Saturday serves up a second home game this week for the Blues with domestic action following on the heels of our European exit. Club historian Rick Glanvill and club statistician Paul Dutton welcome the Wanderers…
Fifth-placed Chelsea host Wolverhampton, currently 18th in the Premier League table, for another 3pm start on Saturday, the Blues’ fourth in eight Premier League games. Graham Potter hopes his unbeaten start will extend to a first win in five games for the Londoners over Wolves; the last three meetings have been draws.
If so, the Blues will take the undefeated home run in all competitions against Wanderers to 13 games, going back 43 years to March 1979. That’s our second-longest home run streak after the one against Fulham, whose last win was in 1964. .
Wolves are undefeated in four games against the Blues home and away, but it hasn’t been their best time recently. Caretaker managers James Collins and Steve Davis will be in charge of the visitors this weekend, a record three goals in eight league games and shutouts in his last two outings saw Bruno Lage sacked.
This is the first league action at Stamford Bridge in over a month, but Chelsea will be buoyed by a big win at home on the European front in midweek. The Londoners have scored at least two goals in our last four league games at Bridge and are unbeaten there in seven.
In each of the last two league games the Blues have come from behind to win 2-1; we have never conceded first and we have won three times in a row in the Premier League.
chelsea team news
There was much to admire in Wednesday’s lopsided loss to AC Milan, not least of which was the relentless hunting and gathering, the flourishing partnerships across the pitch and the resilience under occasional pressure. Cobham’s five-man squad once again shone, notably the fearsome Reece James (now the youngest Chelsea player to assist and score in the same Champions League game) and Ruben Loftus-Cheek in the central midfield role. that many believe makes better use of their strengths.
With set-pieces coach Anthony Barry egging on from the touchline, crosses thrown over Milan’s first line of defense caused problems for the visitors and brought forward Wesley Fofana, a first for the Blues. He joins Ben Chilwell and Conor Gallagher in the ‘one goal, one shot’ club; with his second in consecutive games since he ditched the mask, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is now two for two.
However, if the Blues head coach fancied copy-pasting the same team sheet for the Wolves, he’s out of luck as Fofana came out with a knee injury, with confirmation of how long he’ll likely be absent in the season. Potter’s press conference. His replacement on Wednesday night, Trevoh Chalobah, took the opportunity to remind the new coach of his qualities, while Cesar Azpilicueta or, with a change or two, Marc Cucurella, could also step in. With Tuesday’s trip to Lombardy in mind, Thiago Silva could be rested, especially as Kalidou Koulibaly excelled in his first start with Potter.
Edou Mendy returned to the bench in midweek, but Kepa Arrizabalaga defended the retention of the gloves with the first clean sheet of the season from day one at Everton.
However, getting the European campaign back on track is one thing. Chelsea need to continue accumulating positive results to make up lost ground in the top flight. The Injured Wolves are exactly the kind of prey the Blues need to dispatch to make it to the top four.
Lage boots to fill
As the wheelchair hopefuls vie to succeed the late boss Bruno Lage, the Wolves will be managed on Saturday by James Collins and Steve Davis, coaches of their Under-21 and Under-18 squads respectively.
Daniel Podence, their top scorer with two, admitted “we’re not scoring goals, we’re conceding a lot, so I think we have to show a different character and personality.” However, many Wanderers supporters felt the Portuguese was too loyal to the players who started despite continued lack of form and wanted changes.
With Conor Coady and Willy Body out and Nathan Collins suspended, Lage moved captain Ruben Neves from midfield to central defense between Max Kilman and Jonny Otto, but in their last game West Ham won 2–0.
Neves’ move from midfield left two men, including 36-year-old Joao Moutinho, filling in the gaps. That choice is not an option at Stamford Bridge as Neves has collected five yellow cards and is suspended.
Lage claimed his side were a different animal with a striker, and injuries to Raúl Jiménez, Sasa Kalajdzic and Pedro Neto prompted a late move from Diego Costa, now 34. The former Chelsea player connected well with fellow substitute Adama Traore down the right against the Hammers, and lofted a cross from his fellow Spanish international, though his header went wide.
However, the equation for new managers to solve is that the team with the seventh-highest possession average has a lower total expected goals (6.9xG) than any top-tier rival except Aston Villa and Bournemouth. They have scored a division minimum of three goals.
That said, the Black Country club have been comeback kings against Chelsea since their return to the Premier League in 2018, saving eight points from losing positions against the Blues (more than any other team during that period). In fact, the last time they scored more than once in the top flight was a 2-2 draw at Stamford Bridge in May, the first game of the Boehly/Clearlake era.
Diego Costa arrives home
Wolves striker Diego Costa, a two-time title winner with Chelsea and a true pirate of the pitch, is one of only seven Blues players to score 50 or more Premier League goals. Last year, at Atlético Mineiro, winner of the Brazilian Serie A, he had started a quarter of the games and scored four times, the last in November. The Brazil-born Spain international made his Wanderers debut at West Ham last weekend. Bem coming home, Diego.
Managers’ Maiden Bows
The visitors’ bench this weekend is likely to be occupied by the first caretaker manager to face Chelsea since Manchester United’s Michael Carrick on November 28, 2021. Whoever is in charge will be the 15th different manager to face the Blues. in his first outing from the Premier League. . Ten of the previous 14 were beaten, with Everton’s Duncan Ferguson in December 2019 the only winner.
There is no place for racism
Players will take a knee before kick-off over the next two weekends to highlight the Premier League’s ‘No Room for Racism’ message and highlight the action needed to remove discrimination from the game and promote equality, diversity and inclusion.
Before the match, the Chelsea Supporters’ Trust will set up shop outside the Oswald Stoll Trust on Fulham Road to collect donations for Hammersmith and Fulham Foodbank. Canned foods (including vegetarian), long-lasting beverages and toiletries are needed even more in these difficult times.
Matchday 10 matches of the Premier League
Calendar for Saturday October 8
Bournemouth-Leicester 3:00 p.m.
Chelsea-Lobos 3:00 p.m.
Manchester City-Southampton 3:00 p.m.
Newcastle-Brentford 3:00 p.m.
Brighton-Tottenham 17:30 (Sky Sports)
Matches on Sunday, October 9
Crystal Palace-Leeds 14:00 (Sky Sports)
West Ham-Fulham 2:00 p.m.
Arsenal-Liverpool 4:30 p.m. (Sky Sports)
Everton-Man Utd 19:00 (BT Sport)
Monday October 10