CHELSEA 2-0 NEWCASTLE
- Goals: Timo Werner (£9.2m), Olivier Giroud (£6.7m)
- Assists: None
- Bonus: Giroud x3, Kepa Arrizabalaga x2 (£4.7m), Marcos Alonso x1 (£5.7m), Antonio Rudiger x1 (£4.6m)
Thomas Tuchel appears to be getting the best out of Timo Werner (£9.2m) after he registered a fourth attacking return in three matches in Double Gameweek 24.
Having failed to score a Premier League goal since November, Werner looked a threat against Newcastle right-back Emil Krafth (£4.2m), as he rampaged down the left with Marcos Alonso (£5.7m) all game.
With his new manager deploying him on the left-hand side of the front-three in a 3-4-3 formation, Werner is often finding himself as the most-advanced Chelsea player on the pitch.
This allows Werner to make more runs in behind the defence, which we saw against Newcastle as he was played in time and time again behind Krafth.
In Lampard’s previous system, Werner often found himself isolated as a number nine, or out on the left-wing where he was having to track back.
But the forward is clearly relishing playing higher up the pitch and driving Chelsea attacks, also creating three assists in his last three games.
Tuchel explained after the game that his goal is to get Werner into more advanced positions.
“He did very good (sic) in the first half, second half was too many decisions backwards. I’m convinced Tim was very decisive for us today with an assists and a goal. I’m very happy for that, he really deserved it, he’s been working hard and we could feel this would come. I think he can also play as a double striker, sometimes as a number nine if he’s clever enough to use his speed and runs. His favourite position and his biggest strengths are if he can drift out to the left side.”
Judging by Tuchel’s comments, and the fact that he has started each of the last four games, Werner seems to be a key part of the new Chelsea side.
With the striker appearing to be back in form in a system tailor made for his style, it could be time to reconsider Werner for our Fantasy Premier League sides.
PARTY LIKE IT’S 2017
FPL managers were treated to another nostalgia trip at Stamford Bridge by the sight of Alonso rampaging down the left.
Frozen out of the team by Lampard, Alonso seems to be back in favour after the arrival of Tuchel, starting three out of the German’s five Premier League games.
Playing in his favoured position of wing-back, Alonso showed just why he can be a devastating FPL asset.
With three centre-backs behind him, Alonso frequently joined in with Chelsea attacks and regularly found himself in the box.
He also wasn’t shy to let fly from range, and had the most attempts on goal of anyone on the pitch.
Alonso’s re-emergence has surprisingly seen Ben Chilwell (£5.9m) left out of the side, a big step-change considering he was one of Chelsea’s best assets under Lampard.
Tuchel has previously said that while he admires Chilwell’s talent, mainly fielding Alonso due to his expertise at wing-back.
“We took the choice for Marcos in a game where we played with five because he was more familiar with the position he played under Antonio Conte. We opted for Marcos against Burnley for his strength in the air then Marcos had a very good match and scored a decisive goal, and from there it was hard to come back. I had a talk with Ben before that match and told him ‘you have to trust me now, I see your potential, I see your talent’.”
Should Tuchel stick with the back five formation, then it sounds like Alonso is his current first choice. And if the Spaniard can keep delivering four shots in the box every game, then he will be just as good an asset as he was in 2017.
Chelsea continued their impressive run under Tuchel, with four wins in five games and only one goal conceded.
Added to this, Chelsea also have a strong run of fixtures coming up, as shown in our Season Ticker.
The main threat to any Chelsea asset right now appears to be Tuchel’s rotation, especially with the return of the Champions League.
Only Mateo Kovacic (£5.3m), Jorginho (£4.7m) and Antonio Rudiger (£4.6m) have started all of Tuchel’s five games in charge.
With Kovacic offering little from an FPL perspective and Jorginho’s returns seemingly limited to penalties, Rudiger looks the best option of the three for consistent returns.
With star striker Callum Wilson (£6.6m) likely to miss the next two months through injury, Dwight Gayle (£5.9m) returned to the Newcastle attack.
But Gayle’s performance summed up another dismal display for Newcastle.
As the heatmap below shows, Gayle failed to perform Wilson’s role of leading the line for the Toon, and found himself dropping back into midfield to try and help cover Alonso and Werner.
Gayle only managed one shot during the whole game before he was hooked off and replaced by Joelinton (£5.7m).
The heatmap also shows another Wilson alternative that Newcastle fans, in particular have called for.
Ryan Fraser (£5.6m) may have only had a cameo appearance at Stamford Bridge, but he was one of the few Newcastle players to look threatening going forward.
And with Newcastle playing a fluid front two, many have called for the Scot to be played in a false nine position.
CHELSEA XI (3-4-3): Kepa; Rudiger, Christensen, Azpilicueta; Alonso, Kovacic, Jorginho, Hudson-Odoi (James 78); Werner, Abraham (Giroud 20), Mount (Kante 70)
NEWCASTLE XI (4-3-3): Darlow; Krafth, Lascelles, Clark, Lewis; Willock (Carroll 79), Shelvey, Hayden; Gayle (Joelinton 64), Almiron, Saint-Maximin (Fraser 72)
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