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Chelsea VS Wolves – LIVE Reddit Soccer 07/05/2022

Chelsea VS Wolves – LIVE Reddit Soccer 07/05/2022

The 2021/22 Premier League season is nearing its climactic end, and there is still a lot at stake in the battles across the table. Chelsea will be desperate to evade getting dragged into the top-four race when they play hosts to Wolverhampton Wanderers at Stamford Bridge on Saturday afternoon. Chelsea’s 2021/22 campaign has petered out horribly amid the destabilising effect of the ownership crisis. The Blues will soon be under new ownership, but Thomas Tuchel will be eager to see his men seal a top-four berth while keeping their focus on next week’s FA Cup final against Liverpool. However, that objective took a hit last weekend, as Everton handed Chelsea a shocking 1-0 loss at Goodison Park.

On the other hand, Wolverhampton Wanderers have seen their European hopes fade after a terrible run of one win in four games. Bruno Lage’s men are now looking over their shoulders, although a seventh-placed finish could still be on the cards for Wolves amid West Ham United’s dwindling form, which includes the ouster from the UEFA Europa League this week. The reverse fixture ended in a drab 0-0 draw, which coincided with another sub-par run of form for Chelsea as their Premier League title hopes started to wash off. Ahead of the latest meeting between the two sides, The Hard Tackle takes a closer look at the encounter.

Thomas Tuchel has greeted a mixed bag of team news updates ahead of the visit of Wolverhampton Wanderers. On Saturday, the Chelsea manager will be bereft of the services of four first-team players due to various fitness issues. Jorginho is the latest absentee due to a minor injury he sustained against Everton last weekend. The Chelsea vice-captain has joined Ben Chilwell (knee), N’Golo Kante (knock) and Callum Hudson-Odoi (Achilles) on the sidelines. But Andreas Christensen should be at Tuchel’s disposal after recovering from an illness.

However, Christensen may have to suffice with a spot on the bench, with Cesar Azpilicueta likely to keep his place on the right-hand side of the Chelsea back three. Azpilicueta will join Thiago Silva and Antonio Rudiger in the central defensive unit, with Edouard Mendy starting in goal.

Up ahead in midfield, Jorginho and Kante’s absence means Ruben Loftus-Cheek should retain his spot in the middle of the park, where he will line up alongside the returning Mateo Kovacic. The Croat’s fitness is also questionable, and it will not be surprising to see Mount drop into a midfield role in the second half if things are going Chelsea’s way.

Reece James and Marcos Alonso pick themselves as the two wing-backs, with the duo providing a threatening presence on the flanks. Christian Pulisic, Timo Werner and Hakim Ziyech have left a lot to be desired in the last few weeks, with Werner being slightly better than the other two.

Meanwhile, Romelu Lukaku is out of favour and should remain on the bench on Saturday. Kai Havertz will thus spearhead the Chelsea attack against Wolves, with Mason Mount playing off him as Chelsea’s creative supremo. Christian Pulisic could get the nod over Werner and Ziyech, getting a chance to impress ahead of a potentially busy summer amid links with Juventus.

Everton boss Frank Lampard must have gone to bed dreaming about the prospect of a priceless victory against the club that he gave so much for as a player but flattered to deceive for in the dugout, and his Stamford Bridge replacement Thomas Tuchel could only cut a frustrated figure on the sidelines at Goodison Park.

Richarlison’s effort while fans were still taking their seats following the half-time interval proved decisive, but spare a round of applause for the imperious Jordan Pickford, who put his body and face on the line while producing one of the saves of the season from Cesar Azpilicueta to preserve the Toffees’ advantage.

Third place is still in Chelsea’s hands heading into the final straight, but having now won just one of their last four in the Premier League, the gap to capital counterparts Arsenal – a team on the upwards trajectory – has now been cut down to just three points, and it is unthinkable to imagine the Blues failing to achieve their customary top-four finish after flirting with a title challenge earlier in the campaign.

Some of the Blues faithful may already have their eye on FA Cup glory after being pipped to the post in the 2020 and 2021 finals, but taking 12 points from 12 against Wolves, Leeds United, Leicester City and Watford is imperative for a side whose future has been plunged into fresh doubt amid reports of Roman Abramovich changing his stance over unpaid loans.

While such off-field distractions are sure to enter the minds of the players and coaching staff at some point, Tuchel must seek to steer Chelsea to just a ninth home win in the 2021-22 Premier League season, but not since September have they failed to score at Stamford Bridge in the top flight.

Chelsea’s European fate may still be in their own hands, but a spring collapse has left Wolves scrambling to even make the Europa Conference League after Lage’s side had initially put in a strong showing for an unlikely top-four finish in the Premier League.

As if back-to-back losses to Newcastle United and Burnley were not bad enough, Lage witnessed his side carved open at will by a ruthless Brighton at Molineux last weekend, with Alexis Mac Allister, Leandro Trossard and Yves Bissouma all netting in a 3-0 Seagulls success.

Boos and jeers rang around Molineux as Wolves slumped to a third successive defeat without finding the back of the net, and Lage’s side now occupy eighth spot in the rankings – three points behind West Ham United with a game in hand on the Europa League semi-finalists.

Taking just three points from their last five games on the road and scoring only two goals in that stretch also spells danger for a Wolves side who have not been renowned for goal-laden showings this season, and their status as European outsiders is even more impressive given that only Everton and Norwich City have amassed fewer than their 15 away goals.

The visitors to Stamford Bridge have not drawn a Premier League game since back in December – which came against Chelsea in a drab 0-0 Molineux stalemate – and another dull encounter here could see the Blues post a trio of goalless draws against a single league opponent for the first time ever.

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