Chelsea’s Romelu Lukaku may be about to put Timo Werner and Kai Havertz under new pressure

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Romelu Lukaku could be an injury doubt for Chelsea’s Premier League clash against Aston Villa on Saturday. Lukaku was set to make his Stamford Bridge homecoming this weekend, but he recently revealed he’s struggling with a ‘minor’ injury.

The 28-year-old enjoyed a successful international break with Belgium, notching three goals and an assist in two games.

In his 100th cap for the Red Devils, a 5-2 win over Estonia, he scored his 67th international goal to extend his lead as the nation’s all-time leading goalscorer.

He then netted again and provided an assist in Sunday’s 3-0 triumph over the Czech Republic to continue a stellar World Cup qualifying campaign.

After receiving a booking against the Czechs, he’s set to return to Chelsea earlier due to a suspension ruling him out of Wednesday’s meeting with Belarus.

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However, Lukaku has explained that he’s due to have a scan on his thigh, prompting concern over his availability for the Villa game.

He told reporters: “I will have a scan of my thigh first. I am struggling with a minor issue for a while. And then I will return to Chelsea.”

Lukaku is a surefire starter in the centre of Thomas Tuchel’s attack when fully fit, but he may not feature at the weekend to prevent worsening the problem with his thigh.

His absence would hand Kai Havertz and Timo Werner a significant chance to prove to Tuchel that they can thrive as the leading figures of Chelsea’s front line.

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Tuchel’s desire to secure Lukaku in a club-record £97.5million deal suggested that he doesn’t trust Havertz and Werner to provide goals consistently.

Havertz scored 0.24 goals per 90 minutes in the Premier League last term, and Werner recorded 0.21.

In Serie A, Lukaku netted a significantly better 0.75 goals per 90, suggesting he’s a far more reliable striker.

If he’s absent on Saturday, Havertz or Werner will start as the central striker in Tuchel’s 3-4-3 with a prime opportunity to prove a point.

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If Chelsea are to challenge for the title this season, Villa at home presents a game they should be winning.

The pressure could be on Havertz and Werner to prove to Tuchel that he can rely on them in front of goal when he needs them.

They already face pressure with Lukaku’s presence threatening their spots in the team, and that will only be heightened on Saturday.

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