Chelsea are expected to be without Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner for a while after the pair were taken off injured against Malmo, and the Blues will need to find goals from elsewhere
Chelsea will be happy with the scoreline from their Champions League group stage meeting with Malmo, but there were some new issues to deal with after the victory.
Jorginho converted two penalties in the 4-0 win, with Andreas Christensen and Kai Havertz also on the scoresheet, but injuries to attacking pair Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner will worry manager Thomas Tuchel.
“We need goals to win matches and we want to find solutions without Romelu and Timo, that’s clear,” Tuchel said after the victory, which leaves Chelsea second in their group.
The London club has plenty of talent in its squad, though, and former Blues midfielder Joe Cole is confident that the men who replaced Lukaku and Werner on Wednesday have the quality to make up for their colleagues’ absences.
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Cole., who played more than 250 times for Chelsea between 2003 and 2010, discussed Chelsea’s injury issues on BT Sport after the midweek game.
“Tuchel said that they’ve won matches without Timo and Romelu. Players like Kai Havertz and Callum Hudson-Odoi, they’ve come on tonight, they impacted the game, can they do that again on Saturday?” he said.
“All of a sudden you’re looking round and you can wait for Timo to get back, the manager’s not driving the physio mad by asking when’s he back, because you’re winning games and players are stepping up.”
Big-money signing Havertz was in and out of the first team last season before finishing the campaign strongly and netting the winner in the Champions League final.
Hudson-Odoi, meanwhile, has been used on the wing and as a wing-back by Tuchel.
The England youngster, who came off the bench when Werner was forced off, has just two league starts and no goals this season.
“There’s always a chance to prove a point and it’s always necessary to prove it for our players, so I would say to them, prove a point now,” Tuchel said after the Malmo win.
Offside via Getty Images)
There will also be an opportunity for Havertz and Hudson-Odoi to impress in the Carabao Cup, if called upon for the home match against Southampton on Tuesday.
By the time Chelsea return to Champions League action with an away trip to Malmo in early November, we may have a better idea of how long the Premier League leaders will be without Lukaku and Werner.
“You don’t ever want to lose your two centre forwards, but if you’re going to lose them, you want to lose them when you’ve got that run of fixtures. They’re very winnable games,” Cole said.
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