Chelsea Match Preview: Wolves v Chelsea

  • The Blues of course would love a win, but their second half and defensive struggles won't subside in this game.

With the first disruption, er….international break, of the season over, Chelsea restart their Premier League campaign against Wolverhampton Wanderers on Saturday afternoon in what will most likely amount to a tough match for the Blues.

Frank Lampard’s side will look to double their so-far disappointing win tally, to two, at the Molineux Stadium. To do so, they'll need midfielder Mason Mount to continue his impressive start to the season. The young Englishman received his first two caps over the break which should continue skyrocketing his confidence. 

Tammy Abraham and Mason mount celebrate goal for Chelsea (Getty Images)

Tammy Abraham, another young England international, will also need a good game for the Blues. To quell criticism, he'll want to notch his first goal against a non promoted team.

Helping set up the attack is 20 year old Christian Pulisic. The American has registered only one assist this season and has been anonymous at times when on the pitch. He needs to start asserting himself better in games to make an impact, especially against mid table sides, and Wolves is the perfect time to start.

The attack has been silky and flashy at times, so scoring should not be an issue. Plus, Wolves are a team Chelsea will likely battle for a top 6 spot come the end of the year. So, three points away from Stamford Bridge here will go a long way in that fight. 

Going forward hasn’t been a problem for Chelsea yet this year. Instead, defensively is where they’ve been dreadful in the opening four matches.

Read More: Tough, But Great UCL Draw For Chelsea.

The normally reliable Cesar Azpilicueta has seen a massive drop off to begin the season. On several occasions, the Spaniard has lost his man or reacted late, leading to several goals. Hopefully the international break has allowed him a mental and physical reset.

Defender Kurt Zouma has also had a nightmare start. Before the international break, his own goal at the death knell at home gifted Sheffield United a point. Come Saturday, the french international may see himself dropped to the substitutes’ bench in favor of Antonio Rudiger.

Lampard declared Rudiger fit for the first time this season at his pregame presser on Friday. And should the German find himself in the starting XI, his presence should bring calm and stability to the backline, something the squad has been missing.

Emerson exiting through injury while on International Duty with Italy

Staying at the back, Chelsea’s best defender in the early stages of the season, Emerson, had to exit a Euro 2020 Qualifier for Italy due to injury. He remains a doubt for this weekend meaning Marcos Alonso will likely deputize at left back. Alonso should be rested and ready to fly up and down touchline after only making one cameo appearance this season.

Also in his presser on Friday, Lampard announced N’Golo Kante is doubtful for the match which is a big blow. The World Cup winner has been sorely missed due to a myriad of injuries and the Blues defensive struggles will surely continue without Kante.

"The Blues of course would love a win, but their second half and defensive struggles won't subside in this game."

Chelsea last season at Molineux took the lead in the first half before conceding two second half goals and will arguably do the same tomorrow afternoon. Chelsea have allowed six second half goals in four games this year, two of which led to dropping points.

Raul Jimenez celebrates goal with Wolves

Wolves will most likely have goal scoring machine Raul Jimenez starting and Patrick Cutrone ready to come off the bench and inject life to the attack. Super sub Adama Traore has made a world of difference this season when subbing on and should give Marcos Alonso, or whoever’s on the left side, a fresh legged headache late on as well.

The Blues of course would love a win, but their second half and defensive struggles won't subside in this game. A draw seems to be the most likely outcome after 90 minutes between Wolves and Chelsea.

Saturday: 3pm

Venue: Molineux

Last season: Wolves 2 Chelsea 1

Referee: Graham Scott.

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