Chelsea: Tuchel tells goal-shy Werner to keep calm
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Former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand has named Chelsea as his surprise pick to win next season’s Premier League title – ahead of his former club. Ferdinand also expects Timo Werner to have a key say if his prediction comes true.
The Blues have been one of the most in-form teams in the division since Thomas Tuchel replaced Frank Lampard in January.
Chelsea have won 10 league matches since the German was appointed. Their shock 5-2 defeat against West Brom has been their only Premier League loss under the 47-year-old.
They also defeated champions-elect Manchester City in the FA Cup semi-finals at Wembley, where they will face Leicester City in the final on May 15.
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The west Londoners are level on aggregate with Real Madrid in their Champions League semi-final tie after last week’s 1-1 draw. They host the La Liga giants in Wednesday’s second leg.
And ex-England centre-back Ferdinand has backed Tuchel’s side to win next season’s league title, despite the dominance of Man City and Liverpool in recent years.
City are set to win their third Premier League in four years after their 2-0 win over Crystal Palace on Saturday. Rivals Manchester United, in second but 14 points behind, still have a game in hand following the postponement of their match against Liverpool due to crowd protests.
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Chelsea were the last team to win the division outside of Man City and Liverpool. Antonio Conte guided them to success in the 2016-17 competition.
However, they remain 19 points behind the leaders after a poor run of form led to Lampard’s departure earlier this year.
“Have you seen Chelsea’s stats by the way? Chelsea are my team to win the league next year,” Ferdinand boldly predicted on his Vibe with Five YouTube channel.
“Since Tuchel has come in, they are top of almost every category: goals conceded, chances created.
“What he’s done going in there, you can do nothing but give him applause man. It’s unbelievable.”
Ferdinand has also backed Chelsea striker Timo Werner to rekindle his scoring touch after suffering a difficult first year in English football.
The 25-year-old’s 34 goals for RB Leipzig last season earned him a £48 million move to London in the summer.
However, Werner has struggled to replicate that form in England. He has scored only 10 times for Chelsea this term, including just six in the league.
Two goal droughts extended to 13 games and 14 games, respectively.
But Ferdinand believes he has seen enough to convince him that Werner will recover his form.
“Werner will bang. Werner will bang next year,” Ferdinand added.
“It’s his first year in the country. People are forgetting he’s settling in – during a pandemic by the way. This isn’t the easiest settling-in period.
“He’s just come in, he’s still got over 10 goals, he’s still got over 10 assists by the way. The most goal involvements at the club.”
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