Liverpool 1-1 Chelsea: Blues player ratings
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Timo Werner’s latest comedy miss for Germany has given Chelsea fans cause for concern ahead of their clash with Aston Villa on Saturday. First-choice striker, Romelu Lukaku, is an injury doubt for the tie, meaning that the former RB Leipzig man is likely to get the nod up top or at least out wide next to Kai Havertz.
Lukaku revealed that he will undergo a thigh scan after Belgium’s 3-0 victory over Czech Republic on Sunday.
The Belgian scored the game’s opening goal, as well as netting two in the previous tie against Estonia, to take his international total to a staggering 67 and complete a remarkable feat at the age of 28.
He looks to have brought a new dimension into Chelsea’s attack since his £98million arrival from Inter Milan, demonstrating excellent hold-up play and sharpness against Arsenal and Liverpool.
Since he took his spot up top, Werner has had to make do with a spot on the bench, but Lukaku’s precarious injury status means he could be reinstated against Villa.
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The German’s close-range miss against Iceland on Wednesday was the kind of finish which has characterised his time at Chelsea thus far.
Werner’s lack of potency in front of goal is essentially what prompted boss Thomas Tuchel to sign Lukaku at great expense, despite the Blues’ success last campaign.
His early days in west London have born a stark contrast to his years at RB Leipzig, netting 28 league goals in his final season.
This being said, he did eventually manage to get himself on the scoresheet against Iceland via an effort that trickled slowly over the goal line.
Chelsea team-mate Havertz could have poked it in himself, but perhaps felt as though the striker could do with an added confidence boost.
Werner also managed to net in Germany’s other two encounters this international break, albeit against minnows Lichtenstein and Armenia.
It would be a stretch to say that the 25-year-old is in bad form, but his latest miss highlights what could happen against Villa if a crucial chance falls his way.
There is little doubt that Lukaku carries the greater threat, which has left Blues fans sweating until the arrival of another injury update.
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He has only scored once in two games since his return, but he dominated Arsenal’s defence on his debut and could have easily notched a second, but for Bernd Leno’s heroics.
If they are to make do without Lukaku, facing Villa at home is not the worst fixture to prepare for given their mid-table position after three games.
Werner does also bring his own unique cocktail of attributes to the table, with tireless work-rate and runs into the channels among them.
If his finishing is still wide of the mark, Tuchel may call on all of his other unselfish traits through the middle to continue their unbeaten start to the Premier League season.
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