EPL Betting Preview: Chelsea vs. Wolves – Sunday, March 10, 2019
Matchup at a Glance
When: Sunday, March 10, 2019, at 10:05 AM
Where: Stamford Bridge, London, England.
Odds: Chelsea -189, Draw +285, Wolves +500 @ Intertops
The Londoners gained a very comfortable lead in their UEFA Europa League round of 16 tie against the Ukrainians while Maurizio Sarri rested some key players who should all feature here.
Because of that, confidence will be high after some days of uncertainty around the two defeats by Manchester City last month and the awkward conflict between Sarri and Kepa Arrizabalaga in the League Cup final.
Wolves returned to winning ways after two disappointing results in the closing days of February. The 2-0 win over relegation-threatened Cardiff City last weekend was somehow a must, preceded by a shocking loss at relegation-bound Huddersfield Town, so the upcoming Stamford Bridge trip is actually a general warm-up before the FA Cup quarter-final against Manchester United next weekend.
Head-to-Head Stats (H2H)
Nuno Espírito Santo's side have bounced back from their worst form of the season when they beat Chelsea in early December. Moreover, the 2-1 win at Molineux happened in a moment when the Blues were still in the title race and it was only their second defeat of the season. Although Ruben Loftus-Cheek gave Chelsea the lead, Wolves made a comeback with two second-half goals from Raul Jimenez and Diogo Jota.
Chelsea have won all four of their Premier League home games against Wolverhampton Wanderers, scoring 14 goals and conceding just two.
The Blues have only lost one of their last 53 home league matches against newly promoted clubs – 1-0 to AFC Bournemouth in December 2015.
If Wolves win, they will become the first promoted team to do the Premier League double over Chelsea since Charlton Athletic (2-0 home, 1-0 away) in the 2000-01 campaign.
Before their defeat earlier in the season, Chelsea have won four consecutive games against Wolves in all competitions.
Chelsea – Team News
Chelsea currently sits sixth in the Premier League, but they also have a game in hand over fourth-placed Manchester United and fifth-placed Arsenal who face each other at the Emirates less than an hour after Chelsea's match.
While the Blues are looking for a third successive Premier League victory, Maurizio Sarri has no fresh injury concerns and the Italian will use a completely different lineup to the midweek.
Antonio Rudiger, Emerson, N'Golo Kante, Eden Hazard and Gonzalo Higuain are among the players likely to return after Sarri rotated his squad on Thursday night (local time), while Pedro could retain his starting berth over Willian after an impressive display against Dynamo Kyiv.
Andreas Christensen and David Luiz are in contention for the second center-back spot, while Ross Barkley and Mateo Kovacic compete for the third midfield spot, if we assume that Jorginho and Kante are sure starters.
Wolverhampton Wanderers – Team News
Wolves will be seventh unless Watford doesn't shock leaders Man City on Saturday, and the gap between them and sixth Chelsea is thirteen points. Of course, the West Midlands outfit will be keen to retain the seventh place but the FA Cup is quite an opportunity for the extremely ambitious newly promoted side.
Center-back Ryan Bennett is Wolves' only absentee due to suspension. With his absence, Nuno Espírito Santo may be tempted to switch formations and play 4-2-3-1 instead of 3-5-2. However, Romain Saiss, who was brilliant in midfield against Cardiff City, can be moved at the back alongside skipper Conor Coady and Willy Boly.
Rui Patricio, Jonny Castro, Matt Doherty, Joao Moutinho and Ruben Neves were surprisingly dropped in the last round, probably as a reaction to Wolves' surprise defeat to Huddersfield Town.
Ruben Vinagre could keep his place at left-wingback over Jonny but Matt Doherty will most likely get the nod ahead of Adama Traore on the other flank.
Rui Patricio should return in goal, while Moutinho's experience can be priceless in midfield. Meanwhile, Leander Dendoncker and Morgan Gibbs-White should keep their starting spots over Ruben Neves.
Possible Starting Lineups of Chelsea and Wolves
Chelsea: Kepa Arrizabalaga – Emerson, David Luiz, Antonio Rudiger, Cesar Azpilicueta – Ross Barkley, Jorginho, N'Golo Kante – Eden Hazard, Gonzalo Higuain, Pedro. (4-3-3)
Wolverhampton Wanderers: Rui Patricio – Romain Saiss, Conor Coady, Willy Boly – Matt Doherty, Joao Moutinho, Morgan Gibbs-White, Leander Dendoncker, Ruben Vinagre – Raul Jimenez, Diogo Jota. (3-5-2)
Wolves are doing really well against the top six clubs. They have won 9 points against them, more than any of the other 13 top flight clubs this season. Nuno Espírito Santo's men have already avoided defeat in their visits at Manchester United, Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur.
Chelsea will not get an easy ride against a tough Wolves squad, although the Blues began to look settled of late with back-to-back London derby wins against Spurs and Fulham. Furthermore, another victory for Chelsea would see them leapfrog Arsenal and United.
The Londoners are favorites to earn the three points but we expect a tight encounter where both teams will score.