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Chelsea striker makes dangerous runs but must be more robust in possession

Chelsea striker makes dangerous runs but must be more robust in possession

Frank Lampard handed 21-year-old Tammy Abraham the number nine shirt in pre-season and appears to have made the Chelsea academy graduate his first choice striker this season, meaning a youngster without a Premier League goal to his name has usurped World Cup winner Olivier Giroud to a place in the Chelsea starting XI. Is it

Frank Lampard handed 21-year-old Tammy Abraham the number nine shirt in pre-season and appears to have made the Chelsea academy graduate his first choice striker this season, meaning a youngster without a Premier League goal to his name has usurped World Cup winner Olivier Giroud to a place in the Chelsea starting XI. Is it the right choice?

The 25 goals Abraham scored in 37 games at Aston Villa in the Championship last season suggests he knows how to find the back of the net but the lone forward in Lampard’s Chelsea setup must do more than simply poach inside the penalty area.

Lampard’s new-look Chelsea are very direct and like to get the ball from back to front quickly. Giroud is an expert at taking down high passes on the chest and playing with his back to goal but Abraham is quicker and likes to run at defenders, making him more dangerous on the counter, or at least better suited to Lampard’s preferred style of play. 

In pre-season Abraham could often be found running in behind a high defensive line to break the offside trap and offer the option of a pass played over the top. This kind of run prevents Chelsea endlessly passing the ball from side to side, as was often the case under Maurizio Sarri, and can punish teams who play with a high line. Giroud doesn’t offer that same threat.

Against Manchester United Abraham moved off the ball constantly, dropping off defenders so he could time runs into space, often pointing to show teammates where he wanted the ball to be played.





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