’ll be hoping for more of the same – starting with La Liga leaders Atletico Madrid taking on the Premier League’s Chelsea.

Diego Simeone’s side currently sit at the head of the table, with a six point lead over closest rivals Real Madrid. Their recent form has seen them struggle massively though, with just two wins in their last five and this past weekend they suffered their first home defeat of the season courtesy of Levante.

Chelsea on the other hand have struggled this season and replaced manager Frank Lampard with Thomas Tuchel in January. Since his appointment the Blues had won five in a row and conceded just one goal prior to this weekend, before they were held to a 1-1 draw with Southampton.

Both teams have suffered with injuries and COVID-19 problems during the season so far. The west London side were without Kai Havertz and Callum Hudson-Odoi at different points of the season while Atletico’s breakout has seen them contend with the absence of the likes of Joao Felix, Yannick Carrasco, Thomas Lemar and Moussa Dembele.

Atletico de Madrid v Levante UD - La Liga Santander : News Photo

Despite that though, it’s injuries that have hampered Simeone’s side in recent weeks. Defensively they are without Jose Maria Gimenez, Kieran Trippier (suspension), Sime Vrsaljko, Yannick Carrasco and Hector Herrera which has seen them become more open despite their switch to a 3-5-2 system this season.

The incredible form of Marcos Llorente further forward started at this stage of the competition last year when he scored against Liverpool at Anfield, but he is likely to be used as a wing-back in this game because of the injuries which softens them up going forward too. Luis Suarez has been clinical this season, but his lack of physicality owing to his age means he’s often in and out of games rather than bossing them like he was once able to.

Chelsea’s lack of cutting edge going forward could prove costly. There is arguably no better time to face Atletico than right now but with Tuchel’s side struggling to create clear-cut chances despite keeping the ball for the large majority of games, whether they can take advantage of Atleti’s problems is up for debate.

Both teams will line up with three at the back but Simeone’s side will be content to let Chelsea have the ball. They will rely extensively on the attacking output of Suarez and Felix, while Angel Correa’s pace could also be used to help on the counter attack.

It should be an intriguing tactical clash between two of the more meticulous managers in the game but considering one has been at their club for much longer and has implemented their ideas more I think this tie will go the Spanish side’s way.

Southampton v Chelsea - Premier League : News Photo

Defensively we’ve seen the level they can reach, especially when motivated, and they will be keen to do what they can to win a maiden Champions League trophy this season. We still don’t know how good Chelsea can be going forward under Tuchel and that just means it’s hard to pick them in this tie.

The fact that Atletico’s home leg isn’t in Spain could work against them, but no fans means it’s less of a blow than it would normally be. Despite that, I expect a tight first leg that Atleti nick with a typical dogged display. The second leg will be more open but I think they should have some injured players back by then and at full strength they’re too much for the Blues and should progress.

PREDICTIONS:
Atletico Madrid 1-0 Chelsea
Chelsea 1-1 Atletico Madrid
(Atletico Madrid to progress 2-1 on aggregate)

How will Thomas Tuchel line up his Chelsea team?

The Frank Lampard era is over at Chelsea, as he was sacked by the Stamford Bridge board following a string of poor results.

Chelsea were top of the league in December following a win over Leeds, but five defeats in eight games since then have seen them fall 12 points behind league leaders Manchester United since then and it’s been enough for the club hierarchy to make the decision to let him go.

The news was quickly followed up with reports that he will be immediately replaced by German manager Thomas Tuchel, who was sacked by Paris Saint-Germain in December after an inconsistent season in France.

Tuchel is known for attacking football, with quick transitions and possession being the priority. He made his name as the Borussia Dortmund manager, where the likes of Ousmane Dembele, Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang and Marco Reus flourished under his management.

With Chelsea’s squad having just had a £220m injection of new players in the summer, it will be interesting to see how Tuchel sets up his team for the remainder of the season.

In goal, Edouard Mendy was the undisputed first choice under Lampard following his signing in the summer but reports say that the board are still keen for Kepa Arrizabalaga to be a success after spending £72m on him and giving him a seven-year contract back in 2018.

It’s possible that he could feel the pressure to select Kepa, but Mendy has performed well since joining and their distribution skills aren’t that different. Mendy should get the nod, but you never know once club politics come into it.

