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Premier League

  • 2 January 2012
  • • 15:00
  • • Molineux Stadium, Wolverhampton, West Midlands
  • Referee: P. Walton
  • • Attendance: 27289
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Wolves - Chelsea Preview: Visitors look to end four-game winless run after defeat on Saturday left them outside the top four

Home side look to push away from the relegation zone by ending run of games without a win at Molineux against the Blues, whom they beat in the corresponding fixture last season


PROBABLE LINEUPS

WOLVES

Hennessey
Stearman, Johnson, Berra, Elokobi
Jarvis, Edwards, Ward, Henry, Hunt
Fletcher
CHELSEA
 
Cech
Bosingwa, Terry, Luiz, Cole
Romeu, Lampard, Ramires
Mata, Drogba, Sturridge

Wolves will be without the suspended Nenad Milijas, who will serve the second of his three- match ban against the Blues.

Jamie O’Hara and Ronald Zubar will also be missing for Mick McCarthy's side as they are currently injured. Stephen Ward stepped into the central midfield role vacated by Milijas in the 1-1 draw with Bolton so expect him to continue in this position on Monday.

David Edwards, who was on the bench at the Reebok Stadium, could be recalled as McCarthy may switch to a five-man midfield against Chelsea with Sylvan Ebanks-Blake missing out.

Chelsea will stick with the same formation they used against Aston Villa in their 3-1 defeat. However, the personnel will probably change. Jose Bosingwa could be in line for a recall at right-back replacing Paulo Ferreira.

With Branislav Ivanovic still injured and Alex out-of-favour,  David Luiz and John Terry will continue at centre-back despite the Blues' defensive frailties. Frank Lampard should return in midfield replacing Raul Merieles, while the Blues' front three should stay the same - although Fernando Torres could push for a start.


DID YOU KNOW?
  • Wolves have not won in five games, losing two and drawing three. Their last win was a 2-1 victory over Sunderland on 4 December at Molineux.
  • Striker Steven Fletcher (pictured right) has scored five goals in his last six games, and is the leading scorer for Mick McCarthy’s side this season with eight goals in total.                   
  • Wolves have won just three games at Molineux this season and have the sixth worst home record in the division.
  • Mick McCarthy’s side beat Chelsea in this fixture last season with a Jose Bosingwa own goal being the difference between the two sides.
  • In 102 meetings between the teams Chelsea and Wolves have both won 38 times, and there have also been 26 draws.
  • Chelsea have not won in four Premier League games, their longest period without a win this season; their last victory was the 2-1 win over Manchester City on the 12 December.
  • This is the first time since 2001-02 season that the Blues have started a calendar year outside of the top four.
  • Chelsea have the third best defensive record in the Premier League away from home, having conceded just eight goals. Only Liverpool (seven) and Manchester United (three) have conceded fewer.
  • The Blues have the same amount of points as they had after the same number of games last season, but this term they have scored four more goals and conceded nine more.

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Last Five Matches
Odds
Team News
Available Squads
26Wayne HennesseyGoalkeeper
5Richard StearmanDefender
11Stephen WardDefender
14Roger JohnsonDefender
16Christophe BerraDefender
4David EdwardsMidfielder
8Karl HenryMidfielder
14Adam Hammill Midfielder
37Anthony FordeMidfielder
35Emmanuel FrimpongMidfielder
29Kevin DoyleStriker
1Dorus De VriesGoalkeeper
3George ElokobiDefender
32Kevin FoleyDefender
18Stephen HuntMidfielder
7Matthew JarvisMidfielder
9Sylvan Ebanks-BlakeStriker
9Steven FletcherStriker
1Petr CechGoalkeeper
3Ashley ColeDefender
23David LuizDefender
3José BosingwaDefender
26John TerryDefender
6Oriol RomeuMidfielder
7RamiresMidfielder
8Frank LampardMidfielder
14Raúl MeirelesMidfielder
9Fernando TorresStriker
8Juan MataStriker
21Ross TurnbullGoalkeeper
20Paulo FerreiraDefender
51Sam HutchinsonDefender
23Ryan BertrandDefender
-Nathaniel ChalobahDefender
51Josh McEachranMidfielder
18Romelu LukakuStriker
Players to Watch
Steven Fletcher
Steven Fletcher
Position: Striker
Squad Number: 9
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
The Scot has been in great form recently, bagging five goals in his last six games. He has the ability to strike the ball from distance with a powerful left-foot, while also being a handful in and around the box. His heading ability makes him a difficult opponent to play against particularly from set-pieces. If Chelsea can nullify his effect on the game they can stop Wolves.
Frank Lampard
Frank Lampard
Position: Midfielder
Squad Number: 8
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
The England international started on the bench in the 3-1 defeat to Aston Villa on Saturday, but is still a world class player, and Wolves must ensure they mark him thoroughly if they are to get anything out of the game. His passing and movement can ignite Chelsea’s attacking play and his instincts and finishing ability in and around the box mean he can score from almost any situation.
Prediction
Chelsea will have been shocked at the manner of their defeat on Saturday and Wolves could fear a backlash. Mick McCarthy’s side haven’t been in the best of form themselves but always seem to play well against the bigger teams at Molineux. If Chelsea click into gear it could be a thrashing but they look out of sorts so Wolves can get something out of this game.
Editor's Prediction
Wolves 1

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