Wolves will look to end a run of one win in five matches when they face Chelsea at Molineux on Tuesday.
Nuno’s side suffered a disappointing stoppage time defeat to West Midlands Aston Villa on Saturday, despite having to play against ten men for the final ten minutes of the match.
Chelsea also suffered a 1-0 defeat last time out at Everton, ending their 17-match unbeaten run in all competitions.
Kick off at Molineux is at 6pm on Tuesday and the game will be broadcast on Amazon Prime Video.
After picking up a superb win at the Emirates just a fortnight ago, optimism within the Wolves fanbase was sky-high. In the two games since, it has plummeted.
After a disappointing but perhaps understandable 4-0 defeat to Liverpool, Nuno’s side failed to bounce back in losing at home to Aston Villa for the first time in eight years.
Nelson Semedo’s clumsy tackle on John McGinn allowed Anwar El Ghazi to convert from the spot in the 94th minute, before Joao Moutinho was controversially shown a second yellow card with just seconds to go.
Despite having multiple opportunities to take the lead, Wolves spurned all of them. Dendoncker and Podence forced good saves out of Emiliano Martinez, while Fabio Silva was unlucky to hit the inside of the post with 20 minutes to go.
A major concern for fans will be the fact that Wolves failed to create a chance after Douglas Luiz was sent off on 85 minutes, perhaps seeming content with a point against a team they have outplayed comprehensively in the three most recent meetings at Molineux.
If Wolves pick up a positive result on Tuesday, it could be a huge turning point in their season. If not, what is currently a blip could turn into something much worse.
Despite suffering their second defeat of the season at Goodison Park, optimism remains high in the Chelsea camp after an encouraging start to the campaign.
A Gylfi Sigurdsson penalty ended the Blues’ long unbeaten run last weekend, while a fully rotated side drew 1-1 with Krasnodar on Wednesday with top place in Group E already secured.
Despite a good start to the season, Frank Lampard’s side are yet to beat any current top-half side in the league this season after defeats to Liverpool and Everton as well as draws with Tottenham, Manchester United and Southampton.
While the summer signings of Timo Werner and Kai Havertz grabbed most headlines, Thiago Silva and Edouard Mendy have been Chelsea’s key men this season. The Brazil captain has added an air of calm to the Blues’ backline which has been missing since their 2016-17 title-winning campaign, while Mendy has conceded just three goals in nine Premier League starts.
Wolves v Chelsea team news
Following Joao Moutinho’s last-minute red card on Saturday, the 34-year-old will be absent from a Premier League squad for the first time since joining Wolves in 2018. This will almost certainly lead to a recall for Ruben Neves, who was dropped to the bench last weekend.
Romain Saiss’ solid performance should see him keep his place, likewise with Fabio Silva, who remains Wolves’ only fit recognised striker.
For Chelsea, Lampard confirmed on Monday that Christian Pulisic will return to the matchday 18 after struggling with recurring injuries for much of this season.
However, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Hakim Ziyech are still out and will not be considered for selection.
Wolves line up prediction: Patricio; Semedo, Coady, Saiss, Marcal; Dendoncker, Neves; Traore, Podence, Neto; Silva.
Wolves v Chelsea head to head
Despite having a respectable record in home games against Chelsea in recent years, the Blues became the first team to score five goals past Nuno’s Wolves in their last visit to Molineux.
Goals from Fikayo Tomori, Mason Mount and a Tammy Abraham hat-trick sealed a 5-2 win for the Blues against a Wolves side who had failed to win any of their first five Premier League games.
However, Wanderers have picked up memorable wins over Chelsea at Molineux in recent years. A Jose Bosingwa own goal gave Mick McCarthy’s side a 1-0 victory in January 2011, while Maurizio Sarri’s men were beaten in December 2018 as goals from Raul Jimenez and Diogo Jota overturned an early Conor Coady own goal.
Wolves v Chelsea prediction
With one of the league’s best defences facing one of its worst attacks, it seems there’s only one way this game will go.
After missing chance after chance against Aston Villa on Saturday, it’s hard to see where Wolves’ goals are going to come from amidst Raul Jimenez’s probable lengthy absence. Fabio Silva played well in the defeat but looks highly unlikely to replace Jimenez’s Premier League goal tally of 34.
During the side’s last meeting in July, Olivier Giroud ran Conor Coady and co ragged at the back and with the Frenchman in golden goalscoring form, Wolves face concerns in defence as well as attack.
However, one consolation for the men in gold and black is that they faced an almost identical situation two years ago. Following shocking defeats to Huddersfield and Cardiff, Wolves faced a Chelsea side who had just had a lengthy unbeaten run ended. A 2-1 win for Nuno’s side set them on the way to three straight Premier League wins for the first time ever.
Will history repeat itself? Probably not.
Prediction: Wolves 0-2 Chelsea