In defence, Thiago Silva will be the undisputed number one centre back at the club. The two worked together at PSG and Silva was the captain, so he will be in the side not only for his ability but also because he will know what the manager expects of him. Alongside him, Kurt Zouma has been a regular so far this season but Rudiger was a target for Tuchel at PSG earlier this season so he could come into the side.

Paris Saint-Germain v Girondins Bordeaux - Ligue 1 : News Photo

Reece James’ performances and skillset should see him keep his place in the side as an attacking full-back, while Ben Chilwell and Emerson will continue to compete for the left-back spot. Chilwell is younger and better defensively, but Emerson is quicker and arguably better going forward. Depending on the way Tuchel looks to set up his team, Emerson has a good shout of becoming a regular.

In midfield, Ngolo Kante has been a sure-fire starter ever since joining the Blues and that is likely to continue here. A defensive midfielder with energy and an ability to break up play and press high, Kante fits the role perfectly of what Idrissa Gueye filled at PSG and Ilkay Gundogan did prior to that at Dortmund.

Alongside him, Tuchel is likely to want someone who is more competent on the ball and comfortable in possession. While Jorginho is a candidate, his lack of athleticism has seen him struggle hugely since joining the Premier League. Mason Mount has been a mainstay under Lampard and played relatively well but without having a relationship to the club and academy, Tuchel will likely opt for Mateo Kovacic over those options.

Ahead of them, Timo Werner and Kai Havertz are a huge reason as to why the club have brought him into the club as manager. The club were keen to have a German speaking manager to help them settle in better so they will almost certainly be the starters in the team as a number ten and the central striker.

Either side of them will be interesting. With his preference for possession and overlapping full-backs, Hakim Ziyech’s passing ability will likely see him secure his position on the right wing. On the left though, it’s more open.

Callum Hudson-Odoi has been good in spells this season but not really given the opportunity of a run of games from the start. His preferred position is to play on the left so he can drive onto his right foot and shoot, but he’s just as capable going on the outside and crossing too. The issue for him comes that Christian Pulisic played under Tuchel at Dortmund as a youngster and broke into the side for him.

Borussia Dortmund v 1. FC Koeln - Bundesliga : News Photo

He will know the skillset of the player, but more importantly the player will already be aware of the demands placed on him and expectations that the manager will have. Hudson-Odoi is arguably the better player right now, but Tuchel will want some familiarity to his methods if he can get it because it’s mid-season and this could buy Pulisic more time in the starting lineup.

Tuchel will need results and performances to pick up quickly to get fans on side with the decision to sack Lampard and bring him in and his team selections will be under scrutiny immediately.

Welcome to the Premier League, Thomas!

Timo Werner shortcomings aren’t just down to Frank Lampard

When a club is going through a tough time, the attention almost always switches to the manager. That is the case at Chelsea right now, with the Blues having lost five of their last seven Premier League games.

Part of the criticism heading Lampard’s way has been his use over the club’s two big summer signings in Timo Werner and Kai Havertz. Both men have struggled badly since signing for a combined £125m from Bundesliga sides RB Leipzig and Bayer Leverkusen respectively, with Lampard often using them both out of position.

While Havertz’s bad form has been attributed to a lack of minutes, a poor setup from the manager and the fact he tested positive for COVID-19 earlier in the season, Werner’s struggles are harder to explain.

The 24-year-old is currently Chelsea’s top goalscorer with seven goals in all competitions, but his performances have been shocking for the most part. He had a great game against Southampton after playing as the central striker but most of his games have come from the left.

It’s easy to use that as an excuse for his performances, and it should absolutely be taken under consideration. However, it doesn’t excuse everything.

His touch has been shocking, his movement hasn’t been good, he hasn’t been able to beat players in one on one situations and his passing has been woeful. He’s also seems to dribble the ball out of play at least once a game, although it may not be factually accurate.

There is more to his mishaps than just bad form or a poor setup too. There’s also the fact that he just isn’t as good as people thought.

His all round game wasn’t needed so much in Germany, with Leipzig looking to simply play him in behind the defence for him to run into space and finish. He can’t do that in the Premier League.

Firstly, because teams don’t afford Chelsea space in behind like that. The Premier League’s smaller clubs are much more tactically acute than those in the Bundesliga and play with a much deeper block. It means a striker’s all round game becomes much more important to the top sides as they need to be more involved in build up play.

Even if that wasn’t the case, Chelsea are creating chances that he just isn’t taking. The game against Fulham was notable, with him coming on for 15 minutes and missing a hat-full of chances due to poor finishing and shocking touches.

