Chelsea are facing a difficult trip to face Wolves as the Premier League returns at the weekend. The visitors have taken a total of five points from their opening four matches, with both positives and negatives taken from their performances. Meanwhile, their hosts have yet to win a game, albeit they have had one of the more difficult starts to the campaign. Nuno Espirito Santo’s men have previously stepped up against top-six teams, especially at home. They will be looking to pick up their first victory on Saturday.
Wolves are seen as a club with huge potential, with some tipping them to be the next team to break into the top-six. Their progress is likely to be halted this season, as they deal with a Europa League campaign. Unlike many Premier League clubs, the Midlands’ club looks set to prioritise Europe’s secondary competition and supporters will be buoyed by that. It will delay their ascent domestically, but the future looks bright at the club and there is a real possibility of going deep in the competition. This weekend offers a good opportunity to pick up a victory, as they are facing a defensively vulnerable Chelsea team. The style of the visitors will play into Nuno’s hands.
Frank Lampard may have picked up a few disappointing results, but he will be encouraged by his team’s performances. The head coach has placed great faith in Mason Mount and Tammy Abraham to be the poster-boys of the new generation. Both have had positive starts to the campaign and they will be two players that worry Wolves on Saturday. Supporters will also be excited by the new era and the high expectations of previous years will not be the ones that this current regime is judged by. The weekend’s opposition offers a fierce test and a positive result will go a long way to convincing Lampard’s critics that he is the man for the job.
Raul Jimenez has scored in each of his last four appearances for Wolves across all competitions. This is the first time he has managed such a run since joining the club.
Tammy Abraham is the first Englishman to score successive braces for Chelsea since Frank Lampard in 2010.
Wolves will be delighted that they managed to sign Raul Jimenez on a permanent basis, as he has emerged as the club’s talisman since joining last summer. His influence is obvious to anybody watching the team, as he is tireless in his work rate and produces quality touches in attack. Last season, he contributed 13 goals and seven assists. The Mexican is more than just a goal scorer, as he links play and creates space for others with his movement. Before joining Wolves, he had failed to get regular minutes and his progress looked to have been slowed. However, since arriving in England, he has emerged as one of the best forwards operating outside of the top six. At the beginning of the new season, he already has two Premier League goals, in addition to six strikes in the Europa League qualifying. He looks set to take his game to the next level once again and he will be the main threat to the Chelsea defence.
The new generation are being given a chance in the Chelsea first team and Mason Mount is the posterboy for it. Last season, he starred for Frank Lampard at Derby County, therefore, it shouldn’t be surprising that he has been given a prominent role under the new Blues’ boss. His early performances have been very impressive, earning him an England call-up. Although he didn’t start either match, he did get minutes and Gareth Southgate will be keeping a close eye on the midfielder as the season progresses. The England midfield is far from settled and the 20-year-old has the potential to break into the starting eleven ahead of the European Championships. Chelsea have used him in an advanced midfield role, with his goal threat being obvious. The youngster has scored twice and he will be looking to grab another this week.
There are no big injury concerns for Wolves, other than Matt Doherty. The right wing-back will not be available, which means Adama Traore could be given another start. Diogo Jota is likely to partner Jimenez in attack. Willy Boly is suspended, which gives an opportunity to Jesus Vallejo.
Pedro and N’golo Kante will both be hoping to be passed fit to feature on Saturday. Emerson Palmieri is a doubt after picking up an injury during the international break. Antonio Rudiger is getting closer to a return and could feature.
This is going to be a fascinating indicator of where both teams are. Wolves will be more fresh than they will be in many matches this season, after a two week international break. It is a bad time to go to Molineux. Chelsea have the quality to win, but their porous defence will give the home side confidence. An entertaining score draw looks to be a good bet.
Wolves 2-2 Chelsea