(Reuters) – Chelsea’s forwards are misfiring in the Premier League due to their defensive workload, manager Thomas Tuchel said on Tuesday, but the German manager trusts his team to get them back to their goal scoring best.
League leaders Chelsea have scored 31 goals this season — second-best behind Liverpool’s tally of 39 — but they have struggled to finish off their chances in recent games while their main striker Romelu Lukaku was also injured for a month.
Chelsea had nearly 50 shots on goal in their last two home matches against Burnley and Manchester United but both games ended 1-1 to cut the London side’s lead down to one point.
“I think they (forwards) try hard. Their contribution to our style of game, to the high pressing, is immense,” Tuchel told reporters ahead of Wednesday’s Premier League trip to Watford.
“We should maybe take into account that when they arrive with the chances, they don’t arrive fully relaxed. Maybe that costs us a bit of precision sometimes, but we scored many goals before.
“We trust them, they have the quality to score for us. It is on us to bring them in positions where it’s possible for them to score and to do this as often as possible.”
With German forward Timo Werner also missing several games with injury, wing back Reece James is Chelsea’s top scorer in the league with four goals.
Chelsea’s Ben Chilwell, Mateo Kovacic and N’Golo Kante remain sidelined with injuries while Tuchel said late calls will be made on James, Jorginho and Werner.
Watford, 16th, also have several players unavailable, with key winger Ismaila Sarr out for at least a month due to a knee ligament injury.
(Reporting by Manasi Pathak in Bengaluru; Editing by Rohith Nair)