Chelsea’s poor run of form away from home will be tested once again on Saturday, as we battle Wolves at Molineux. Away form has been a cause for concern for Ancelotti’s squad as we have only won once in our last five matches away from Stamford Bridge. It’s one of the reasons that we only enjoy a one-point lead at the top of the table. Meanwhile, Wolves will be looking to claim another big scalp at Molineux coming off of their victory over Tottenham 10 days ago.
Chelsea’s squad will be boosted by the return of John Terry from Dubai, though Joe Cole and Deco remain doubtful due to knee injuries. Yury Zhirkov looks to start at left back due to Ashley Cole being sidelined for 3 months with a broken ankle. Other long-term injuries to Michael Essien and Jose Bosingwa (both knee) will mean that they will also miss the match.
Mick McCarthy has said that he will name the same starting 11 that faced Tottenham in the last league match. This may be a reaction to the Premier League handing out a £25,000 fine for the squad he chose against Manchester United. Out of the players that faced Tottenham, one change will have to be made. Defender Michael Mancienne is ineligible due to the terms of his loan agreement.
Aside from their recent win over Tottenham, Wolves have been in poor form lately, having won only once in their last seven matches. They also have had trouble scoring goals. Only Portsmouth with 20 goals has scored fewer than Wolves 21 goals this season.
Referee Kevin Friend will see us for the 3rd time this season. He has been the man in the middle for our 2-1 defeat to Villa back in October and also our 5-0 victory over Watford in the FA Cup. In 25 matches, Mr. Friend has shown 92 yellow cards and 6 red cards.
Despite our poor away form, we should see this as an opportunity for victory, just as we did at Burnley. The worrying part for us is our set-piece defense, which continues to be our opponents main way of scoring goals. However, Drogba has returned from the African Cup of nations with more confidence and that should be a concern for a weak Wolves backline.