It’s a problem need to deal with, because as a £50m+ striker he needs to deliver goals and trophies to the Chelsea team.

If Lampard does get sacked and leave the club, whoever Chelsea bring in to replace him needs to be able to get the best out of Werner or he could waste away in London over the next year or two.

Callum Hudson-Odoi Deserves a Chance To Shine For Chelsea

Chelsea fell to a third defeat in four games in their clash against Arsenal on Boxing Day, with the Gunners landing only their second Premier League win in 11 games.

Goals from Alexandre Lacazette, Granit Xhaka and Bukayo Saka saw Mikel Arteta’s side cruising at the Emirates Stadium. Tammy Abraham scored a late consolation goal, thanks to the creativity of Callum Hudson-Odoi on the wing but ultimately it proved too little too late.

With Hakim Ziyech out injured and Kai Havertz horribly out of form, Lampard has continued to use German forward Timo Werner on the wing instead of in his preferred striker role. This means that Hudson-Odoi has often found himself on the bench and is once again being linked with a move away from the club.

But after coming on for Werner at half-time, the 20-year-old has proven that he has plenty to offer Lampard’s side in attack and is absolutely deserving of a chance to shine more regularly.

‘CHO’ started the second half on the right wing and with his first set of touches he beat his marker and whipped in a lovely cross for Abraham. The rest of the half essentially consisted of getting the ball to him and Reece James to whip crosses in, although for some odd reason Lampard never brought on Olivier Giroud from the bench.

A quick counter attack late on saw CHO once again beat his marker with skill before smashing a ball across the box for Abraham to tap in.

His directness, speed, technical skills and ability to play equally well on both wings is something that Chelsea don’t currently possess. Hakim Ziyech plays primarily from the right, using his wand of a left foot while Christian Pulisic has shown in recent weeks that he’s far more comfortable and effective from the left.

With the January window approaching, Hudson-Odoi’s chance has to come now. Chelsea have injuries, are struggling going forward and he is affecting games from the bench.

If Lampard continues to not give him the chance, there’s no better time to leave for pastures anew than immediately.

Tammy Abraham: Are His Old School Ways Enough In The Modern Era?

When Chelsea spent the best part of £200m rebuilding their attack this summer, many were expecting that Tammy Abraham would be one of the first to drop out of the side.

The England international was Chelsea’s top goalscorer in all competitions last season, scoring 18 goals including 15 in the Premier League. That wasn’t enough for the Blues to be as successful as they wanted though, finishing fourth in the league and exiting the Champions League at the round of 16 to Bayern Munich.

He even lost his place to Olivier Giroud towards the end of the campaign, as the Frenchman scored key goals post-lockdown to lead Chelsea to the FA Cup final where they were beaten by Arsenal.

The arrival of Timo Werner and Hakim Ziyech plus the added important of Christian Pulisic to the side made it seem that Abraham could fall by the way-side with Frank Lampard looking for more proven outlets in attack.

The season started this way, with Werner being partnered in attack by Mason Mount and Kai Havertz while Abraham sat on the bench. In recent weeks however, Abraham has worked his way back into the starting lineup and is back among the goals.

The former Aston Villa and Swansea loanee has started each of Chelsea’s last four games, scoring in the last three consecutively. Every strike was a one touch finish and came in the penalty area, which is standard for a striker like Abraham.

His finishing has never been a big issue in all honesty, he’s a fairly reliable goalscorer when put in positions to score goals. His main problem, as seen last season, was his work outside of goalscoring.

Much like Romelu Lukaku’s criticisms at Manchester United, his overall game when the side isn’t creating chances for him didn’t help the side to progress or help his teammates to do better. His hold up play is hot and cold, his touch is good but his passing is often not good enough and his decision making lets him down far too often for this level of the game.

In games such as these, where Chelsea will dominate the possession and be up against a low block then Abraham’s finishing instincts could be very useful for the Blues.

However in games against sides that will take it to Chelsea, Abraham’s lack of fundamentals are exactly the reason why Lampard insisted on bolstering the attack so heavily in the summer.

Abraham is a throwback to an old school penalty box striker, who’s role in the squad was to simply score goals. The role of a striker has changed in modern football for the elite strikers, but there is still a space for the classic style of Tammy Abraham.

Champions League Group Stage Predictions – Chelsea

The 2012 European champions enter the 2020/21 Champions League with a clear run at topping their group.

