Chelsea vs. Wolves Wednesday Premier League Betting Odds, Picks & Predictions: Back Blues Without Lampard (Jan. 27)
Catherine Ivill/Getty Images. Pictured: Chelsea standout Timo Werner.
- Life without club legend Frank Lampard at the Chelsea helm begins Wednesday with its match against Wolves.
- Can the Blues get rolling in the Premier League with a clean slate?
- Matthew Trebby thinks so and explains why he likes Chelsea below.
Chelsea vs. Wolves Odds
|Over/Under||2.5 (-108 /-115)|
|Day | Time||Wednesday | 1 p.m. ET|
|How To Watch||Peacock Premium|
Chelsea’s first match of the post-Frank Lampard era has the potential to be a tricky one, with Wolves are never an easy out entering Wednesday’s Premier League fixture at Stamford Bridge.
If one was to point to a specific reason for Lampard’s sacking, the lack of efficiency from summer signings Kai Havertz and Timo Werner would probably be toward the top of the list.
Havertz simply hasn’t found his footing yet in the league. It also doesn’t help he was hit hard by a bout with COVID-19, which reportedly left him bedridden for almost a week. The 21-year-old German sensation has just one goal and two assists in his first 16 league appearances.
Werner has been the true source of frustration for Chelsea fans. People can talk all they want about how he was not being played in his ideal position by Lampard, but Werner has still found himself in plenty of goal-scoring positions. Werner has four league goals, but his non-penalty expected goals (NPxG) total is 7.16, which ranks ninth in the league, according to Understat.
The challenge for incoming manager Thomas Tuchel, who is unlikely to be in charge of this game, will be figuring out what formation best fits this team.
Between his last two jobs at Borussia Dortmund and Paris Saint-Germain, it seems as though his ideal formation has two holding midfielders and four attacking players, which would fit this Chelsea squad well. The Blues feature a plethora of talented attackers in need of fitness and a strong foundation.
There’s no doubt that Tuchel was chosen because Chelsea will hope he can get the most out of his fellow countrymen. Havertz started the Blues’ last league game, which was a 2-0 loss to Leicester City.
One thing that is not in doubt is the quality of players at Chelsea. Between Havertz, Werner, Tammy Abraham, Olivier Giroud, Callum Hudson-Odoi, Christian Pulisic and Hakim Ziyech, there’s no shortage of attacking talent.
The defense has been unlucky at times this season, or at least that’s what expected goals against (xGA) data would tell you. The Blues have allowed 23 goals in 19 league games, but their 17.68 xGA ranks second in the Premier League behind Manchester City’s staggeringly good 10.67.
Since beating Chelsea thanks to a 96th-minute Pedro Neto winner on Dec. 15, Wolves have gone six league tilts without a win, four of which have been defeats. Two of those losses came at the hands of Burnley and West Bromwich Albion.
Wolves have six goals in their last three games, which is encouraging, although they have one point to show for their attacking efforts.
Since the start of November, Wolves have scored multiple goals in just four of 12 league games. The third match in the run saw striker Raul Jimenez suffer a head injury that has kept him out since, and Wolves haven’t recovered. They brought in striker Willian Jose on loan from Real Sociedad, in hopes of the big Brazilian providing a boost to the attack.
This Wolves team does not lack any pace. Their front three in their last league game — the West Brom loss — saw them feature an attacking trio of Adama Traore, Pedro Neto and Fabio Silva. Neto has four league goals, while the other two have combined for one goal and that was Silva’s in that game.
Chelsea’s data suggests they don’t allow a lot of great chances defensively, so this could be a difficult one for Wolves.
Betting Analysis & Picks
With neither team in great form, I see value on the team with greater quality throughout. That’s clearly Chelsea.
I’m not going to suggest backing a big win since there’s no evidence to suggest that’s inevitable and Wolves can be a difficult side to play against, but Chelsea is the team with more on the line in this game.
For all its struggles, Chelsea is still just five points out of the top four. Also, with as many attackers as the Blues have, there will be an urgency to impress. Chelsea had the majority of chances when these teams met in December, and I expect that to be the case again, especially at Stamford Bridge.
We’ll back the Blues at -1 at plus odds, hoping they will win by multiple goals and send a message to Tuchel that they’re ready to roll.
Pick: Chelsea -1 (+104)