EPL

Lukaku set for more minutes as Chelsea aim to rediscover scoring touch

By Sports Desk November 30, 2021

Romelu Lukaku is ready to play more of a role for Chelsea in their Premier League clash with Watford, according to Thomas Tuchel.

Lukaku played the final eight minutes plus stoppage time in Chelsea's 1-1 draw with Manchester United on Sunday, having missed the previous four league games with an ankle injury.

The Blues are just a point clear of defending champions Manchester City at the top of the table and could be leapfrogged by Pep Guardiola's men and Liverpool on Wednesday should they fail to claim all three points at Vicarage Road.

But they look set to be boosted by increased involvement from Lukaku after he came through his cameo in the United game without incident.

Speaking at his pre-match media conference, Tuchel said: "Romelu is pretty easy. He came on and continues to train. There's no reaction from his ankle. He is ready to progress in minutes and this is where he is."

N'Golo Kante (knee), Ben Chilwell (knee) and Mateo Kovacic (thigh) are sidelined for Chelsea, who face last-minute calls on Reece James, Jorginho and Timo Werner after they all picked up knocks, though the trio did train on Tuesday.

Chelsea were held by United despite having 24 shots to the Red Devils' three, the Blues scoring only once despite having an expected goals (xG) tally of 2.5, based on the chances they created. United had an xG of just 0.7.

Tuchel will hope Lukaku can help Chelsea be more clinical but, asked if his forwards need to do more, he replied: "They try hard. Their contribution to our style of game, contribution to the high pressing is immense, we can see this in the data after the matches.

"So we should maybe take into account that when they arrive with the chances maybe they don't arrive fully relaxed, sometimes they breathe hard when they arrive and maybe that costs us some precision.

"But we have scored many goals before. This game I agree, we had a similar game in terms of chances and of course result against Burnley at home.

"It's a good sign that we are not happy with when we draw against Man United when we have the feeling that we should have deserved more. 

"We trust them, they have the quality to score for us. It's on us to bring them into positions from where it's possible for them to score and to do this as often as possible."

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