A defeat for Chelsea at Anfield on Wednesday night means that they’re still in the hunt for that one point that will secure a Champions League spot for next term. They may still find themselves in Europe’s elite tier competition even if they lose though, should Man Utd do them a favour and beat Leicester.
However, Frank Lampard will certainly want to keep their fate in their own hands and end their league season on a high note at Stamford Bridge this Sunday.
Wolves are in the hunt for another season of European football and they’ve been cruising along nicely this term as they sit in sixth place.
Despite this, they’ll know that with Spurs just one point behind them, they’ll need to push for the win as seventh place isn’t yet guaranteed Europa League football next term (Arsenal are in the FA Cup final and still in with a shout of snatching the final qualification spot).
Nuno Espirito Santo’s men have gone W5-D1-L2 since the return from the enforced break and interestingly, each one of those games where they dropped points came against top-half sides.
Indeed, facing such teams this season they’re a mediocre W3-D8-L6, which is considerably worse than the eight such victories they managed last term.
It should be noted though that only two of those six defeats this season came on the road, as they won at both Spurs and Man City (W2-D4-L2).
Wolves failed to take a half time lead in any of those 17 fixtures with the breakaway top half, trailing at the break in 11, and given they managed just the solitary first half strike across these you have to feel their hosts could inflict the first blow.
Furthermore, they have just one goal from their last 10 opening 45 minutes of football on the road against anyone, so we just can’t see them turning that around versus a resolute side like Chelsea.
First Half Result – Chelsea
The Blues have been involved in an array of high-scoring encounters in recent months. 10 of their last 11 fixtures dating back to late February have seen more than two goals, with an average of 3.8 per game as the 5-3 defeat to Jurgen Klopp’s Reds reinforced that.
However, that result came on the road and back at the Bridge they’ve won their last two against top-half outfits, beating both Spurs and City 2-1.
A first half record here against those sides of W6-D2 is enough for us to be confident in them taking the lead.
Not to mention, they’ve won five games on the bounce here now, netting the first of the game and securing W/W doubles in each.