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Premier League Match Preview – Wolves vs Chelsea

Wolves host Chelsea at Molineux this weekend, the first time in 28 years Premier League football has been played on Christmas Eve.

Mauricio Pochettino’s side booked their place in the semi-final of the League Cup following a penalty shootout win over Newcastle on Tuesday night, while an inconsistent Wolves fell to defeat at West Ham last Sunday.

Here’s everything you need to know about the fixture.

Form

Wolves: LLWDL

Gary O’Neil’s team have struggled for form as of late, having won just two of their last eight games to sit 13th in the Premier League table.

Wolves fell to a heavy 3-0 defeat at the London Stadium against West Ham last time out. Mohammed Kudus netted a first-half brace for the hosts before Pablo Sarabia had a goal ruled out for Wolves for a narrow offside. Jarrod Bowen added a third past Daniel Bentley, who is currently standing in for the injured Jose Sa.

O’Neil’s side have performed well against teams inside the league’s top 10 this campaign as they have defeated Manchester City and Tottenham, and picked up points against high-flying Aston Villa and Newcastle.

O’Neil will be hoping to see winger Pedro Neto back in the match-day squad. Despite picking up a thigh injury back in October, the Portuguese attacker still boasts the joint-most assists in the Premier League with seven, level with Mohamed Salah and Kieran Trippier.

First-choice goalkeeper Jose Sa remains out with a shoulder injury and Jonny Otto remains outside the first-team squad amid rumours of a January exit.

Chelsea: WLLWW

Despite a ‘hot and cold’ start to the campaign, the Blues find themselves into the semi-finals of the Carabao Cup following a 4-2 penalty shootout win against Newcastle in midweek, a result that followed a 2-0 win over Sheffield United in the Premier League to make it two wins in a week for Pochettino’s men.

Cole Palmer was in fine form against the Blades last Saturday, as he latched on the end of a Raheem Sterling cross to open the scoring and turned provider for Nicolas Jackson seven minutes later.

The former Manchester City man is Chelsea’s second top scorer this season with six, only behind Jackson’s tally of seven, and he’s also picked up three assists in the Premier League.

Like their opponents, Chelsea are likely to be without their first-choice goalkeeper. Following an injury to Robert Sanchez, former New England Revolution shot-stopper Dorde Petrovic is set to continue in between the sticks.

The Serbian kept a clean sheet on his Premier League debut and saved a Matt Ritchie penalty uring the League Cup shoot-out win against Newcastle.

French international Christopher Nkunku is also set to make his Premier League debut following a £52m move from RB Leipzig this summer.

The attacker was setback by an injury suffered in pre-season and came off the bench to score a penalty in Tuesday’s shoot-out.

Last Meeting

Wolves 1-0 Chelsea, April 8th 2023

A Matheus Nunes screamer steered Wolves away from the relegation zone and spoiled Frank Lampard’s return to Chelsea as the Blues fell to a 1-0 defeat the last time the sides met.

Chelsea’s record scorer was placed in interim charge of the club following two wins in 10 Premier League games, form which saw Graham Potter sacked as Blues boss.

Nunes hit a sweetly struck effort past Kepa Arrizabalaga after 31 minutes for his first Premier League goal as Wolves picked up their first win in four games to climb away from the drop zone.

A Chelsea team that included now Arsenal man Kai Havertz, Barcelona’s Joao Felix and Manchester City’s Mateo Kovacic failed to break down Julen Lopetegui’s resolute Wolves, a result which left Chelsea rooted in mid-table mediocrity.

Predicted Lineups

Wolves: Bentley; Kilman, Dawson,T oti Gomes; Semedo, Lemina, Joao Gomes, Ait Nouri; Hee-Chan, Cunha, Sarabia.

Chelsea: Petrovic; Disasi, Silva, Badiashile, Colwill; Caicedo, Gallagher, Fernandez; Palmer, Jackson, Sterling.

Who is the referee?

David Coote.

Is Wolves v Chelsea on TV?

UK and Ireland: Sky Sports Main Event.

USA: USA Network.

What time is kick off?

Sunday 24th December, 13:00pm GMT.

Odds

Wolves – 11/4

Draw – 11/4

Chelsea – 10/11

Read – Pochettino hopes Chelsea can build on Carabao Cup run

See more – Pochettino to be patient with Nkunku return

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