It has been a frustrating period for Chelsea. They will host Wolves this weekend, as they attempt to find some form ahead of the FA Cup final. Although their top four status is still relatively secure, Thomas Tuchel will realise the danger of allowing their position to get weakened further. Arsenal and Tottenham are both in better form and the Chelsea boss will want to mathematically confirm Champions League football as soon as possible. The visitors have struggled in recent weeks and there are rumours of disagreements behind the scenes. It should be the perfect match for the home side to get back to form.
Chelsea have only scored twice in their last three matches. Their attack has become a concern. Tuchel seems to have a preference for a front three of Timo Werner, Kai Havertz and Mason Mount. However, there could be a preference to bring Romelu Lukaku back into the starting eleven. He could be the goal threat the team needs heading into the FA Cup final. It seems more likely that he will stick with the trio named above, but it is certainly something for the German coach to think about. A win this weekend will consolidate their position, ahead of some tricky fixtures for the two teams below them.
Although it has been a positive season for Wolves, the recent poor form threatens to leave a sour taste heading into the summer. There have been rumours of some disagreements between Bruno Lage and some senior players, which suggests that there will be changes during the close season. They have lost four of their last five matches in the league, with European football now looking unlikely. It will be interesting to see if they can get up for the trip to Stamford Bridge. Recent performances suggests they won’t.
Chelsea have won more points away from home than at Stamford Bridge. If this record is maintained for the rest of the campaign, it will be the first time they have been more successful away than at home in successive seasons.
Wolves haven’t managed to secure a victory at Stamford Bridge since 1979.
It is difficult to predict how Thomas Tuchel will line up in their two upcoming Premier League games. Rotation is expected, as he prepares for the FA Cup final. The German will want to finish the season with a trophy, so the focus will be on that game. One of the players that is favoured by Tuchel is Mason Mount. It seems safe to predict that he will feature prominently over the coming week. This has been an excellent season for the England international as he continues to develop. He has contributed ten goals and nine assists in the Premier League. The focus will be to get one more assist to reach double figures for both. This is considered a great achievement for attackers, with only Mohamed Salah achieving it so far. Wolves have been poor at the back in recent weeks, as they are conceding more chances than they previously have been. Mount has the quality to have a huge impact on the game.
The Portuguese international returned from injury last weekend. He has been one of the most consistent performers for Wolves since their promotion to the Premier League. There will be individual motivation for the midfielder, as he has been linked with a move to a bigger club. A strong performance against the current European champions will serve as a reminder of his ability. After a good few years in the Midlands, Neves will want the opportunity to play at a higher level. There will be bigger Premier League clubs that are considering a summer move. This season, he has contributed four goals and two assists, but it is his ability to dictate the tempo from deep that makes him so valuable. In addition to his quality on the ball, he is aggressive out of possession. Neves averages 2.2 tackles and 1.2 interceptions per game. If Wolves are to get anything from the game, they will need Neves to perform.
Andreas Christensen, Jorginho and N’Golo Kante are all considered doubts for the weekend. Callum Hudson-Odoi is back in training and could be back involved in the matchday squad. Ben Chilwell remains a long term absentee.
Daniel Podence and Max Kilman are both expected to be missing for the visitors. Nelson Semedo won’t feature again this season.
Neither side have brought good form into this fixture. Chelsea seem to have been distracted since the rumours about the takeover started and they continue to rumble on in the back ground. They should have enough quality to beat a Wolves team who are in very poor form. The visitors were easily beaten by Brighton last weekend and they will face a better team on Saturday.
Chelsea 2-0 Wolves