Thomas Tuchel can’t afford to take Timo Werner gamble as Chelsea meet Porto

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When Timo Werner sunk to a new low by fluffing his lines in Germany's shock defeat against North Macedonia last week, Thomas Tuchel urged the misfiring Chelsea striker to treat his goalscoring woes like being rejected by a woman.

"If a woman doesn’t want to go out with you to dinner, you cannot force her too," the Blues head coach said.

"You just step a little bit back and maybe she will call you up. So the goals will come.”

Three days after his embarrassing miss on Germany duty, Werner was thrown straight back into the mix by Tuchel for the visit of West Brom, getting the nod ahead of fellow frontmen Olivier Giroud and Tammy Abraham in their Premier League meeting at Stamford Bridge.

Yet after being advised to play it cool in pursuit of a revived love story with the back of the net, his performance against the Baggies was more hopeless romantic than smooth operator.

The former RB Leipzig man was dreadful on the day, squandering possession frequently and spurning a few half-chances to pull himself out of his current slump and find the back of the net.

His abject showing played a part in Chelsea's humiliating 5-2 thrashing at the hands of Sam Allardyce's relegation battlers, who had only won three matches out of 29 heading into the game.

He did register an assist by teeing up Mason Mount for their second, yet even that demonstrated his alarming lack of courage in front of goal right now.

Any top striker brimming with confidence would simply have tapped the ball home themselves when picked out in a similar position with the goal gaping. Instead, Werner needlessly cut back inside before squaring to Mount. Fortunately it didn't backfire.

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  • Yet after taking an unsuccessful punt on the crestfallen forward against West Brom, Tuchel can't afford to deploy Werner at the pinpoint of his attack when Chelsea face Porto in the Champions League quarter-finals.

    While it is being played at a neutral venue in Seville due to Covid-19 travel restrictions, the Blues are technically the away side in Wednesday's first leg and will need to ensure they register an all-important away goal to take into the decider at Stamford Bridge next week.

    Right now, Werner can't be trusted to deliver the goods in a routine outing against the Premier League's second worst side, let alone on the biggest stage in club football. His overall return of 10 goals in 40 appearances only backs that up.

    Tuchel may decide that his pace can still come in handy against the Portuguese club and deploy him slightly deeper in one of Chelsea's two attacking midfield slots, but Giroud is the safer bet to lead his line.

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    The Frenchman has bagged six goals in five Champions League appearances this term, including an overhead kick in the previous round against Atletico Madrid.

    He also fired in a sensational hat-trick for Frank Lampard's side out in Seville earlier in the campaign. The omens look good…

    READ MORE:Chelsea first team stars left baffled by Thomas Tuchel selection decision

    READ MORE:Porto's beef with English clubs continues after Chelsea 'celebration' controversy

    • Chelsea FC
    • Thomas Tuchel

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