Chelsea’s Reece James problem that Frank Lampard needs to solve in time for Real Madrid showdown

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Chelsea’s Reece James problem that Frank Lampard needs to solve in time for Real Madrid showdown

Chelsea were unable to properly threaten Wolves’ defence on Saturday afternoon in what was a dire performance from the visitors at Molineux.

The Blues had 13 shots throughout the 90 minutes but only tested Jose Sa on one occasion and that was in the first half when Joao Felix shot from outside the box fell straight into the arms of his Portuguese compatriot. Chelsea were unable to make any real clear-cut opportunities despite having 63 per cent of possession in the west Midlands.

Staggeringly, the Blues have had 52 shots over their last three matches in the Premier League, with 12 of them on target, but not one of them has found the back of the net. It’s been an issue for Chelsea all season long in front of goal. Their top scorer in the Premier League is Kai Havertz and he only has seven goals to his name despite playing considerably more minutes than anyone else in the squad.

READ MORE: Frank Lampard given major Chelsea injury boost as key player back in training before Real Madrid

In recent matches, Chelsea have been using a back-three formation and have relied heavily on their wing-backs to threaten going forward. Ben Chilwell and Reece James have been so crucial in that but on Saturday it was a completely different story.

Interim boss Frank Lampard started with four-at-the-back in his first match since returning to his beloved club. Lampard opted with Marc Cucurella instead of Chilwell at left-back and while James played the full 90 minutes at Molineux, he was unable to make too much of an impact.

Quite often in possession, James would tuck in and play as a central midfielder essentially, something we also saw from Trent Alexander-Arnold in Liverpool’s thrilling draw with Arsenal on Sunday afternoon. It’s something we’ve seen plenty from in James in the past but it meant he was unable to overlap as much as some of the club’s supporters would have liked.

As you can see below in the heatmap, James spent most of his time in a position you’d expect from a right-back but there are patches across midfield where he tucked in on several occasions. The Chelsea right-back would have liked more of the heat on the map to be further up the pitch as well, but that was down to the way his side played more than anything.

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