Saturday, February 27, 2021

Prediction: Chelsea vs Wolves

 

Verdict: Both teams to score

Best Odds: 10/11

Bookmaker: Unibet

Begining life without Frank Lampard in midweek, Chelsea will welcome Wolves to an empty Stamford Bridge on Wednesday evening.

Chelsea

Starting with the hosts, while Chelsea might have booked their spot in the fifth-round of this year’s FA Cup thanks to a 3-1 win over Luton on Sunday lunchtime, that result was not enough to save Frank Lampard’s job. With it announced that their former skipper is now replaced by recently departed PSG Thomas Tuchel this week, the Blues are a side who are really seeking some top-flight stability. Opening the midweek fixtures already sat way down in ninth and in an uphill battle to secure another campaign of Champions League football this year, the former Premier League champions have managed to win just a pair of their last eight top-tier appearances, a run that stems back to December 5th. Last seen on top-flight duties getting hit with that deserved 2-0 loss away at Leicester, Tuchel will also be desperate for his side to make some much-needed alterations in the final third. With both Timo Werner and Kai Havertz struggling to find their feet since making lucrative moves last summer, it’s worth noting that Wednesday’s hosts have failed to bag more than a single strike in each of their last five Premier League matchups on the spin.

Team News

Still recovering from a hamstring injury, N’Golo Kante will once again miss out on Wednesday evening.

Christian Pulisic is a doubt due to a minor leg injury suffered on Sunday.

Wolves

As for the visitors, while Wolves may have also managed to extend on their FA Cup adventure over the weekend, the Oranges are another Premier League side enduring a worrying blip. Just about securing their spot in the fifth-round thanks to a scrappy 1-0 win against non-league outfit Chorley on Friday night, Nuno Espírito Santo’s have come under some real scrutiny over the past two months. While the midweek guests might have secured that shock turnaround 2-1 victory when they welcomed Chelsea to Molineux back on December 15th, they have continued to tumble down the Premier League table. Last seen on top-flight duties getting hit with that action-packed 3-2 defeat against bitter rivals and relegation scrappers West Brom earlier in the month, Wolves have mustered just a single point from their last four Premier League appearances. Enduring what has been their most testing spell in recent memory, the former Europa League quarter-finalists have also failed to win any of their last six Premier League contests on the bounce. In fact, Wolves are without a clean sheet in 12 Premier League games, the longest ongoing run among sides currently in the division.

Team News

Wolves’ new signing Willian Jose is expected to miss out as he is yet to be granted a work permit.

Daniel Podence is nearing a return following a calf injury but Raul Jimenez, Jonny and Marcal remain long-term absentees.

Key Factors to Consider

  • When the two sides faced off in the Midlands last month, Wolves picked up a turnaround 2-1 win on home soil.
  • Electing to part ways with Frank Lampard earlier in the week, Chelsea have won just a pair of their last eight Premier League contests.
  • Five of Chelsea’s last seven Premier League contests at Stamford Bridge have finished with both teams finding the net.
  • However, the Oranges have failed to win any of their last six Premier League matchups on the bounce.
  • Wolves are without a clean sheet in 12 Premier League games, the longest ongoing run among sides currently in the division.

Conclusion

After turning to former PSG boss Thomas Tuchel earlier in the week, there is no doubt that Chelsea will be desperate to hit the ground running on Wednesday evening. However, while both of the midweek opponents might have progressed on their own FA Cup adventures against lower-league opposition over the weekend, Premier League success has been hard to come by. With both sides managing to win just a pair of their last 14 combined top-flight matchups, we’re expecting what could be a lively contest in West London. With four of the last five meetings between the Premier League strugglers finishing with both teams finding the net, we’re backing a similar outcome at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday.

Verdict: Both teams to score

Best Odds: 10/11

Bookmaker: Unibet

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tom Dunstan


Formerly of The Independent, Tom is a freelance football and boxing journalist from Essex, England. Currently working for three online publications, Tom is a graduate of the University of Falmouth and has spent the last two years writing across Australia, New Zealand and Asia. He can be followed at @IamTomDunstan

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