After a very strong start to the season, Wolverhampton have fallen apart lately. Wolves have lost five of their last six matches, including losses to Brighton & Hove Albion, Huddersfield Town and, most recently, Cardiff City. Their form has seen them drop to 12th in the Premier League and they will have to turn things around soon if they are to avoid falling into the relegation scrap. Chelsea are hardly the ideal team for them to turn it around against, as they are yet to drop points against anyone outside of the current top seven. Wolves will need to come up with a huge performance if they are to get anything against Chelsea.
After dropping points in consecutive matches, Chelsea righted the ship with an easy 2-0 win over struggling Fulham. They have fallen off the pace of the title, five points behind Liverpool and seven behind Manchester City, but they lead in the race for the third and fourth spots. Ultimately, the Blues wanted to get back into the Champions League this season and they are on pace to do so. To stay on pace they’ll need to keep beating the teams they are expected to beat, including Wolves.
Wolves don’t have too many injury problems, they’ll only be without Jonny Castro as he recovers from a knee injury, according to Physiorooom.com. That said, they will be without star man Ruben Neves as he misses out due to a yellow card accumulation suspension.
Chelsea will be without Marko Van Ginkel through injury and both Victor Moses and Ross Barkley are doubts, according to Physioroom.com.
Wolverhampton: Raul Jimenez
Wolves have struggled to score goals consistently this season. Jimenez has been a part of that problem, scoring only three league goals this season as the teams primary striker. He does have four assists along with his three goals, but he will need to be a reliable source of goals if the team is to reach the heights they aspire to. Against Chelsea, most of his opportunities will likely come on the break, as Chelsea tend to have most of the possession in their matches. For Wolves to succeed against the Blues, he’ll have to turn a few of those opportunities into chances and at least one of those chances into a goal.
Chelsea: Eden Hazard
Chelsea’s fortunes run through Hazard. While they have a few players that are good at controlling the middle third of the pitch, he is their best player at progressing the ball into the final third and opening up defenses while in the final third. While Wolves have struggled in attack, they have been strong defensively, so Hazard’s creativity will be crucial to opening their defense up.
Chelsea have been fantastic at beating the teams they are expected to beat this season and, considering Wolves’ form, that should continue.