Thomas Tuchel must make key Timo Werner decision as Chelsea fans make Champions League demand – football.london – Football.London

Chelsea kick off their Champions League defence later this evening against Zenit St Petersburg at Stamford Bridge.

The Blues, who secured their second-ever trophy in the competition back in May, welcome the Russians to west London tonight as they look to make a perfect start in the European tournament.

Fresh off the back of a 3-0 win against Aston Villa on Saturday evening, Thomas Tuchel faces something of a selection headache going into the Champions League opener.

In the win against Villa, Tuchel opted with Kai Havertz and Hakim Ziyech as the two most offensive players behind sole striker Romelu Lukaku.

The trio performed well together, although Havertz and Ziyech did fade in and out of the game at times.

Chelsea have an array of options in the two spots behind Lukaku, with the likes of Mason Mount, Timo Werner and Christian Pulisic to also choose from on a regular basis. However, Pulisic is injured at the moment and will miss tonight’s clash.

For Tuchel, it’s about finding the right balance. He does not want to overplay Lukaku, especially after the Belgium striker picked up a knock while away on international duty recently, but he also wants to lay a marker down in the Champions League as Chelsea look to conquer Europe once again.



Romelu Lukaku has scored three times in as many games since returning to Chelsea
Romelu Lukaku has scored three times in as many games since returning to Chelsea

Since Lukaku arrived back at Stamford Bridge last month, he has featured in all three Chelsea matches, with two different combinations of players behind him.

For the Arsenal victory in August, Mount and Havertz operated behind the Belgian, as well as the Liverpool draw less than a week later. But against Villa, Ziyech and Havertz were called upon.

Now, with Zenit to face, Tuchel could look to use a totally new combination and bring Timo Werner into the fold. The Germany international impressed in his brief cameo against Villa at the weekend and played a huge, but perhaps unnoticed, part in Lukaku’s second goal.

Some Chelsea supporters on Twitter have already told Tuchel what he should do tonight, with Mount, Werner and Lukaku seeming like the preferred front three.



Chelsea fans want Thomas Tuchel to name Mason Mount, Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner as their front three this evening
Chelsea fans want Thomas Tuchel to name Mason Mount, Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner as their front three this evening



Chelsea fans want Thomas Tuchel to name Mason Mount, Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner as their front three this evening
Chelsea fans want Thomas Tuchel to name Mason Mount, Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner as their front three this evening



Chelsea fans want Thomas Tuchel to name Mason Mount, Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner as their front three this evening
Chelsea fans want Thomas Tuchel to name Mason Mount, Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner as their front three this evening



Chelsea fans want Thomas Tuchel to name Mason Mount, Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner as their front three this evening
Chelsea fans want Thomas Tuchel to name Mason Mount, Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner as their front three this evening



Chelsea fans want Thomas Tuchel to name Mason Mount, Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner as their front three this evening
Chelsea fans want Thomas Tuchel to name Mason Mount, Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner as their front three this evening



Chelsea fans want Thomas Tuchel to name Mason Mount, Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner as their front three this evening
Chelsea fans want Thomas Tuchel to name Mason Mount, Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner as their front three this evening

This front three offers great balance. Mount has the ability and tendencies to drop back into the midfield and collect the ball, drive with it and look to create chances. Meanwhile, Werner has frightening speed, enough to scare any defence in world football.

Lukaku has showcased his tremendous hold-up abilities in his opening three matches in a Chelsea shirt and the thought of Werner running off his new team-mate into space behind opposition defences is surely one that excites Blues supporters.

Werner and Lukaku, who are both natural centre-forwards that can both operate in wide areas, will likely interchange between positions as well, which could create more space for the running midfielders, as well as Mount.

As well as this, Werner and Lukaku, if both central, can act as almost a front two, which means Mount would naturally go in behind the strikers and it would almost become a 3-5-2 for Chelsea, which could throw the opposition defence off somewhat.

Tuchel faces some big decisions tonight as he looks to find the appropriate balance for his side’s Premier League title charge and their defence of the Champions League trophy, but whatever front three he does put out, there is talent in abundance.

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