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Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel launched a passionate defence of misfiring striker Timo Werner ahead of the Saturday lunchtime kick-off against West Bromwich Albion.

Werner had a glaring miss in Germany’s shock defeat by North Macedonia on Wednesday, but will start.

Tuchel said: “He misses that chance, and now everybody is passionate to talk about it which is a bit annoying.”

The new Manager of the Month added: “It’s an easy solution in the moment to point the finger at Timo which I cannot fully understand, and I will not accept.”

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The German said he stopped his compatriot from doing extra finishing training yesterday, explaining: “You don’t need that. Your body, your brain, knows how to score. You did it since you were 6 years old, so don’t worry it will come.”

He added: “If a woman doesn’t want to go out with you to dinner, you cannot force her to. Just step a little bit back and maybe she will call you.”

Only N’Golo Kante, injured with France, is missing for Chelsea, and for West Brom, Conor Gallagher is ineligible to play against his parent club.

With West Brom 10 points from safety and nine games remaining, boss Sam Allardyce told his players via WBA TV: “Do the same as I did before. I think Sunderland, Palace and probably Bolton in year-two we’ve won five out of six, or six out of eight, and that’s the level now.”

Chelsea rescued a late 3-3 draw in September’s reverse fixture.

Prediction: 2-0

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