The make or break fixtures for December always looked like being Brighton and Watford. So far, that’s proved correct.
Predictable defeats to the top two and a narrow victory over an alright but not brilliant Seagulls side have us on track.
We’re back in bonus ball territory on Sunday – assuming it goes ahead – and if Wolves can show the same application they did against Liverpool and City, we’ll have a great chance of getting something.
As we approach halfway, getting to 40 points is still the main objective, but I think 50 is realistic if the team maintain consistency and then anything north would represent an excellent season.
The Blues have just started to wobble. In isolation, drawing with Man Utd and losing at West Ham isn’t disastrous, but dropping points at home to Everton will have hurt.
City and Liverpool have won all their games in the same period meaning 7 valuable points have been surrendered and that’s way too much to keep pace with the juggernauts.
What they really need now is four straight wins over Christmas to keep them in contention before they play the top two back-to-back in January. This is definitely a defining moment in their season.
Covid has reduced Thomas Tuchel’s options with Lukaku, Werner, Huson-Odoi and Chilwell all testing positive. None will feature in this fixture.
It’s not been made clear what the criteria are for a postponement but you’d have thought we’re teetering on the edge with four other games for the weekend already cancelled.
Bruno Lage has his own problems to solve with Ait-Nouri and Hwang both limping out of the Brighton game. We don’t have the luxury of Chelsea’s mega-squad to fall back on so even a couple of injuries have us stretched to the limit.
Raul’s return will help and despite some flourishes from the front three in the second half at Brighton I don’t think many would argue against him being restored to the side.
It could be any combination of Traore, Podence and Trincao supporting or maybe just one of them with Dendoncker packing out the midfield.
Moutinho and Neves have been used interchangeably at times by Bruno with Dendoncker brought in so that could be another option with a reasonably quick turnaround from Wednesday.
Last time out
Pedro Neto’s late winner in this fixture last season was arguably the high point of our entire campaign and felt seismic given the struggles we endured in the winter months. It was a deserved victory too after a strong comeback in a second-half where Daniel Podence also made his mark.
When we arrived at Stamford Bridge a month later, Frank Lampard was gone and Thomas Tuchel was in the dugout for his first game in charge. We well and truly parked the bus and restricted Chelsea to very little. Pedro Neto even had a good chance to win it on the counter but lifted narrowly over the bar.
Well done to Mutt1eigh, St.Kitts Wolves, Silverwolf, Steppenwolfe, Steve, King of the cowshed, Woodend wolf, Rich, AveburyWolf, Brunos jab will knock ’em out(in the shed), Lord Twix, Brompton Wolf, Wolfstroker, Border Wolf and DeptfordWolf who all collected a maximum by correctly forecasting a 1-0 win on Wednesday.
Brompton Wolf leads the way at the top of the overall table at the end of Gameweek 17.
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You can read my prediction for the game in the comment section below.
Up The Wolves!
Polite request – when commenting in the preview article after the game has finished, can you not place score predictions in the boxes, please? It confuses the system. Many thanks.