Chelsea have been dealt a huge blow after news came out that their top striker – Romelu Lukaku picked up an injury that may rule him out some time. The news was confirmed by Belgium manager Roberto Martinez, who revealed to the media that Romelu Lukaku is suffering with ‘muscle fatigue’ and has returned back to Chelsea’s base in London for further checkups and treatment.
In his own words, Roberto Martinez said: “Romelu Lukaku is suffering from muscle fatigue, same as Eden Hazard. They’re not in best conditions to play. They’re leaving the national team camp due to these problems – I don’t know how long it will take”.
Lukaku will be a huge miss for Chelsea as he is the only traditional center forward they have in their squad. Since his 97.5 million pounds arrival from Inter Milan in the summer, Lukaku has led Chelsea’s attack effectively, acting as a target man up front for the Blues. Chelsea do not have a replacement for Lukaku’s raw power and finishing ability but they should still have enough in their squad to win their next fixture.
The next task for Chelsea is a tricky local derby against Premier League newcomers and West London rivals – Brentford FC. The ‘Bees’ have been punching above their weight since they gained promotion to the top flight and currently find themselves in the top half of the table in seventh position. However, Chelsea are still considered as favorites to claim all three points in this match and will be expected to do so with or without Romelu Lukaku.
2 Ways Chelsea Could Lineup Without Lukaku
1. All-out attack
Chelsea won the Champions League last season without a traditional number nine. They rather made use of the false nine approach with Timo Werner and Kai Havertz leading the attack. With Lukaku injured, Tuchel will have to revert back to that approach and he could decide to select an attacking team to go with it.
Reece James is a doubt for this fixture (ankle injury) so Azpilicueta will continue at right wing back, while Trevoh Chalobah keeps his place at right center back. Ruben Loftus-Cheek seems to have regained his form and confidence so he could maintain his place in a midfield pivot with Ngolo Kante who is available for selection after a short injury layoff. Ben Chilwell should make the team having scored two goals in his last two matches for club and country, while the front three of Havertz, Mount and Timo Werner will lead the line.
2. Possession approach
Tuchel could also decide to go for the less risky approach and keep the possession against a Brentford side that can be deadly on the counter attack, so he will need the right personnel to control the game. Andreas Christensen could drift in on the right side of the back three, while Jorginho and Matteo Kovacic will have the task of controlling the midfield against the Premier League new boys.
Marcos Alonso could return back to the starting lineup after impressive performances for his national team, while Mason Mount will be deployed behind the attacking duo of Kai Havertz and Timo Werner.
Can Chelsea cope without Lukaku or will Brentford FC produce a shock result against the UEFA Champions League holders?
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