A Blue Up North previews Chelsea’s away trip to Wolves.
This midweek sees a full compliment of Premier League fixtures including Chelsea’s trip to Molineux Stadium as they play newly promoted Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Wolves started the season as they finished off last season with 3 Premier League victories in September, but recently their form has dipped and they haven’t registered a league win since 6 October. And since then they have lost at home to Watford, Spurs and Huddersfield.
Manager Nuno Espirito Santo has tinkered with his side in recent matches as he tries to get them to recapture their early season form, but they have only gained 1 point from their last 6 matches. The last thing the Spaniard needs right now is a visit from the team currently lying 3rd in the league who have only suffered 1 defeat all season.
Chelsea themselves may have lost their last away Premier League match, but they have only lost once away to a newly promoted side in their previous 13 outings. The Blues have managed to keep 3 clean sheets in their last 4 away league matches.
Maurizio Sarri is expected to shuffle his pack a little. With back to back matches throughout December and a key match at home to leaders Manchester City Up next, the Italian will need to use as much of his squad as he dare.
Willian and Alvaro Morata are likely to be recalled, while Andreas Christensen, Cesc Fabregas, Ross Barkley and the in form Ruben Loftus-Cheek may be given a start. Another possible change may come at left back. Marcos Alonso has struggled to capture his match changing form in the last few matches and has looked tired. Will Sarri put his faith in Emerson Palmieri as he rests the Spaniard ahead of Saturday’s much bigger test?
Wolves will be without Ruben Neves, who will serve a 1 game ban after accumulating five yellow cards so far this season. Neves has been one of their standout players and they will miss his creativity. Wolves have only scored 7 goals in their last 9 league and cup matches.
Chelsea have recovered admirably since their humiliating loss at Spurs, but they have played 2 weaker sides since then and surely that run will continue on Wednesday while Wolves continue to struggle to rediscover form.
Written by Jon Ellis, home and away season ticket holder. Follow him on Twitter @ClitheroeBlue