Last year the Blues made it to the Round of 16 before clashing with eventual winners Bayern Munich, where they were beaten home and away in a humbling 7-1 aggregate defeat.

This year though, Frank Lampard will expect his side to perform much better than they did last season having spent the best part of £250million to strengthen his side in the summer. After signing Timo Werner, Hakim Ziyech, Kai Havertz, Thiago Silva, Ben Chilwell and Edouard Mendy to boost the starting line-up you’d expect them to at the bare minimum exceed their performance from the previous campaign.

Having been drawn in a group with Sevilla, Rennes and Krasnodar, Chelsea will be the favourites to top the group and progress to the Round of 16,

They start their campaign against Europa League holders Sevilla, who have begun their La Liga season impressively with 7 points from their opening four games.

Frank Lampard is still trying to figure out his best eleven and even potentially his best formation however. After all the additions to his side, it was expected that it would be a 4-2-3-1 trying to get the best out of Kai Havertz behind his international team-mate Timo Werner up front. So far though, he has gone with a 4-3-3 with Havertz out wide.

Mason Mount has been a constant in Lampard’s side throughout the entire campaign so far and doesn’t look to be playing himself out of favour despite the struggles of the team, which were exacerbated as Chelsea blew a 2-0 and 3-2 lead in their draw with Southampton this past weekend.

Ngolo Kante has struggled for form for the most part this season too and Lampard is yet to decide whether his best option to partner him is Jorginho or Mateo Kovacic.

My Best XI: Mendy; James, Zouma, T. Silva, Chilwell;
Kante, Kovacic; Ziyech, Havertz, Pulisic; Werner

With Chelsea comfortably the strongest team in their group, they should be looking for maximum points in all their group games. They will be expected to win all their home games, starting with Tuesday’s visit of Sevilla. With the attacking threat they have and the European nous now flowing through the side, they are much better placed to perform well in the premier competition for club football.

They should be beating Sevilla all things considered, especially at home. They match up well physically and have enough firepower in their squad to find the back of the net, although defensively they still have holes in their team so I expect Sevilla will be confident of causing them issues. If Chelsea can secure 4 points from the two fixtures against their Spanish opposition then they will win the group.

Elsewhere in the group are competition debutants Rennes. An exciting French outfit, boasting the prodigal son Eduardo Camavinga in midfield, they will be entering the tournament fearlessly. Defensively they are open but going forward they are very good at creating chances and don’t crumble mentally if they fall behind. Much like Sevilla, they will certainly cause Chelsea problems in the reverse fixture but at Stamford Bridge the Blues will expect to take all three points. Krasnodar will pose a tricky away day too for Lampard’s side but the individual quality on the pitch should be enough for them to take maximum points from both games.

I expect they will win the group with a game to spare and be joined in the next round with Sevilla but Rennes’ unpredictability should make it an exciting group throughout.

Antonio Rudiger: Chelsea Show Ruthless Side Of Football

Chelsea are known for being one of the more ruthless clubs in Europe when it comes to parting ways with managers or selling players.

This summer, they have backed their man Frank Lampard with £250million worth of talent including two German internationals in Timo Werner and Kai Havertz. Both men credited the influence of their international teammate Antonio Rudiger in their decision to wear blue going forward.

But once those deals were completed, Frank Lampard has now made the decision that Rudiger is surplus to requirements at the club and he could be allowed to leave the club before Monday’s deadline. He has been left out of five consecutive match-day squads and hasn’t featured for yet in the current campaign.

Lampard seems to prefer the four options of Thiago Silva, Kurt Zouma, Fikayo Tomori and Andreas Christensen over the 27 year old former Roma man, but that didn’t stop him using his influence to land his targets. Many will say “that’s business”, and that’s fair, but it’s also the darker side of football.

If Antonio Rudiger, who has two years left on his contract at Stamford Bridge, had upped and decided he wanted to leave and kicked up a fuss he’d be ridiculed by media and labelled a traitor of sorts. However because it’s Chelsea who want to get rid of him, nobody bats an eyelid.

I find it interesting. When a player wants to make a move to better themselves or further their career, they’re almost always labelled with a “money-grabber” label and are told to honour their contract. Why doesn’t it work for clubs too?

They were happy to use his influence in the transfer market to bring in his two mates but now they want to cast him aside. How do you think both Werner and Havertz feel about the situation? The likelihood is they were helped to make their decision by the fact they’d have a friend there to help them settle in and play alongside. Now he’s likely to leave at the earliest opportunity.

