Wolves and Chelsea aiming to bounce back from weekend defeats
Chelsea to win 2-1
Wolves and Chelsea were both uncharacteristically poor in their weekend defeats to Aston Villa and Everton respectively.
Both of their opponents had endured rough patches of form, so it was something of a surprise how these two sides failed to capitalise, especially Chelsea who had been playing excellently of late.
Wolves have not quite been right all season, but since the loss of star striker Raul Jimenez, they have looked a little lost in forward areas, losing their last two matches.
It’s unclear for just how long Jimenez’s head injury will keep him out, but Wolves must find a solution to their goalscoring issues before they allow themselves to slide too far down the table.
Chelsea’s form, both domestically and in Europe, has been terrific of late, enjoying a 17-match unbeaten run in all competitions before their Everton failure.
With the players they have, they’ll be hoping that they can bounce back straight away here.
Form Guide (all comps): LDWLL
Reasons to be cheerful:
‘Underdog’ status could suit them in this game
Manager Nuno feels he will get the tactics right
Reasons to be fearful:
One win in five represents poor form
Struggling for goals in Jimenez’s absence
Wolves were struggling to score bundles of goals before the serious head injury to Raul Jimenez, with just 11 goals scored representing one of the lowest in the league up until that period.
However, their fortunes have taken another turn for the worse since his absence, with goalscoring chances even harder to come by in the last two matches – it’s the first time they’ve gone back-to-back matches without scoring this season.
Chelsea won’t make it any easier for them, with the Blues having one of the tightest defences in the league. Wolves may just enjoy the status as underdogs in this match, though. Chelsea will be favourites with the quality they have in their team, and Wolves have upset many big clubs over the last few years.
They have a chance here.
Star Man – Daniel Podence
Has been lively in his performances lately, but must add an end product to his game. Wolves need more from the likes of him and Neto.
Form Guide (all comps): DWWDL
Reasons to be cheerful
Great form despite loss against Everton
Good record against Wolves
Reasons to be fearful
Missing the spark of Ziyech and Pulisic on the wings
Wolves will be tough to break down
All unbeaten runs come to an end at some point, and Everton were the team to bring Chelsea’s great form to a halt with a strong revival performance over the weekend.
Chelsea looked short of attacking inspiration, particularly in the wide areas where players such as Ziyech and Pulisic were missing through injury. As such they only had three shots on target, compared with 11 the match before against Leeds.
They certainly have enough quality to cope with one or two injuries, but it will be interesting to see how Frank Lampard sets his team up to play against a tricky Wolves side who will make it tough for the Blues.
Chelsea’s defence has been largely fantastic of late, and with Wolves struggling to create chances could find it easier to get forward themselves.
Star Man – Mason Mount
Came close to equalising against Everton when he hit the post late on. His creativity is needed in front of goal.
Chelsea have the better players, but Wolves will make it tight
Should be a fairly even contest
If Chelsea score first, expect them to win
If Chelsea can get their noses in front against Wolves, they could dominate the match, particularly with Wolves struggling to create too many chances in front of goal right now.
Wolves could enjoy their underdog status, and if they keep things tight could always cause trouble on the counterattack.
Chelsea to win 2-1