Wolverhampton Wanderers vs Chelsea
Referee: Jonathan Moss
An embattled Wolves host Chelsea at Molineux this week looking to get their season back on track after a disastrous few weeks.
The Premier League is unpredictably relentless. Wolves were exceeding expectations early on and are now crashing down the table without a win since early October and Chelsea’s undefeated Premier League run was cut short against a stumbling Spurs side at Wembley a couple of weeks ago. Wolves will have to emulate previous performances against Manchester City, Manchester United and Arsenal to have a chance of getting a result against a strong Chelsea side.
Wolves are without a win in six and questions are starting to be asked of Nuno Espirito Santos’ men considering the impressive start they had this season. The 2-1 defeat to Cardiff City on Friday means they have only taken one point from the 18 points available. Just when Wolves need some good fortune, they have to face Maurizio Sarri’s Chelsea who beat Fulham 2-0 on Sunday and boast one of the best away records this season.
Chelsea have only lost once in the Premier League and have won four out of six away games so far this season. They currently sit third in the table ahead of London rivals Spurs and Arsenal. The Blues will be looking to continue their impressive away record with an important fixture against the league leaders, Manchester City, next in line. However, Chelsea should not be complacent when approaching this game despite Wolves’ recent sub-par performances considering they have taken points from both Manchester clubs, Arsenal and narrowly missed out on a result against Spurs.
Nuno could choose replace the suspended Ruben Neves with Romain Saiss in midfield and recall Leander Dendocker and Ryan Bennett, adding a more defensive element to a Wolves side leaking goals. Hélder Costa’s lack of goals and assists this season could see Jota or Ivan Cavaleiro be favoured with the under-performing Adama Traore being dropped to the bench.
Sarri could also be looking to rotate ahead of their clash with Manchester City. Despite his goal against Fulham, Ruben Loftus-Cheek could be dropped in favour of Ross Barkley for this encounter. Willian could also be re-introduced to replace Pedro while Olivier Giroud may get back-to-back starts and keep Alvaro Morata out of the squad. The back five are unlikely to change unless Sarri is confident his squad can get a result and put more focus onto the fixture at the weekend.
Predicted Starting XIs
Wolverhampton Wanderers (3-4-3) : Patricio; Bennett, Coady, Boly; Doherty, Moutinho, Saiss, Vinagre; Jota, Costa, Jimenez
Chelsea (4-3-3): Arrizabalaga; Azpilicueta, Rudiger, Luiz, Alonso; Kante, Jorginho, Barkley; Willian, Giroud, Hazard
Score Prediction: Wolverhampton Wanderers 0-3 Chelsea
Wolves have impressive results against bigger clubs this season but have failed to win in their last six while Chelsea have one of the best away records this season and are back to winning ways. Wolves’ current form and confidence make this a fixture they could have done without right now and Chelsea will be expected to take all three points. Chelsea will have too much attacking prowess and Wolves’ lacklustre attack will not strike fear in The Blues’ defence.