I get that Chelsea shouldn’t keep him around if he’s not a part of their plans and he should be allowed to make the move elsewhere, but it just seems shady with the way the whole summer has gone. Many fans will ignore it and see it as just another step of backing the manager, but it’s too easily forgotten that Rudiger is a human being with a family and a life too.

Chelsea have got what they want and will likely let Rudiger leave before the window closes, but it will be on their terms to a club of their choosing. Rudiger has helped boost Chelsea’s future hugely this summer and now has zero control over his own.

Timo Werner to Chelsea – Enough for a Title Push?

News broke earlier this week that long-time Liverpool target Timo Werner was on his way to the Premier League this summer – but he’ll be wearing Chelsea blue!

The German forward has been linked with Jurgen Klopp’s men for the best part of a year, with his release clause seen as the perfect way for Liverpool to upgrade their forward line without breaking the bank. However, due to the current Covid-19 pandemic sweeping the world, the Anfield side have decided to take a step back from transfer negotiations this summer.

According to Bleacher Report, this meant that Werner was due to stay at RB Leipzig for another year in order to wait for his dream move – until Chelsea stepped in.

The Blues swept in with an offer to trigger the 24 year-old’s release clause and after the club agreed to pay him circa £200k p/w plus a conversation with Frank Lampard, Werner agreed to move to Stamford Bridge instead. With Hakim Ziyech already signed up for the new season too, Chelsea have a brand new frontline to compete for the Premier League title.

How will they all fit in though? Lampard has seemingly preferred a 4-2-3-1 formation this season, with Willian, Mason Mount and Tammy Abraham featuring alongside one of Christian Pulisic, Ross Barkley, Callum Hudson-Odoi or Pedro.

Willian is expected to leave on a free transfer at the end of the current campaign, while Pedro is expected to move to Roma when his contract expires. Ross Barkley has been hit and miss, while Pulisic and Hudson-Odoi have both struggled for consistent performances under Lampard. Ziyech seems like a lock for his traditional right-wing position, as a direct replacement for Willian. Mount has performed relatively well as the #10 too, chipping in with 6 goals and 4 assists in the league.

Lampard put all his faith in Tammy Abraham at the start of the season, handing the academy graduate the No.9 shirt. The Camberwell-born front man has repaid that faith, with 13 goals in 25 appearances in the Premier League including goals away at Arsenal and a hat-trick at Wolves.

That begs the question, does Super Frank stick or twist?

Twitter respond to criticism after Chelsea striker Tammy Abraham ...
With Euro 2020 coming next summer, will Abraham play enough to get into the England squad? Image Credit: Independent

Werner’s record in Germany is second only to Robert Lewandowski in the last two seasons, while Ziyech also poses a fantastic goal threat.

Chelsea do have a way of getting all three into the team. Timo Werner has spent plenty of time playing out on the left wing, cutting in onto his right foot and looking to find the far corner. By playing him on the left, Chelsea would have their three premier goal threats in the XI together.

Another option is to make the big call and drop someone. Lampard was quoted after the 2-2 draw with Bournemouth that “poor finishing” was a big reason that Chelsea are in a battle for fourth. Bringing in a shiny new centre-forward could be his way of rectifying that problem by replacing Abraham directly. This would allow Hudson-Odoi or Pulisic to continue competing for the winger role and have two goal scorers competing with each other with only one position available.

They could also balance the side out more by switching to a 4-3-3, something Lampard has done a few times.

Lots of Chelsea fans would rather Mount played as a central midfielder with the freedom to roam forward rather than starting in a more advanced area. It would also mean that fit-again Ruben Loftus-Cheek would have his best position available for him to compete for. With N’Golo Kante beginning to suffer from more and more injuries, while Jorginho is reportedly not the indispensable member of the squad he once was, there is more freedom for Chelsea to play around with.

Mateo Kovacic is surely a lock with many believing him to be Chelsea’s player of the year this season. With Kante, Jorginho, Barkley, Mount, Loftus-Cheek and newly promoted Billy Gilmour all competing for the final two spots in Chelsea’s midfield the likelihood of one of them being allowed to leave is high.

It may be that once we see who leaves, the ideas become clearer for all to see. One thing is for sure though, Chelsea’s bench will be filled with more quality than last year and their starting team will be looking to close the gap between Liverpool and the rest of the division.