The first sacking of the season has happened as the ax fell on Chelsea manager Frank Lampard. According to the latest rumors, Thomas Tuchel is set to take over as a manager. However, it is unclear whether he will be the dugout for the game against Wolves or not. The Blues are trying to get him to London, but it looks challenging given the quarantine rules in place.
While it is not for the first time a manager has been sacked mid-season at Chelsea. Life goes on at Stamford Bridge, as Chelsea have other ambitions. They now face Wolves at home in their first game in the post-Lampard era. Going by the history of this fixture, the Blues have won five of their previous six games at home to Wolves.
It was perhaps the 2-1 defeat at Molineux Stadium that added to the list of reasons why Abramovich sacked Lampard. If they win this time as well, it will be their first double over Chelsea since 1973. Though the history of this fixture is in favor of Blues but Wolves can’t be underestimated. They returned to top-flight football in 2018.
Since only Manchester City and Liverpool have managed to win more points against the London teams. Under Frank Lampard, the Blues have lost seven home games, which is equal to the home games lost by Conte and Sarri combined.
Nuno Espirito’s team can surely smell blood in this game. It is not every year that they will get a chance to get three points at Stamford Bridge. Though it won’t be easy but it can hardly get any easier than this. Even if they appoint Thomas Tuchel as a manager he won’t have enough time to assess his squad and select a team.
Currently, the Blues are struggling in the Premier League. Even against ten men Fulham they only managed to score one goal. Against the teams in the top ten, Chelsea has only managed to beat West Ham. They are yet to register a win against any other team in the top ten, with three draws and four defeats.
Chelsea is to go for a 4-3-3 for this game and the wingers will try to tuck in. The fullbacks will get in space and swing in crosses inside the box. While Wolves will look to hit them on counter-attacks. Nuno Espirito’s side will try to hit the Blues on the counter through their right channel. They will prefer to attack Thiago Silva because he is no longer the quick player he once used to be.
Set pieces will be important, if Wolves get the first goal through a set-piece they will try to defend their lead. It is also likely that Chelsea will do the same as we have seen them do this season. At times when they have scored the first goal, the Blues have preferred to sit back and defend.
Team News and Injury Update
N’Golo Kante is still injured, as he suffered a hamstring injury. Apart from that, there are no other injury concerns.
Jonny Otto, Marcal, and Daniel Podence won’t be available for this game. While Raul Jimenez is a long term absentee.
Ones to watch out for
Tammy Abraham scored a hattrick in his last and his Premier League hattrick was against Wolves as well. Ben Chilwell and Callum Hudson Odoi have in good form. Matteo Kovacic, Recce James, and Zouma will be the players to watch out for.
João Moutinho, Conor Coady, Rui Patrício and Pedro Neto will be the key players for Wolves. Ruben Neves, Nelson Semedo and Adama Traore will be the players to watch out for.
Chelsea vs Wolves: Head to Head Stats
Chelsea and Wolves have faced each other 110 times. The Blues have won 43 times, Wolves have won 40 times and the rest of the 27 games have ended up as draws.
Predicted Line-Up and Prediction
Chelsea: Edouard Mendy; Reece James, Kurt Zouma, Thiago Silva, Ben Chilwell; Mateo Kovacic, Mason Mount, Kai Havertz; Hakim Ziyech, Tammy Abraham, Callum Hudson-Odoi.
Wolves: Rui Patricio; Nelson Semedo, Conor Coady, Willy Boly, Romian Saiss; Ruben Neves, Joao Moutinho, Leander Dendoncker; Adama Traore, Willian Jose, Pedro Neto
Final Prediction: Chelsea 1-1 Wolves.