The 18th round of the Premier League completes this Sunday as we bring you the most accurate Wolves v Chelsea predictions and free betting picks. Mauricio Pochettino is looking to harness the momentum from the win against Newcastle United in the League Cup for a series of crucial upcoming matches, commencing with Wolverhampton Wanderers on Christmas Eve.
In securing a spot in the Carabao Cup semi-finals by overcoming Newcastle United in a penalty shoot-out, Chelsea displayed a significant moment in their progression. The team’s resilient performance and unwavering determination to secure the outcome might have marked a pivotal juncture, one that aligns with Pochettino’s aspirations for growth and character development within the squad.
“Step by step we are building something good. We are still far away from what we want but I think we are in a good way. We are doing things that will be positive for the future. At the moment we are only thinking about the game on Christmas Eve,’ he continued. ‘It is going to be tough, it is going to be difficult. We have seen from many games that for the opponent it is very tough to play there at Molineux and of course it’s going to be a challenge. Our objective is to win the first game against Wolves, and then think about three days after against Palace and, of course, three days after that in Luton.It will be massive for us if we are able to win the three games, because nine points would provide us with the opportunity to be in a better position in the table.”Pochettino speaking to the media ahead of the Wolves v Chelsea game on December 24, 2023
With the manager emphasizing the valuable takeaways from their victory against Newcastle, the focus now shifts to applying these lessons in the upcoming festive fixtures in the Premier League. The schedule includes an away clash against Wolverhampton Wanderers on Christmas Eve, followed swiftly by a home match against Crystal Palace, culminating in a year-end trip to Luton Town – all within a span of seven days.
While Pochettino remains focused on the immediate match, he recognizes the opportunity these three successive games present to impact the league standings and generate momentum for the team. Given how seriously Pochettino has focused on the upcoming Christmas schedule, a good betting tip is to back the Blues to win against Wolverhampton. The odds are not bad at the moment – 1.90 for a Chelsea win.
Illness Sweeping Through The Wolves Camp
Gary O’Neil received positive news this week as Pedro Neto returned to training following an absence of nearly two months. However, the head coach also faced setbacks, confirming that three team members are still recuperating from illness that affected the squad.
Mario Lemina, Matheus Cunha, and Craig Dawson have been absent from Compton Park for a few days as they recover from a bug. Meanwhile, Nelson Semedo completed a full week of training, with all four players having experienced illness before the previous weekend’s match against West Ham.
Ahead of Chelsea’s visit to Molineux on Sunday, O’Neil remains optimistic that his entire squad, including Jose Sa, who trained this week after missing the West Ham game due to a shoulder problem, will be in top form. The team aims to provide an early Christmas gift to the fans at Molineux on Christmas Eve.
“Pedro [Neto]’s back training and has trained the full week with the lads, so we’ll see how he goes during the next two days to how much involvement he can have at the weekend. But training’s going well, he feels good, so let’s see how he is come Sunday. Jose Sa’s good. He trained fully the last couple of days, so he’ll be fit and ready for the weekend. There were actually four lads who were ill [at West Ham] and they missed a couple of days after the game. Mario and Matheus Cunha didn’t train the first day with the group and Daws’ missed the first couple. Nels [Semedo] was ok because he was a bit further along with his, so he was feeling slightly better and has trained the full week. But so far, no-one else seemed to have picked it up so it looks like we’re coming through that now. They’re all back in training fully today, Daws’ first day back training and they all came through fully.”Gary O’Neil speaking to reporters ahead of the match against Chelsea.
Wolves’ goalkeeper Jose Sa has regained fitness following a shoulder injury that sidelined him during the loss to West Ham.
Pedro Neto might make a comeback after nearly two months away due to a hamstring injury, while Nelson Semedo has recovered from an illness.
Chelsea’s defender Reece James is facing an extended period out after undergoing hamstring surgery.
Enzo Fernandez is under evaluation after being substituted due to a stomach bug during the midweek victory against Newcastle.
Romeo Lavia, Noni Madueke, and Lesley Ugochukwu have all resumed training. Lavia, who joined Chelsea from Southampton in August, could potentially make his debut.
Wolves aim to achieve consecutive victories against Chelsea for the first time since winning three in a row between 1973 and 1975. The Blues have not secured a win in their last three visits to Molineux, drawing one and losing two matches.
This game marks only the second Premier League fixture played on Christmas Eve since Leeds United’s 3-1 victory over Manchester United at Elland Road in 1995. Both clubs’ previous matches on December 24th were in 1966: Wolves triumphed 5-3 against Derby County, while Chelsea suffered a 2-1 defeat to Liverpool.
Wolves maintain an undefeated streak of six Premier League games at Molineux, with three wins and three draws. They’ve scored in each of their last 15 Premier League home matches, marking their longest top-flight scoring streak at Molineux since a run of 16 between August and March in 1969-70. Their most recent Christmas Eve fixture at Molineux resulted in a 2-0 victory over Aston Villa in 1960. Additionally, they have secured six consecutive top-flight home victories against London teams, conceding only one goal while scoring nine.
Hwang Hee-chan has showcased impressive form, netting eight goals in 17 Premier League appearances this season, matching his total from his first two seasons at Wolves, where he scored eight goals in 57 games. Notably, six of Hwang’s goals have been scored at Molineux, placing him second in home goals this season behind Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah, who has also scored eight.
Chelsea’s away form has been challenging, having suffered three consecutive Premier League defeats on the road, marking their worst away run since Claudio Ranieri’s era in 2000. They are striving to secure consecutive Premier League victories for only the third time in 2023. The Blues have also struggled in their previous three Christmas Eve away league fixtures, recording one draw and two losses.
Raheem Sterling boasts an impressive record against Wolves, contributing to six goals in his last six Premier League encounters against them, scoring four and providing two assists.
Wolves vs Chelsea Predictions And Betting Picks
I am backing up Chelsea to win this game, but Wolves should be able to get on the scoresheet too.