Mauricio Pochettino blamed our horrendous showing at Anfield midweek partly on our lack of confidence away from home, where we’ve now lost six of seven in all competitions (with 7 scored and 17! conceded) and almost fumbled that one win away as well, collapsing late on to make a 3-0 lead at Luton Town look very dangerous.
And that run indeed stands in stark contrast with our recent home record, where we’ve now gone ten unbeaten in all competitions (eight wins), with four straight wins in the Premier League. Stamford Bridge hasn’t always been a happy place in the last couple years, but these winter months have seen some good results — albeit often against substandard opposition. Only one of those eight wins was against a team above us in the table (a second, against Newcastle, required penalties in the League Cup).
Thankfully, Wolves are currently below us in the table as well, right below us in fact, with a two-point gap. Another epic midtable showdown incoming then!
Date / Time: Sunday, February 4, 2024, 14.00 GMT; 9am EST; 7:30pm IST
Venue: Stamford Bridge, SW6
Referee: Tim Robinson (on pitch); Simon Hooper (VAR)
On TV: none (UK); USA, Telemundo (USA); Star Sports Select HD2 (India); SuperSport MaXimo 1, Canal+ Sport 4 (NGA); elsewhere
Streaming: none (UK); NBC Sports Live, Telemundo Deportes En Vivo (USA); Hotstar (India); DStv Now (NGA)
Chelsea team news: Nicolas Jackson is back from warming the bench with Senegal at the Africa Cup of Nations: well rested and ready to play, presumably. Christopher Nkunku and Malo Gusto are also back from their respective injuries though their match fitness is questionable still. Carney Chukwuemeka has made four consecutive appearances off the bench since his return, while Ben Chilwell’s also working on a four-match streak, with two starts (of mixed success).
Reece James, Wesley Fofana, Marc Cucurella, Roméo Lavia, Robert Sánchez, Lesley Ugochukwu, and Trevoh Chalobah remain out, while Levi Colwill’s set to miss a third successive game with his supposedly oh-so-minor injury. An injury-list in the single digits is almost a win in and of itself at this point.
Wolves team news: Wolves’ 2-1 win against us on Christmas Eve would turn out to be the start of a seven-match unbeaten run for them (five wins) and only a last-gasp winner by Kobbie Mainoo consigned them to defeat against Manchester United last time out. As in the case of our home streak, their opposition during that run weren’t exactly the cream of the crop (three of those seven games was against Brentford), but you can only ever beat what’s in front of you.
In what’s certainly a rarity in modern football, Wolves have a clean bill of health, and are only missing Hwang Hee-chan and Boubacar Traoré, who are away at the Asia Cup and the Africa of Nations with South Korea and Mali, respectively. In leading scorer Hwang’s absence, Matheus Cunha has picked up the slack with three goals in his last six games, while Pedro Neto has scored in back-to-back games.
Previously: We’ve won just one of our last seven games against Wolves, though they have not won at Stamford Bridge since 1979, in ten tries (three draws in their last five visits though).