Premier League Odds & Picks (Sunday July 26): Chelsea vs. Wolves
Marc Atkins/Getty Images. Pictured: Christian Pulisic
- There's plenty at stake in Sunday's Premier League matchup between Chelsea and Wolverhampton (11 a.m. ET).
- Chelsea enters the match a -118 favorite over the Wolves (+370 underdogs) with the over/under set at 2.5 rounds (+123/-155).
- Anthony Dabbundo analyzes Sunday's match, including his pick.
Chelsea vs. Wolves Odds
|Chelsea Odds||-118 [Bet Now]|
|Wolves Odds||+370 [Bet Now]|
|Draw||+240 [Bet Now]|
|Over/Under||2.5 (+123/-155) [Bet Now]|
|Time||Sunday, 11 a.m. ET|
If Leicester City vs. Manchester United is the most intriguing of the 10 matches on Championship Sunday, Wolves’ trip to Chelsea is second. While Chelsea need a point to secure Champions League football next season, Wolves are also competing for a Europa League place.
As of now, Wolves need to match or better Tottenham’s result at Crystal Palace — Spurs moneyline is -180 at Palace — if they want to guarantee a spot in the Europa League by finishing sixth. If Spurs leapfrog them for sixth, then Wolves will have to hope Chelsea beats Arsenal in the FA Cup final to make Europe as a seventh-place finisher.
Wolverhampton grabbed a 2-0 home win against Crystal Palace on Monday afternoon, while Liverpool handed Chelsea a 5-3 defeat at Anfield two days later. The Blues allowed two world class finishes from outside the penalty area, but also continued their ongoing defensive issues.
Without N’Golo Kante in the center of midfield and a constantly rotating group of center backs and full backs, manager Frank Lampard hasn’t been able to solve Chelsea’s defensive woes.
The Blues have conceded 54 goals (seventh-most in the Premier League), which is much worse than their expected goals (xG) number of 40.92 — partially due to poor goalkeeper play from Kepa Arrizabalaga.
As poor as Chelsea’s defense has been, the front three combination of Christian Pulisic, Willian and either Olivier Giroud or Tammy Abraham has been one of the Premier League’s most potent attacks. Pulisic came on and sizzled with a goal and assist in 30 minutes at Liverpool on Wednesday and the Blues have scored 16 goals and produced 18.98 xG in eight games since the restart.
Expected goals (also known as xG) is an advanced statistic that gives an indication of whether results are based on sustainable factors like a steady creation of scoring chances, or whether it is down to aspects such as luck or outstanding goalkeeping.
Chelsea have been particularly good at home, producing 2.45 xG and allowing just 0.85 xG per game. No matter which team scores first, the trailing team will have to go all out to try to get a result, so I wouldn’t be surprised if it ended up wide open with Adama Traore causing havoc for Chelsea’s back line and Pulisic continuing his excellent goal-scoring and creating run at the other.
Lampard may opt to go to the back three to match Nuno Espirito Santo’s trademark Wolves formation, but there’s no doubt who will control the ball in this match — Chelsea will possess and look to pass through a sturdy Wolves defense, and their elite counter attacking unit will look to hit Chelsea on the break.
The reverse fixture of this match ended 5-2 to Chelsea at Molineux in October, which was Wolves’ worst defensive performance of the season. My numbers give both teams to score a 57% chance to occur, making -115 a good value play for a game I’m expecting to be wide open.
Neither side can afford to lose this match, and I fully expect both teams to score.
The Pick: Both Teams to Score Yes (-115)