Tammy Abraham, Olivier Giroud or Timo Werner - who should be Chelsea's central striker?

Can you drop a striker after he's scored four goals in the Champions League? That's the question Frank Lampard will be mulling over ahead of Chelsea's clash with Leeds on Saturday.

Olivier Giroud - who has been starved of Premier League action this season - was in sensational form in Sevilla as he struck all four goals in Chelsea's 4-0 win against the Spanish side.

Was that performance enough for him to jump ahead of Tammy Abraham and grab a starting spot this weekend? Or does Timo Werner offer Lampard his best option through the middle?

We look at Chelsea's central striking options...

Tammy Abraham

Abraham was Chelsea's top scorer last season with 15 Premier League goals and, now 23 years old, the England international is aiming to nail down his place as the Blues' first-choice centre forward.

However, with that role comes the pressure of delivering week-in, week-out and Abraham was criticised after Sunday's goalless draw with Tottenham for not converting the chances which came his way during a tight encounter at Stamford Bridge.
"He has to improve in those [big-chance] moments," said former Chelsea striker Jimmy Floyd-Hasselbaink. "He did ever so well last year when he came in, for the first half of the season he was a breath of fresh air and scored lots of goals. In the second half, he had it difficult, which is normal because he is a young boy.

"This season, you need to step up and I think at times, he can do better. With his stature and his ability, he should do better and score more goals, especially more important goals.

"Sometimes I wonder 'does he watch clips of himself after the game?' His movement can be a little bit better, his holding up can be a little bit better. He needs to keep improving."

Fellow Sky Sports pundit Roy Keane agreed. "The plus is that he was getting chances, but the key is if you want to be a big player at a big club, you've got to score the important goals. Chelsea had the better chances [against Tottenham] and in such a tight game, they were decent chances he missed."

Abraham has three goals and one assist to his name from nine Premier League appearances so far this season but is facing competition...

Olivier Giroud

France striker Olivier Giroud is now 34 years old - but he continues to have an impact whenever he appears for Chelsea.

He was a key figure after football's restart in the summer, scoring seven goals in 11 domestic games as Chelsea secured a top-four finish in the league and reached the FA Cup final, and his four-goal haul in Sevilla was a stunning reminder of his finishing ability.

There has been speculation about his future, with reports suggesting Juventus and Inter Milan are weighing up a move for him in the January transfer window, and game time is an issue with Giroud eager to feature for France at next summer's Euros. He has played just 47 minutes in the Premier League so far this season but, after his heroics in Seville, he is surely pushing for a starting role now.

"It's pretty clear he's been underused," Sky Sports' Adam Bate told the Pitch to Post Preview Podcast.

"There's always the sense with Giroud that it feels a little begrudging, that it's almost inconvenient that he might be better than Tammy Abraham because he's 34 and it would be lovely if Chelsea didn't need him at all and that Abraham could do it all, Werner could do it all, and they could just use Giroud sparingly.

"He wants to play in the Euros, he might fancy the World Cup just 18 months on from that, so he needs more minutes and if that's going to happen it's a balancing act for Lampard for how much time he gives him. He'll want to keep him sweet but not stifle Abraham's progress.

"If Chelsea were playing the Champions League final tomorrow I'd be tempted to have Giroud ahead of Abraham but obviously Lampard is having to take into account other factors."

Timo Werner

Such is Lampard's abundance of attacking talent at Chelsea this season, he has a third genuine option at centre forward in Timo Werner.

The Germany international has played through the middle seven times for Chelsea this season, scoring five times and recording three assists in those games.

Those stats are superior to his performances from the left - six goals and one assist from 10 appearances - but that wider role is likely to be his position going forward. It was where he excelled at his former club RB Leipzig and it also allows him to put his pace to best use.

Chelsea's switch to 4-3-3 allows him to drift in from the left flank when required but he is better suited to that wider berth than holding up the ball or playing with his back to goal. Expect him to feature there when Abraham and Giroud are fit and firing.

This week on the Pitch to Post Preview Podcast, Jamie Redknappjoins Peter Smith and Adam Bate to look ahead to the north London derby and assess Tottenham and Arsenal's contrasting form.

Sky Sports News reporter Rob Dorsett also has the latest from Leicester and the future of Jonny Evans, while we discuss whether Olivier Giroud should be Chelsea's first-choice striker and Man Utd'stricky trip to West Ham.

Plus we hear from a Charlton supporter about the experience of returning to watch live football. Adam also makes his bold Pitch for what he thinks will happen in this weekend's Premier League action - and it's good news for the teams in the relegation zone…

Source: Sky Sports / Peter Smith

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