Chelsea will be looking to bounce back on Tuesday night when they travel to face Wolves. Thy managed to win this fixture last season and they will be coming up against an out of form home side. Nuno Espírito Santo’s team are struggling to find the right balance without Raul Jimenez in the team. In the to full matches since the Mexican’s injury, they have failed to score a goal.
Wolves were considered one of the best teams outside of the top six last season. They were in a position to push on following another strong league campaign and a good showing in Europe. However, a summer of upper recruitment has created issues for the coaching team to resolve. Nelson Semedo has great pedigree, but he doesn’t suit the system in the same way as Matt Doherty did. Meanwhile, Fabio Silva looks very raw at this level. He may develop into an excellent player, but they should have added another experienced attacker following the exit of Diogo Jota.
It has been a positive start to the season for Frank Lampard and he will be relieved that his team weren’t punished at the weekend. None of Tottenham, Liverpool, Manchester United and Manchester City managed to win, which means that the Blues remain in a good position to challenge for the title. That said, they need to avoid further performances like the one at Goodison Park if they are to seriously compete at the top of the division. This won’t be an easy fixture for them and it is likely to be a tight match with both teams tough to break down. Chelsea will believe they have the greater quality to come out on top.
Adama Traore has failed to register a goal or assist in 19 Premier League matches.
Chelsea’s loss to Everton was their first Premier League away defeat of the season.
This is shaping up to be a big season for Pedro Neto, as he has been given a prominent role in the rebuild at Wolves. The sale of Diogo Jota and injury to Jimenez has created a goal-scoring void that somebody needs to step up and fill. The young Portugal international has shown positive signs that he can have a good season in front of goal. The 20-year-old has contributed three goals and two assists already. Chelsea have been very good at the back since the defensive reinforcements have been made and Wolves are currently struggling to settle without Jimenez. This looks to be a difficult fixture for them, but in Neto, they have a confident attacking player that isn’t afraid to try and make things happen. His unpredictability could play a big part on Tuesday night.
The central midfielder remains one of the first names on the team sheet, despite the many millions spent by the club in the summer. He will be important on Tuesday, as Wolves are tough to break down. Mount has the energy to press high and win the ball back in dangerous areas. He also possesses an excellent delivery from set pieces and creativity in open play. Without Hakim Ziyech, he will have a big part to play over Christmas. Lampard trusts Mount to deliver and although there are still doubts about his quality, he leaves everything on the pitch and he can cause opposition teams problems. During the last month, he has been one of the standout players for Chelsea. If they are to get a win on Tuesday, the Blues will need him at his energetic best.
Joao Moutinho is suspended for this match following his two yellow cards against Aston Villa. Raul Jimenez and Jonny remain unavailable for the home side. Nuno may choose to move back to a five-man defence following back-to-back defeats.
Christian Pulisic may be back for the visitors, as he continues to get back to full fitness. Callum Hudson-Odoi and Hakim Ziyech are likely to be missing until after Christmas. Tammy Abraham scored a hat-trick in this fixture last season. He may be recalled to the starting eleven.
This is going to be a tight game. Both teams have been good defensively this season, albeit there has been some inconsistency in Wolves’ form. Chelsea have the better attacking players and that could prove to be the difference on Tuesday. Nuno is too good a manager to keep losing matches, regardless of the injury issues. However, they may lose on Tuesday.
Wolves 0-1 Chelsea