The peace and quiet of the international break is over, and is about to be replaced by the tension and overreactions of proper football. Chelsea play seven times between now and the start of the next break in three weeks, on October 6, across three competitions. Brace yourselves.
The first test is one of the toughest, away to Wolverhampton Wanderers, who took four points from Chelsea last season, including a 2-1 win at Molineux and a 1-1 draw at Stamford Bridge, with Raul Jimenez (twice) and Diogo Jota sharing in the goal celebrations. They will certainly be looking to feast on the counter once again.
While neither team have gotten off to stellar starts — just 1 win in their 8 games combined — Wolves have not lost a home game in any competition since January 2nd. And Chelsea are far from firing on all cylinders. This is where the good vibes need to start turning into good results.
Date / Time: Saturday, September 14, 2019; 15:00 BST; 10am EDT; 7:30pm IST
Venue: Molineux, Wolverhampton, England
Referee: Graham Scott — He was supposed to referee the match against Leicester City, but got stuck in traffic and fourth official Langford had to step in.
On TV: none (UK); none (USA); elsewhere
Streaming: NBC Sports Gold (USA); Chelsea TV (audio commentary only — int’l)
Wolves team news: Willy Boly is suspended and Matt Doherty is coming back from injury, but otherwise Wolves are at full pack. They do have European games (Europa League) and League Cup matches to contend with as well, which can test even the deepest squads.
Nuno Espirito Santo, who once faced Lampard in 2004 while a goalkeeper for FC Porto, is still looking for his first Premier League win of the season and would undoubtedly love to get it here and continue their habit of being a massive thorn in top-six teams’ sides.
Chelsea team news: There is some good news on the injury front, with Antonio Rudiger, Mateo Kovacic, and Pedro all fit, but the squad is still down several key players, including N’Golo Kante and Emerson. Youngsters Callum Hudson-Odoi and Reece James played 60 and 45 minutes, respectively on Friday night for the U23 team and should be back in first-team contention sooner rather than later.
Chelsea have four home games in a row after this one, with Valencia (CL), Liverpool (PL), Grimsby (League Cup), and Brighton coming to visit. But with just five points from the first four games, there’s no time to waste in getting back into the winning habit.
Previously: Since Chelsea failed to beat Wolves in two tries last season, how about some good goals from the month that was instead?