After inconsistent starts to the Premier League season, Wolverhampton Wanderers and Chelsea will be seeking to inject some momentum into their respective campaigns when they meet at Molineux on Sunday.
Chelsea slipped up prior to the international break and lost a two-goal lead against Sheffield United at Stamford Bridge to draw 2-2. Although there have been positive facets of play for Blues fans to enjoy under manager Frank Lampard, it's imperative the team tightens up defensively.
Wolves have also struggled early in 2019-20 having yet to win a game in the top flight. Manager Nuno Espirito Santo will hope the attacking quality he has in his squad can trouble a ropey Blues back line and get the UEFA Europa League hopefuls moving up the Premier League table.
Wolves win (19/10)
Chelsea win (29/20)
Odds courtesy of Caesars.
Date: Saturday, September 14
Time: 3 p.m. (BST), 10 a.m.
TV Info: NBC Sports (U.S.)
Live Stream: NBC Sports app (U.S.)
Chelsea appeared on course to go into the international break with a routine win when they surged into a two-goal half-time lead against Sheffield United in their last match. What followed in the second period would have worried Lampard.
The newly promoted side started the second half with renewed belief, and when they halved the deficit, Chelsea struggled to get a foothold in the contest. In the end, the visitors were well worth their late equaliser:
After the game, Lampard lamented the manner in which his side let the game slip away:
Although Chelsea have shown a spark in attack in a lot of their games this season, defensively the spine of the side has not looked robust.
N'Golo Kante's absence was felt against the Blades, given he is so often the man who can shut down opposition attacks in the centre of midfield. He was not included in the squad for France's recent internationals but is in line to feature on Saturday, according to Alan Smith of Football.London.
Having the Frenchman back would be a major boost for Chelsea in what promises to be a challenging game. Liam Twomey of The Athletic commented on the lack of authority the Blues showcased at difficult points in the Sheffield United draw:
So far in 2019-20, Wolves haven't been able to get the balance right between their domestic and Europa League commitments, as they still wait for their first Premier League win.
Having secured their spot in the Europa League group stages, perhaps their focus will narrow on the top-flight fixtures for the time being. They've had a difficult start to the season, playing Leicester City, Manchester United, Burnley and Everton so far.
While there are parts of the side that Nuno may need to tweak, up top Raul Jimenez is in form:
Both teams have defensive vulnerabilities, and it's difficult to see either manager moving away from their attacking principles for this encounter. As such, the Molineux crowd are likely to be treated to an entertaining game.
Wolves won this fixture 2-1 last term in what was one of the highlights of their campaign. At the moment, the hosts aren't quite performing to the same kind of standard, meaning Chelsea should be able to head back down south with a point for their efforts.
Prediction: Wolves 2-2 Chelsea