Chelsea have one player who can 'hurt' Manchester City in Champions League final, says Joe Cole

Joe Cole believes Timo Werner will be one of the first names on Chelsea’s team sheet in Saturday’s Champions League final against Manchester City.

Since taking over from Frank Lampard, Thomas Tuchel has introduced a lot of changes into this Chelsea side; formation, regulars.

But the team essentially still plays possession-based football under both managers.

In fact, they averaged the third-highest possession (58.6 percent — via Whoscored) in the Premier League this season.

At the Estadio do Dragao, however, they are going to face Manchester City — a team that averaged the highest possession in the league (60.8 percent).

Obviously, Chelsea would not want to let Manchester City dominate the possession and play into their hands.

But competing for possession will not be the only way to “hurt” the Premier League champions, according to Cole.

Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images

“Pep [Guardiola’s] players play a certain way and if you can get players in behind them, you are going to get space at some point in the game,” the former Blues winger told the Sunday World.

“Timo Werner will probably start, as he is a player who can hurt them. And I don’t think he is playing for his future at Chelsea in this game.

“We see great players come to this country, and they take some time to settle down.

“It’s been difficult for everyone this season, but there have been some great signs from him in the last few weeks.

“He affects the game and I think he’s going to be a good player for Chelsea and some time to improve.”

Photo by Adam Davy – Pool/Getty Images

Chronicle view

A lot of people seem to share Cole’s view about Werner’s potentially being the biggest threat to Manchester City’s Champions League hopes.

In Friday’s press conference, Cesar Azpilicueta said the Germany international can “make the difference” in the final.

And earlier, Guardiola highlighted Werner’s counter-attacking threat as one of the reasons Chelsea are “difficult” to play against.

It was very evident that Manchester City defenders had a hard time dealing with Werner’s pace in their two losses against Chelsea — in which the striker made two decisive assists.

A Chelsea fan who loves football statistics. Studied sports journalism at the University of Sunderland.