Chelsea will hope to recreate their 2017 FA Cup fifth round victory when they take on Wolverhampton Wanderers at Molineux on Wednesday.
The two sides faced each in the world’s oldest cup competition almost two years ago, where a 2-0 win for the Blues courtesy of goals from Spanish duo Pedro and Diego Costa put them into the quarter-finals. Tomorrow night, they meet again in the West Midlands for the first since that tie.
Maurizio Sarri’s side moved back up to third in the Premier League table after their 2-0 victory over Fulham on Sunday.
Wolves meanwhile sit in twelfth position and have failed to win in any of their last six top-flight matches.
We are predicting that Chelsea will make three changes to their starting line-up; here is who, and why.
Predicted line-up: (4-3-3) Kepa Arrizabalaga; Cesar Azpilicueta, David Luiz, Antonio Rudiger, Marcos Alonso; N’Golo Kante, Jorginho, Ruben Loftus-Cheek; Willian, Alvaro Morata, Eden Hazard
Predicted substitutes: Willy Caballero, Davide Zappacosta, Andreas Christensen, Cesc Fabregas, Mateo Kovacic, Pedro, Olivier Giroud
Goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga took his tally of league clean sheets up to seven on Sunday, the third-most of any stopper in the division. He is set to be given the chance to make that eight in Wolverhampton.
The four-man defence of Cesar Azpilicueta, David Luiz, Antonio Rudiger and Marcos Alonso have not been separated from a Premier League starting line-up since May, an impressive run that we are not expecting to come to an end tomorrow.
With Ross Barkley still struggling with an injury and Mateo Kovacic showing signs of fatigue against Fulham, Ruben Loftus-Cheek could be handed his first league start of the campaign, where he will be partnered by Jorginho and N’Golo Kante in the centre of midfield.
Having not featured for two matches in any capacity, Willian could be introduced back into the starting side as Sarri looks to rotate his wingers prior to Saturday’s match against league leaders Manchester City. Willian would be likely to start on the right side of the front three, with top goalscorer Eden Hazard occupying the left flank.
Like Pedro, Olivier Giroud has also started in the wins over PAOK Salonika and Fulham and therefore could be spared for the City match in place of Alvaro Morata.
Chelsea’s trip to Wolves may have fallen at the best possible time for the Blues, as Sarri is still looking for them to react after last month’s defeat to Tottenham Hotspur, and Wolves are seriously lacking in form.
Score prediction: Wolverhampton Wanderers 1-2 Chelsea