Thomas Tuchel has ‘impossible’ Chelsea squad selection issue against Atletico Madrid

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Thomas Tuchel’s biggest selection headache for Chelsea’s Champions League crunch match against Atletico Madrid tonight will be who plays up top, according to Pat Nevin. The Blues have been in excellent form since beating Atletico 1-0 in the first leg last month.

They’re yet to concede in their previous four league matches with impressive wins over Liverpool and Everton.

But there have been struggles in front of goal for Tuchel’s side as well, with the Blues failing to score against Manchester United and recently Leeds.

Tuchel has chopped and changed his forward line ever since taking charge in January and opted to go with Kai Havertz as an unorthodox No 9 against Leeds.

Tammy Abraham has been unavailable due to an ankle injury while there has been a reluctance to play Timo Werner through the middle.

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In the last meeting with Atletico, Olivier Giroud was given the nod to lead the line and his sixth Chamions League goal of the season proved to be the difference on the night.

And Nevin wants Tuchel to stick with the Frenchman as the leading man up top due to his level of experience on the big stage.

“For all the speculation, it will be up front where most of the thinking will have been done,” Nevin told Chelsea’s official website.

“It will be very hard if not impossible for Thomas Tuchel to ignore the presence of Olivier Giroud, considering there are a multitude of things stacking up in the Frenchman’s favour.


“He has been well rested after warming the bench for the last three games. At 34 he is far from being on his last legs, but you would expect him to be as fresh as anyone having had that little mini-break.

“He also has incredible experience at this level and every single manager will tell you that in the Champions League, in the knockout stages, experience is crucial.

“At this point you not only have to be good, you have to be very clever and know the ropes. He does.

“There is also the fact that if he is up front it gives more options behind him.

“Havertz and maybe Werner in particular are made for a breaking game when the opposition might have to come on to you at some point. Either or both of those two behind Olivier will pose a serious threat.

“There is also the small matter of Giroud absolutely loving this competition. There was his last-minute winner v Rennes, then there was the stunning four-goal haul against another Spanish club, Sevilla, even before his stunning overhead kick in the first leg against Atletico Madrid.

“I reckon I would like to see Olivier Giroud on the pitch tomorrow, almost as much as Atleti would like to see him sat on the sidelines.”

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