Morata, Lukaku seek return to form as Chelsea face Man Utd

#1
Alvaro Morata and Romelu Lukaku will be
under pressure to fire their teams back into
the Premier League title race when the
misfiring strikers clash in Chelsea’s
showdown with Manchester United on
Sunday.
Chelsea forward Morata and United front
man Lukaku were the toast of their clubs
after celebrating their close-season
transfers with a barrage of goals.
But, with Chelsea and United battling to
keep pace with leaders Manchester City,
Morata and Lukaku have lost their midas
touch at the wrong moment, putting them
under the microscope at Stamford Bridge
this weekend.
United manager Jose Mourinho splashed
out £75 million ($98 million) to sign Lukaku
from Everton after persuading the Belgium
international to snub interest from Blues
boss Antonio Conte.
Lukaku was off to a fast start, netting 11
times in his first 10 games.
However, the 24-year-old finds himself in
the midst of a barren spell stretching back
six games to the end of September.
United fans have grown frustrated by
Lukaku’s lack of contributions outside the
penalty area, prompting Mourinho to
chastise Old Trafford crowd for failing to
give the striker enough support in last
weekend’s win over Tottenham.
Lukaku responded to the doubters by
admitting he is still a work in progress.
“You can’t judge me as the finished article.
I’d rather have a career where year after
year I improve rather than going to the top
and decline,” he said.
“I know I have a lot of talent, but I want to
have more assists, I want to make sure
when my team is in difficulties they can
count on me.”
After missing out on Lukaku, Conte settled
for Morata as an expensive consolation
prize.
Morata hit the ground running with seven
goals in his first seven games following his
club record £58 million ($75 million) move
from Real Madrid.
But, like Lukaku, the 25-year-old Spaniard
has failed to score in his last six games,
earning criticism for some lethargic
displays.
Morata also had to claim he had been
misquoted after an interview in which he
appeared to hint he wouldn’t stay with
Chelsea for long because he doesn’t enjoy
London’s hectic lifestyle.
– High stakes –
In the circumstances, Morata and Lukaku
could do with silencing the critics by
producing a priceless winner at the Bridge.
Both players carried hefty price tags
because of the belief they were ready to
deliver when the stakes are highest.
That will be the case in west London this
weekend as champions Chelsea try to claw
their way back into the title race.
Fourth placed Chelsea are four points
behind second placed United and nine
points adrift of table-toppers City.
Conte’s side crashed to a 3-0 defeat at
Roma in the Champions League on Tuesday,
erasing the momentum from successive
league wins over Watford and
Bournemouth.
United are five points behind City after
winning only one of their last three league
games, although they made it three
successive wins in all competitions by
beating Benfica in midweek.
Mourinho will be hoping for better luck on
his latest return to Chelsea — the club
where he won three English titles and was
sacked twice — after United lost both their
visits last season.
Abused by Chelsea fans during United’s 4-0
and 1-0 defeats, Mourinho insists he
doesn’t attach special significance to the
fixture.
“It isn’t a big thing. It’s normal, it’s football.
One day you are in one club, the next day
you’re in another club,” he said.
Conte, who will give N’Golo Kante a late
fitness test on his hamstring injury, admits
Chelsea no longer have any margin for error
if they are to overhaul United and City.
“Now there is a big problem for all the
teams that want to fight for the title and
this big problem is Manchester City,” Conte
said.
“If they continue in this way it will be very
difficult to fight for the title.”
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#2
read this before copycat
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