The Key area Thomas Tuchel must change at Chelsea to challenge Manchester City and Liverpool

Chelsea trail both Manchester City and Liverpool in a key attacking department as Thomas Tuchel will have to make changes for next year’s Premier League title tile

Chelsea were expected to mount a serious Premier League title challenge this season.

And, following a fine start to the season, were well in the race early on, only for their form to dip in December and January leaving them well adrift of leaders Manchester City.

The Blues are 16 points behind Pep Guardiola’s side, albeit with one game in hand and the wait for another Premier League crown looks set to go on for another year at least.

Thomas Tuchel guided Chelsea to the Champions League title last season and has won the Club World Cup already this year – the first time the Blues have done so.

But it is the Premier League that Tuchel will be tasked with winning next season, having splashed out £97.5million in the summer on Romelu Lukaku to fill what had been seen as their big problem position.

Injuries to Ben Chilwell and Reece James this year, the wing-backs integral to Tuchel’s system at Stamford Bridge, have not helped matters and the head coach will be looking to Marina Granovskaia and Roman Abramovich to give him the funds to bolster his squad so that injuries do not hamper them again next year.

But research by Statsbomb shows that it is in the forward areas where Chelsea really need to improve to reach the levels set by Manchester City and their closest challengers Liverpool.

The football statistics experts have looked at the number of players that are in the box when a shot is taken for all the teams in Europe’s big five leagues.

And the numbers are quite something.

Liverpool average around 2.5 players in the box for six open play shots per game. Manchester City meanwhile average almost 2.7 players in the box for around 5.5 shots per game from open play.

In Europe, those two teams are only bettered by Bayern Munich who get a whopping 2.9 players in the box for more than seven open play shots per game.

So where do Chelsea rank?

In the pack with a whole host of other teams unfortunately, with around 2.3 players in the box for just over four shots from open play per game.

Tuchel will want to see more players in and around the penalty area if the Blues are to trouble the Reds and the Citizens for next year’s Premier League title.

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