Wolves vs. Chelsea: Premier League odds, preview, and pick
Wolverhampton will look to repeat last season’s success against Chelsea when Wolves host the Blues in Premier League action on Sunday.
Let's dive into this eagerly anticipated match, beginning with the latest betting odds.
Sun, December 19 2021, 2:00 PM
Wolves aren’t scoring - and neither are their opponents
Only one team in the Premier League has scored fewer goals than Wolves this season. They have just 13 tallies in 17 matches this season, and in their past five matches they have scored just once, defeating Brighton 1-0 in their last outing. Wolves also have scored the fewest home goals of any team, with just five goals in their eight matches played at Molineux Stadium. When they do manage to score, they are unbeaten on the season.
Thankfully for Bruno Lage’s men, their opponents aren’t scoring either. Wolves have kept clean sheets in six matches this season, and have conceded just two goals in their last six fixtures and 14 total on the campaign. Their defense is rock-solid in the first half, as they have not allowed a goal against before the halftime break in their past 10 matches. This is a key reason why they have suffered just three defeats on the season and are sitting just five points outside the top four.
Their goal-scoring woes could be helped with the return of forward Raul Jimenez from suspension, especially given the fact Hwang Hee-chan limped off with injury against Brighton. Wolves will be without Fabio Silva and Yerson Mosquera due to COVID-19 positive tests.
Chelsea reeling from injuries and positive COVID-19 tests
After being one of the stingiest defenses in the league in their own right, injuries to N’Golo Kante and Mateo Kovacic caused a midfield crisis for Chelsea that continues to cause problems for the club. The Blues have failed to keep a clean sheet in their last five Premier League matches, the longest such stretch since Thomas Tuchel took over as manager.
Forwards Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner tested positive for COVID-19 this week and missed Chelsea’s 1-1 draw with Everton. Chelsea took a lead on Thursday through a goal from Mason Mount, who has now scored for the Blues in four consecutive league matches. However, they conceded just four minutes later. The draw put them on just four points from their last three matches. They now sit four points behind Manchester City and dropping points again this weekend could put them in a massive hole in the title race.
Kante is expected to return to the lineup and shore up their defense. However, Kovacic just returned to training on Friday, and might not be able to feature just yet. They also will be without Jorginho, who continues to struggle with back issues, and Ruben Loftus-Cheek, who was injured on Thursday.
The biggest concern for Chelsea now may be their attack. While the return of Kai Havertz to training on Friday could be a boost, the Blues showed little threat after conceding to Everton. Additionally, they scored just one goal from open play in their previous outing, a 3-2 win against Leeds where they were saved by two penalties in the second half.
Wolves and Chelsea Betting Trends
- Wolves defeated Chelsea 2-1 in the reverse fixture last season, and their only three victories against Chelsea in the Premier League have come in their last five meetings at Molineux
- Under 2.5 goals have been scored in each of Wolves’ last seven matches, while Chelsea’s last four away matches have each seen the Over hit
- Chelsea are unbeaten in 10 of their last 11 Premier League matches
- Wolves have lost just twice in their last six matches, a pair of 1-0 defeats to Manchester City and Liverpool
- The 12 total goals scored in Wolves’ eight home matches are the fewest in the league, with just two being scored in their last three outings
Expect a low-scoring affair
Given how much Chelsea has struggled to break down compact defenses without Lukaku, and how ferociously Liverpool had to attack to get just one goal, I expect a low-scoring affair here. Additionally, the return of Kante instantly shores up Chelsea’s defense, which would make it difficult for any team to score on them. Asking a struggling Wolves attack to do so is a tall task.
Chelsea’s entire setup could also be compromised should further COVID-19 positive tests be returned, and with players returning to the lineup I could see some rust and cohesion struggles early on. Stay on the trend and take Wolves to not concede a goal in their 11th consecutive first half, while not scoring one either.
If you’re in the mood for a Same Game Combo, go big and pair the full-time draw with zero goals scored, which pays slightly better than simply betting a 0-0 scoreline.
Score prediction: Wolves 0-0 Chelsea