Chelsea host Wolves at Stamford Bridge in the Premier League on Sunday. The Blues were thoroughly outplayed in a midweek defeat at Anfield whilst Wolves lost on Thursday to end a seven-match unbeaten streak.
The Blues were outplayed by Liverpool in midweek. They allowed 2.90 xG and were outshot 28-4 in a 4-1 loss at Anfield. Before that, it was just one loss in seven matches and three league wins in a row. Since losing to Wolves on Christmas Eve, they had beaten Crystal Palace, Fulham, and Luton in league matches.
Chelsea also made it to the Carabao Cup final after a 6-2 aggregate win over Middlesbrough. They lost 1-0 away but won 6-1 in the second leg. That victory was followed by a 0-0 home draw in the FA Cup fifth round vs Aston Villa.
Chelsea Team News
Chelsea are without Reece James in defence whilst Levi Colwill is doubtful. Malo Gusto is set to return to the starting XI. Nicolas Jackson is available again after a spell away with Senegal at the AFCON.
Christopher Nkunku scored in the last match and is set to start this one, possibly as the number nine. Raheem Sterling has been struggling for form and could lose his place. Romeo Lavia remains unavailable in midfield.
Chelsea needs a response to the midweek performance and result. They will look to start this match positively and with a high tempo.
A draw would be seen as a poor result, making this a must-win for Pochettino’s team.
Following a heavy 3-0 loss at West Ham in mid-December, they went seven unbeaten. They strung together three league wins in a row with 2-1 at home to Chelsea starting the streak. Big wins followed, 4-1 at Brentford and 3-0 at home to Everton.
After progressing in the FA Cup after a replay against Brentford, they drew 0-0 at Brighton in the league and won 2-0 at West Brom in the Cup. In midweek, they lost 4-3 at home to Man Utd in a thriller. They came from 3-1 down to 3-3 but then conceded a heartbreaking last-minute goal.
Wolves Team News
Joao Gomes is set to return to the starting XI in place of Tommy Doyle. Boubacar Traore is away on AFCON duty with Mali for a while longer. Rayan Ait-Nouri is expected to replace Matt Doherty at left wingback.
Pablo Sarabia could start after scoring vs Man Utd. Hee-Chan Hwang remains doubtful in attack and it’s not clear if he will be back to play any part.
Gary O’Neil’s side are very strong on the counter-attack against the big sides.
They will defend in a tight back five and look to use their speed on the break. A draw would be seen as a great result.
Chelsea are 10 home matches unbeaten (7 wins)
Chelsea have won 3 of their last 4 league matches
Wolves have lost just 1 of their last 8 matches
Wolves have lost 4 of their last 6 away EPL matches
Wolves have drawn 3 of their last 5 matches at Stamford Bridge (2 losses)
Chelsea needs a response and they’ve been playing very well at home of late. They should eke out a narrow victory in this one. Nkunku could be a good bet to score if he is in the starting XI.
Best Bet: Aston Vila win/draw double chance at 1.71
Alternative Bet: Both Teams to Score NO at 2.15
Value Bet: Draw at 3.55