Chelsea must rediscover one thing that has been lacking to compete with Liverpool and Man City

The Champions League makes a return to our lives this week and Chelsea are back in action on Wednesday as they host Malmo in their third Group H match in the defence of their title.

The Blues were beaten last time out by Juventus in Turin thanks to Federico Chiesa’s goal 11 seconds after half time and need to bounce back if they are to wrestle back full control of Group H.

The defending European Champions sit second in their group behind Juventus, who have won both of their games so far while Chelsea have one win and one loss on their record.

Now they face a double header against bottom of the group and whipping boys Malmo, who have played two, lost two, haven’t scored and have shipped seven in defeats to Juventus and Zenit St Petersburg.

Chelsea only managed the one goal against Zenit in their opening win and drew a blank in northern Italy on a night where they “could have played until Christmas and not scored” as the saying goes.

The double-header against Malmo, at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday and then the return visit to Sweden in a fortnight’s time, represent a chance for the Blues to find a ruthless streak that has been lacking in recent weeks.

After comfortable wins over Crystal Palace and Arsenal to get the Premier League season underway, it has been a bit of a toil at times for the Blues.

Romelu Lukakuhas gone five games without a goal for the club and while the goalscoring has been shared around, Ben Chilwell is currently the second top scorer, joint with Timo Werner on two.

In their win over Brentford at the weekend, the Blues had a lowly expected goals (xG) of 0.3 despite their dominance for 70 minutes prior to the Bees onslaught in the final 20 minutes of the game.

Defeats to Man City and Juve saw Chelsea have an xG of less than one as Tuchel’s men lacked precision in the final third, something that dogged them last season too after the German came to the club to replace Frank Lampard.

While getting wins over Malmo is nowhere near a foregone conclusion, no match at any level is, it does represent a chance for Chelsea to find a ruthless streak against the minnows of Group H.

The strength of the Chelsea side is in their defence, that is clear, but Lukaku was signed to be the supposed “missing piece” in the jigsaw after the Champions League success of last season by beating Man City in Porto.

Chelsea have looked a bit fragmented in attacks in recent weeks, it took a tactical shift for the Blues to get it right against Spurs in a 3-0 win and another 3-0 victory over Aston Villa flattered to deceive.

Likewise against Southampton, Chelsea only stretched away after the visitors were reduced to ten-men following James Ward-Prowse’s red card midway through the second half.

Tuchel said after the victory over Brentford at the weekend: “We try our best to create chances.

“I saw matches at Brentford and it’s not so easy to score, and not easy to keep clean sheets. We lacked precision, which is maybe the same song we sing for many weeks.

“We put a lot of effort into every part of the game. It’s not only about scoring, it’s about defending, counterpressing, escaping the pressure. Sometimes we maybe lack a bit of composure in front of goal. But we have quality and we trust our guys to score more goals.

“In general, Liverpool and Man City have proven in the last years they are the benchmark in terms of quality and consistency. They have shown what it takes to become champions. We have to improve in every aspect of the game, offensively and defensively, and we will not stop trying to create more for our strikers.”

The Blues have scored the same number of goals in the Premier League as reigning champions Man City this season (16) so the notion of hitting the back of the net is not the biggest issue.

But they do need to be a bit more ruthless and Wednesday represents the perfect chance for them to do it.

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