Premier League

What does Frank Lampard's best Chelsea attack look like?

Following Olivier Giroud's stellar Champions League performance last night, Frank Lampard has a serious selection headache

 
2:51pm on Thursday 3rd December 2020
By
Cameron Smith

With four goals to his name and a fine all-round performance to boot against Sevilla against Wednesday evening, Olivier Giroud reminded us of all his talent.

Frank Lampard rested the likes of Timo Werner, Hakim Ziyech and Tammy Abraham - the recent first-choice front three - and Giroud certainly stepped up.

However, his performance has left Lampard with something of a selection headache in terms of his plethora of attacking options.

Christian Pulisic has returned from injury, while Callum Hudson-Odoi looked dangerous once again in the Champions League, meaning Lampard now has six players vying for just three spots.

And with the 4-3-3 system working far better than the 4-2-3-1, Lampard will have his work cut out to keep everyone happy.

Option One:

One way the side could set up, would be to utilise the aerial threat of Giroud, and plan the team around him.

This would mean surrounding the Frenchman with players who deliver the ball into the box on a frequent basis.

In Ben Chilwell and Reece James, Chelsea have two exceptional attacking full-backs, and pairing them with Hudson-Odoi and Ziyech would play to Giroud's strengths.

Of Chelsea's wingers, Ziyech and Hudson Odoi attempt the most crosses per 90 minutes in the league this season, with 6 and 5.9 respectively.

With Hudson-Odoi on the left and Ziyech on the right, both would be able to cut inside onto their favoured foot and deliver inswinging crosses for Giroud.

34 yrs - ST (C) - Chelsea
84 
Defending
Creative
Passing
Attacking
Shooting
Decisive
Aerials
Physical
JavaScript chart by amChartsLDefendingCreativePassingAttackingShootingDecisiveAerialsPhysical10-10-5051015100%
132
Played matches
3
5
0
Shots P90
5.45
Shots On target P90
4.10
Aerials Won P90
6.14
Touches in box opp P90
7.50

Furthermore, with both playing the role of inverted winger, it would allow the full-backs to overlap before whipping the ball across the six-yard box.

This option is designed specifically around Giroud's strengths and would work against a low-block with little to no space in behind.

Option Two:

Alternatively, Lampard could opt for an attacking trip featuring his quickest players: Werner, Pulisic, and Hudson-Odoi.

This front three would be perfect for when the Blues face an opponent who dominate the ball and are required to sit deep and look for the counter-attack.

With Werner through the middle and Pulisic and Hudson-Odoi either side of him, the option for the ball over the top would always be on.

Werner was so effective when RB Leipzig were under serious pressure because he had the speed to turn defence into attack in the blink of an eye.

The German hasn't shown this too often in England so far, but if Lampard ever decided the best way to win was to sit deep and counter, then this front three would be ideal.

24 yrs - F (CL) - Chelsea
92 
Defending
Creative
Passing
Attacking
Shooting
Decisive
Aerials
Physical
JavaScript chart by amChartsLDefendingCreativePassingAttackingShootingDecisiveAerialsPhysical10-10-5051015100%
848
Played matches
10
4
2
Shots P90
2.44
Shots On target P90
1.06
Dribbles P90
1.28
Touches in box opp P90
5.73

Both Pulisic and Hudson-Odoi completed over 2.5 dribbles per 90 last campaign, with the Englishman at 3.3 - alongside Werner, they could form a potent attacking trident.

Option Three:

The first-choice option: Ziyech, Abraham, Werner.

This has been Lampard's most common front three this season; Ziyech's creativity pairs nicely with Werner's speed, and Abraham's all-round game has come on leaps and bounds this term.

Abraham is the combination of Werner and Giroud, quick as well as good in the air, meaning he's ideal for every opponent.

23 yrs - S (C) - Chelsea
76 
Defending
Creative
Passing
Attacking
Shooting
Decisive
Aerials
Physical
JavaScript chart by amChartsLDefendingCreativePassingAttackingShootingDecisiveAerialsPhysical10-10-5051015100%
546
Played matches
9
3
1
Shots P90
3.47
Shots On target P90
1.32
Aerials Won P90
3.13
Touches in box opp P90
6.92

Of all strikers to have played over 500 minutes in the league this season, Abraham's 58% aerial win rate is the best, beating the likes of Oli McBurnie (54%) and Chris Wood (52%).

This front three has worked well so far this campaign, so there's every reason to suggest it'll work in the future.

Conclusion:

Lampard has some big decisions to make if he wishes to have a settled front three for the remainder of the campaign.

But you would always rather have too many options rather than too few, and the Englishman knows this sort of selection headache will keep his side in the hunt for trophies.

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