Wolves host Chelsea at the Molineux on Saturday. The Blues have appointed Frank Lampard as interim coach until the end of the season and he will want to get his side back to winning ways. The hosts have just a single victory in their last seven matches and they sit just a point above the relegation zone.
Julen Lopetegui took over after the World Cup and had to try to rescue a side with 12 points from 15 league games. He initially helped Wolves to win four of their next seven including a 3-0 thrashing of Liverpool. Since then, it’s just one win in seven league fixtures, starting with a 1-0 home loss to Bournemouth.
Their only win was 1-0 at home to Tottenham but they lost 2-1 at Newcastle right after and then damagingly lost 4-2 at home to relegation rivals, Leeds. In their last match, they had 72% of the ball at Nottingham Forest but they only produced 0.36 xG before Daniel Podence scored in the 83rd minute to grab a 1-1 draw.
Wolves Team News
Winger Chiqunho and striker Sasa Kalajdzic won’t play again this season. Attacker Hwang Hee-Chan and midfielder Boubacar Traore are nearing a comeback from injuries but this match may come too soon. Key midfielder Ruben Neves sits this one out due to suspension.
Daniel Podence and Pablo Sarabia should start after good impacts in the last match after coming on at half-time. Hugo Bueno is in line for a recall at the left-back. Joao Moutinho could start deeper alongside Mario Lemina in the absence of Neves.
Wolves are in real relegation danger and they need something from this match. They are a lot more open and front-foot under Lopetegui but they still often lack cutting edge.
They would take a draw here and then hope that teams around them fail to win.
The Blues have had a poor season and sit 11th in the table. After a run of one win in 11 matches, Graham Potter survived being sacked and briefly turned results around, beating Leeds 1-0 and then Dortmund 2-0 despite a meagre 40% possession. A 3-1 win at Leicester came next but they allowed 2.52 Expected Goals in a fortunate win.
Chelsea then drew 2-2 at home to Everton having led twice before a poor 2-0 home loss to Aston Villa, who leapfrogged the Blues in the table. That led to Potter being fired with Bruno Saltor taking over as caretaker. He oversaw a 0-0 home draw with Liverpool where four big chances were missed in a slightly improved performance.
Chelsea Team News
It’s not clear what sort of side Frank Lampard is going to pick. With just two days of training, he could name a similar XI to that which drew 0-0 vs Liverpool in midweek. Two players who were previously favourites and who could be recalled after midfield Mason Mount and goalkeeper Edouard Mendy.
In attack, Raheem Sterling is fit again and could start. If Lampard uses a back four, then Christian Pulisic will hope to be involved having been a regular in the coach’s first spell. Thiago Silva remains out injured in defence.
Chelsea played better in the week after Potter’s sacking. They have Real Madrid around the corner which could prove a distraction, but they’ll want to go into that one with some confidence.
Lampard’s sides tend to be leaky at the back but they usually score a lot more goals than we’ve seen from the Blues in the last six months.
Wolves have 1 win in their last 7 PL matches (4 losses)
Wolves have lost 6 of their last 9 home league matches
Wolves have scored 1 or fewer goals in 12 of their last 15 home EPL fixtures
Chelsea have won 3 of their last 6 matches (all competitions)
CFC have failed to score in 12 of their last 21 matches (all comps)
CFC have scored 2 goals in a match just 4 times in their last 21 fixtures
Wolves are desperate for points and it’s not clear what sort of impact Frank Lampard will have. We may see a ‘new manager bounce’ here with Chelsea nicking a narrow win.
Best Bet: Chelsea win at 2.00
Alternative Bet: Draw/Chelsea Double Chance and Under 3.5 goals at 1.62
Goalscorer Tip: Havertz anytime scorer at 2.75