Chelsea vs Wolves match build up

Chelsea vs Wolves
Chelsea vs Wolves

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TEAM NEWS

Among those rested against Dynamo Kiev were Eden Hazard, N’Golo Kante, Cesar Azpilicueta and Antonio Rudiger. Wolves will be without defender Ryan Bennett, who begins a two-match ban.

Chelsea head coach Maurizio Sarri will again rotate his squad for the Wolves fixture, which is sandwiched between two Europa League games.

Rui Patricio is set to return in goal, with John Ruddy given playing time last week ahead of his likely start in the FA Cup quarter-final.

MOTD COMMENTATOR’S NOTES

@SimonBrotherton: The recent storm around Maurizio Sarri seems to have passed for now with back-to-back wins over Spurs and Fulham in the league and a comfortable 3-0 first-leg lead established over Dynamo Kiev in the last 16 of the Europa League.

Wolves will provide a stern test though, having already beaten Chelsea 2-1 at Molineux back in early December.

Wolverhampton Wanderers v Chelsea FC

They’ve built on results like that, and have taken more points from the established top six than any of the other 14 sides in the Premier League.

What’s more, they head for Stamford Bridge having lost only one of the last seven games and are unbeaten in their five league matches played in London this season.

VIEW FROM THE DUGOUT

Chelsea head coach Maurizio Sarri: “I think we can gain the spot in the Champions League in the Premier League.

“We are fighting. We are only two points away, at the moment, and have to play one match in hand.”

Wolves head coach Nuno Espirito Santo: “[December’s win over Chelsea] was a very important moment because it ended a very bad moment, a bad run we had.

“It was a turning point in the competition but we know there are always ups and downs.

“When you have something that doesn’t work out, it’s about bouncing back and recovering and returning to these standards again.

“We made those against Cardiff after a bad performance, so let’s sustain that consistency and challenge ourselves on Sunday.”

LAWRO’S PREDICTION

Wolves have got a good record against the top-six clubs this season and beat Chelsea at Molineux in December, but I think they will find it a lot harder this time.

Prediction: 2-0

MATCH FACTS

Head-to-head

  • Chelsea have registered six successive home wins against Wolves in all competitions, scoring 21 goals and conceding just two.
  • Wolves could earn their first league double over Chelsea since 1974-75, when the Blues were relegated from the top flight.

Chelsea

  • Chelsea have won three of their past four Premier League games – although they lost the other 6-0 at Manchester City.
  • They haven’t won three in a row in the league since beginning the season with five straight victories.
  • The Blues are unbeaten at Stamford Bridge in the league in 2019, winning their last three home games in the top flight.
  • Chelsea have kept clean sheets in half of their home league games this season.
  • They are the only side not to have had a player sent off in this season’s Premier League.
  • Eden Hazard has been directly involved in 23 Premier League goals this season, scoring 12 and setting up 11 to equal his previous best, set in 2014-15.

Wolverhampton Wanderers

  • Wolves have lost just one of their last seven league games (W4, D2). Only the two Manchester sides and Arsenal have taken more points than Wolves during that spell.
  • They have kept just two away clean sheets in this season’s Premier League.
  • Nuno Espírito Santo’s side are unbeaten in their five Premier League games in London this season (W3, D2).
  • Wolves have used just 19 players in the league this season, the fewest of any top-flight side.
  • Raul Jimenez is one short of equalling Wolves’ Premier League record of 12 goals in a single campaign, currently held by Steven Fletcher.
  • Jimenez has been directly involved in seven goals in his last seven Premier League games, with five goals and two assists.

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