The 2-1 win in this fixture last time out might well have been the most important result of the season.
It triggered an upturn in form at a pivotal point in the campaign after a run of defeats threatened to drag us down towards the bottom third of the table.
Nuno changed the tactics and picked an experimental side that evening to conjure up the victory. He may have to repeat the trick again after a disjointed performance at Everton.
It’s an all too rare Saturday 3pm kick-off, which in itself is cause for celebration.
One win, two draws and a defeat probably isn’t the start Frank Lampard had hoped for but it’s tough to know what is fair to expect of this Chelsea side.
They’re backing youth this season and while it’s admirable to see the likes of Abraham, Mount and Tomori given the spotlight, they’re almost entirely untested at this level.
Factor in the likes of Pulisic, Kovacic, Barkley and Jorginho who are all talented but hardly setting the Premier League alight and it feels like a proper deep dive into the unknown.
Surely a top-six finish would be considered a serious success in the current climate?
Injuries don’t help of course and they will undoubtedly benefit if/when they get players like Rudiger, Pedro and Kante fully fit and firing. All could return for this one.
In the meantime, surrendering a 2 goal lead at home to a newly promoted team shows the vulnerabilities that exist and are there to be exploited.
The away end
Some views lifted from Talk Chelsea pre-match thread.
Espirito Santo is the manager we should have gotten, but it is what it is. We have to make do with our naive tactics of collapsing every second half to even relegation candidates at home for this season.Let’s hope we somehow scrape a win here.
hey look as though they’ve taken a step back from last season so far. Commentator suggested that their EL fixtures are effecting them. With their best CB now suspended, that should help us a bit.But Wolves are the prototype side if you want to play against us effectively. Loads of pacey, athletic players in wide areas, a couple of great long ball midfielders, and a striker who presses constantly and will pounce on mistakes at the back in Jimenez. I fear that if Kante and Rüdiger aren’t back and fully fit in 2 weeks time Wolves will beat us.
In last two home games we’ve totally dominated by mediocre opposition in the second halves. For me it does not matter too much who plays in CB (although experienced players may help in getting the team organized), if clumsy Zouma or nervy Tomoro, but we will leak goals eventually if we lose every second ball in midfield and attack. There are a lot of spaces in between our lines, and that needs to be addressed by all 11 players on the pitch, not one or two.I’m fairly certain frank sees the same, it’s both obvious and a little embarrassing, but it is already difficult to make a team compact and focused with experienced players, let alone youngsters who are mostly new to this level of play. One of the most blatant differences from championship and PL sides, aside from technique, is physicality. Any physical advantages that our academy players may have had playing championship (and they did with their better preparation) is just nonexistent in the PL, esp against stronger opposition. Still, we need to fix these gaps if we want to stabilize the team. I was hoping for a more pragmatic approach in the beginning of the season, but I am also very curious as to whether he will tweak his approach in these more challenging away matches. Can’t imagine that our progressive style will do too well away from home in its current state. A riddle about academy players: if you can acquire a youngster from a smaller club to replace a player you already have: they are the same age, position, and about the same level of play. Do you keep your player, or acquire the one from the smaller club? yes, it is a bit more nuanced than hat, but the answer makes sense and it is the opposite of what most fans would think or like. (The answer is above)
Losing Willy Boly for this one was a kick in the goolies we could have done without. I’d expect Saiss or Valejo to fill the sizeable gap that leaves in the side.
I’d be more inclined to move Saiss into the back three as I’m not a hundred per cent confident Vallejo is up to speed in our system.
Moutinho, Jota and Jimenez all failed to clock up serious minutes for their national sides so hopefully that’s to our benefit on Saturday.
I hope Jonny comes back into the team because I think we need the balance of his steady presence, particularly with Doherty sidelined.
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Lord Twix, Matt Cook, Ash K, Woodend Wolf, vicsmith, kiwiwolf, DC Wolves, and JackoMac all collected 2 points by correctly forecasting doom at Goodison Park. Check out the full table after Gameweek 4 here.
If you’d like to join in this week simply leave your prediction in the comment section below using the boxes provided.
That’s where you’ll also find my best guess for this one.
Up The Wolves!