As Chelsea prepare for their UEFA Super Cup date with Liverpool, their strength upfront will be put to the test.
Not only do the Blues lack a prolific goal-scorer but their hands are also tied due to a transfer ban that could hurt their chances of hunting for trophies this season.
Chelsea's options in a striker's role are veteran Olivier Giroud, youngster Tammy Abraham and Michy Batshuayi. And none of them have been impressive in the pre-season games since Frank Lampard took charge of the club.
While Giroud can be effective as a substitute off the bench, he has lost his pace due to his age and can’t be relied upon to rake in the goals throughout the season. Abraham and Batshuayi lack the experience to take up the mantle of the lone striker and lead the Blues to a top-four finish.
Giroud last scored more than 10 goals in the league three seasons ago when he was at Arsenal. In the last three seasons, he has nine league goals and has not been first-choice for most of his late-Arsenal and Chelsea stint.
A lot is expected of 21-year-old Abraham who could be Lampard's first-choice striker this season but it will be interesting to see if he can replicate his 26-goal season from last season with Aston Villa in the Championship.
Batshuayi might be fun to hang out with off the field but his record on the field is poor. His last 10+ goal season came five years ago with Marseille. Since then, he has played for Chelsea, Dortmund, Valencia and Crystal Palace but failed to cement his place as a first-choice striker. He will get the goals but not as consistently as Chelsea would expect from a leading striker.
Chelsea cannot expect their midfielders to shoulder the responsibility of scoring the goals for the team. Their struggles were laid bare in the Premier League opener as well, as they failed to finish off their chances and succumbed to a 4-0 loss to Manchester United.
The upcoming UEFA Super Cup could prove to be the first real test for Chelsea’s blunt attack and a positive show against one of the best defences in the world could provide a tremendous boost in morale ahead of the long season ahead.
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