Wolves vs Chelsea: Match preview, predicted line-ups and score prediction

The FA Cup returns this weekend and Wolves will be looking to knock out a Premier League team for the third successive round. They have already beaten Stoke City and Liverpool, but it is difficult to see them doing the same to league leaders Chelsea. It would be an excellent first season in England for Antonio Conte if he manages to win both the Premier League and the FA Cup, but he must guide his side past tricky Championship opposition.

It was a shock that Wolves managed to knock Stoke City out of the competition in the third round, but they managed to top that in the fourth round as they beat Liverpool at Anfield. Although they had only 21% possession, Paul Lambert formed the perfect game plan and his players carried it out to the letter. They managed to score in the first minute and kept things tight at the back thereafter. They will need to deliver a similar – if not greater – level of performance to have a chance of beating Chelsea this weekend.

Chelsea have had a lot of recent success in the FA Cup, winning the trophy in four of the last nine seasons, but they haven’t done so since 2012. Antonio Conte has the freedom to attack this season’s competition as his side already has an eight-point lead in the Premier League and several fringe players that are chomping at the bit to have an opportunity in the first team. They have reached this stage with relative ease and they will be confident of progressing to the last eight.

Recent form

Wolves have slight relegation concerns this season, with the side only six points above the bottom three in the Championship. They have lost their last three league matches and it could be a blessing in disguise to get knocked out of the FA Cup this weekend. That said, it has been in this competition that they have delivered some of their best performances and it could provide a welcome respite from the league.

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Chelsea’s incredible form is well known and they are currently an intimidating proposition for any side in the country. They have only failed to win on three occasions since the end of September, which highlights the difficult task that faces Wolves. The Championship side can take some confidence from the way that Burnley played last weekend against Chelsea, as they caused the league leaders problems and could have taken all three points on another day.

Predicted line-ups

The only change for Wolves that I’m expecting is Andreas Weimann to come into the team on the left wing. He scored in the last round and has plenty of Premier League experience. Helder Costa is the danger man that Chelsea need to keep a close eye on.

Chelsea will make several changes, with Asmir Begovic, Nathan Ake, Kurt Zouma, Cesc Fabregas, Willian and Michy Batshuayi all likely starters. It is a good opportunity for the squad players to show what they can do.

Wolves                                                                   Chelsea

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Injuries/suspensions

Jordan Graham has resumed full training after a long period out, but he is unlikely to feature this weekend. Michal Zyro is the only major injury concern for the home side.

 

John Terry is the only player that will be missing through injury for the Premier League leaders, but Chelsea fans will be expecting several changes to be made this weekend.

Verdict

Chelsea have been excellent since the change of formation and the fringe players have always looked good when given the opportunity to step up. Wolves have had a good FA Cup run to date, but this tie looks to be one too far and I would expect the Premier League side to progress. They have a lot more talent in their ranks and Antonio Conte will make sure that complacency isn’t an issue. The Blues are serious contenders to win the FA Cup as well as the Premier League and I am expecting a dominant performance against Wolves this weekend.

Score prediction: Wolves 0-2 Chelsea

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