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Preview: Wolverhampton Wanderers vs Chelsea – prediction, team news, line-ups

Wolverhampton Wanderers vs Chelsea Preview

Frank Lampard’s second coming at Chelsea begins at Molineux, where the out-of-sorts Blues will battle Wolverhampton Wanderers in the Premier League on Saturday.

Despite being the better side for much of the encounter, Bruno Saltor Grau’s Chelsea failed to convert their chances against Jurgen Klopp’s disjointed Liverpool side on Tuesday night.

The uneventful draw saw both sides share the spoils for the sixth consecutive game across all competitions, with the last four ending goalless.

Coming up against a Wolves side hunting for maximum points to give themselves a fighting chance in the relegation dogfight will not be a walk in the park either.

Julen Lopetegui’s side can only boast one win from their last seven league outings and will be desperate to snap that poor run of form, especially with just one point separating them from the drop zone.

Match Preview

Wolves have Daniel Podence to thank for coming away from Nottingham Forest with a point when it seemed Steve Cooper’s side were home and dry following Brennan Johnson’s first-half opener.

However, the result meant they have failed to win any of their last three games (D2, L1) while managing just one in their previous seven (D2, L4).

Those are not statistics that speak well for a side desperate to avoid a Championship berth next season, and something has to give over the remaining nine games.

Whatever resurgence Lopetegui has planned for his side is unlikely to begin at the weekend as Wolves are winless in their last four league meetings with Chelsea (D3, L1).

However, Lopetegui’s side have a somewhat impressive record against teams from the English capital, as they are unbeaten in their three league matches against opponents from London (W2, D1).

The Spanish manager will be itching to get one over Chelsea, having failed to beat the west Londoners in each of his last three encounters without his sides scoring a goal (D1, L2).

Their home form against teams above them in the table could also fire them to a positive result at the weekend, having won each of their last three league games against sides starting the day above them in front of their supporters.

The Blues should have a spring in their step as club legend and former manager Frank Lampard returns to the dugout for a second bite at the cherry – however temporary.

Five days after Graham Potter was relieved of his duties, the former Everton boss was named caretaker manager until the end of the season while the club hierarchy continues their exhaustive search for a permanent replacement.

While Luis Enrique and Julian Nagelsmann are considered favourites for the job, their appointment will have to wait until the summer.

Lampard is tasked with a hopeful attempt at helping the Blues climb the league table towards the European qualification places, while the small matter of a Champions League quarter-final tie with reigning champions Real Madrid is on the agenda next week.

Chelsea have not won either of their last two league visits to Molineux (D1, L1), but the silver lining is that their previous success on that ground came in a 5-2 win in September 2019 with Lampard as manager.

The Blues have won just four away league games this season, picking up just 16 points from a possible 42 (D4, L6) – their lowest return after 14 games on the road in a single campaign since 2000/01 (9). 

They have already lost twice as many away games this season (6) as they did in the 2021/22 campaign (3).

Premier League Form

Wolverhampton Wanderers: LWLLD

Chelsea: WWDLD

Team News

Wolves will be without captain Ruben Neves who picked up his 10th booking of the season against Nottingham Forest and will now serve a two-match ban. 

Jonny Castro is also unavailable for selection as he will also be serving the second of his three-match suspension this weekend.

Sasa Kalajdzic and Chiquinho are both sidelined with knee problems, while Hwang Hee-chan is also out with an unspecified injury. 

However, left-back Hugo Bueno recovered from a minor hamstring injury to feature as a substitute last time out and could regain his starting spot at the weekend.

Lampard will be unable to call on Cesar Azpilicueta, Thiago Silva and Armando Broja, who are all nursing knee injuries. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is also a doubt with a back problem.

It remains to be seen if the Englishman will continue with the same set-up as his predecessor, but Mason Mount is expected to return to the fold having been labelled as a ‘huge player’ for the Blues.

Wolverhampton Wanderers potential starting line-up:

(4-3-3): Jose Sa; Nelson Semedo, Craig Dawson, Max Kilman, Hugo Bueno; Mario Lemina, Ruben Neves, Matheus Nunes; Adama Traore, Raul Jimenez, Daniel Podence.

Chelsea potential starting line-up:

(4-3-3): Kepa Arrizabalaga; Reece James, Wesley Fofana, Benoit Badiashile, Ben Chilwell; N’Golo Kante, Enzo Fernandez, Mason Mount; Noni Madueke, Kai Havertz, Raheem Sterling.

How to Watch?

Wolves vs Chelsea, alongside all other fixtures in England’s top flight, is available to watch online via live Premier League streams.

We Say: Wolverhampton Wanderers 1-2 Chelsea

The new manager bounce should see Chelsea pick up a narrow win at Molineux, piling the misery on the relegation-battling Wolves in front of their supporters.

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