FA Cup | Wolverhampton Wanderers-Chelsea
Kick Off: 17:30 Hrs
Venue: Molineux Stadium
Sat 18th Feb 2017
Wolverhampton Wanderers vs Chelsea Match Prediction
Wolverhampton Wanderers host Chelsea at Molineux on 18/02/17 as the home side look to claim another Premier League scalp in this season’s FA Cup. Wolves will be looking to bounce back positively here after losing 1-0 at home to struggling Wigan Athletic midweek. Chelsea weren’t anywhere near their best in their last outing and were denied the three points as a result, as a resilient Burnley side held them to a 1-1 draw at Turf Moor. Read on for a full match preview complete with betting tips and predictions.
Wolves fell to their third consecutive defeat last time out, as Wigan condemned them to their second successive 1-0 home defeat in the space of four days. Paul Lambert’s side are far from safe of danger at this point of the campaign, and this result certainly didn’t help that cause, as Wigan defender Jake Buxton headed in the game’s only goal in the 88th minute to further frustrate the Molineux outfit. Now 18th in the Championship table, they must put their worrying league form to one side here as they look to claim their second Premier League scalp of this FA Cup season. Wolves beat Liverpool 2-1 at Anfield in the previous round, as Lambert continued his run of upsetting the Merseysiders as he did so regularly whilst in charge of Aston Villa. To do so, they will have to make improvements on their recent home record, having managed just two wins in their last ten games at Molineux, a run which includes a worrying seven defeats. They will now be looking to put their recent troubles behind them as they look to draw inspiration from the excellent win at Anfield in the previous round, although this looks to be an even tougher tie.
Chelsea were unable to extend their lead at the top of the Premier League to ten points last time out as they drew 1-1 at Burnley. Pedro gave the Blues the perfect start by gifting them the lead inside ten minutes, but they were soon pegged back by a moment of magic. Robbie Brady’s superb free-kick left Thibaut Courtois with no chance as he picked out the Belgian’s top corner with a sweet strike. From there, Chelsea were unable to regain the advantage, as Antonio Conte’s men were frustrated by the unity and endeavour on display from their opponents. The closest challengers to their title charge seemingly changes by the week, with Manchester CIty now closest with a eight-point deficit at this point - that despite dropping four points in their last three league games. No side looks more consistent or thorough in completing their requisite duties as this Chelsea side, who look set to comfortably move their way towards the Premier League title. In the FA Cup, Chelsea have comfortably navigated their way to this point of the competition, beating Peterborough United and Brentford at Stamford Bridge, scoring four in each. Conte has tended to make some changes in this competition thus far, and that trend is likely to continue here as they face just their third away FA Cup tie in three years.
Wolves Team News
Carl Ikeme is unavailable for Wolves through suspension and will miss this one. Elsewhere, Wolves have a number of long-term injury absentees in Silvio (broken foot), Niall Ennis (broken leg), Michal Zyro and Jordan Graham (both cruciate ligament).
Chelsea Team News
David Luiz (knee) is set to miss out for Chelsea here, while John Terry (ankle) will be looking to shake off a knock to feature. Michy Batshuayi will hope to return in place of Diego Costa, with Cesc Fabregas also pushing for a start.
Betting Tips and Predictions
Although Wolves stunned Liverpool in the previous round, Chelsea - especially with the form Liverpool were in at the time - are a level above what they faced that day. Antonio Conte’s side have tended to be ruthless in the cup this season and I’m expecting them to make their way into the quarter-finals at the first time of asking.
Jon Dadi Boedvarsson
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