After their nine-match unbeaten streak in the Premier League came to an end on Saturday, Chelsea faces another tricky opponent in Wolves on Tuesday evening.
Chelsea’s 1-0 loss to Everton ensured the West London club fell to fifth in the league after spending practically spending the whole season in the top four.
Wolves have had a topsy-turvy season that has been marred by inconsistency. They’ve lost their last two games to Liverpool and Aston Villa, respectively, failing to score in either game.
The fractured skull suffered by top scorer Raul Jimenez in their win against Arsenal has noticeably weakened the team, leaving them without a recognized goal scorer in the ranks.
Wolves still possess talents such as Adama Traore, Pedro Neto and Daniel Podence, but none of them are known for their goal-scoring exploits.
Frank Lampard spoke on his own experiences of having a teammate suffer a traumatic injury as his former teammate at Chelsea Petr Cech suffered a depressed fractured skull in 2006.
The Chelsea manager said: ‘It actually galvanized us. We lost a great goalkeeper for a period of time. When you have that critical of an injury, and I saw the images of Jimenez turning up at the training ground last week and seeing all his team-mates again, I’m sure it would have galvanised some strength within the group.
‘Team-mates, friends within that, you worry about players with injuries.
Photos emerged last week of Jimenez back in the training facility greeting all his teammates and coaches for the first time since the injury and like Lampard said seeing Jimenez well may just be the spark this dejected Wolves side needed.
The away trip to Wolves is just the beginning of a difficult and packed schedule for Frank Lampard’s side who play four games in 13 days.
A big miss for Chelsea will be without Hakim Ziyech who’s been missing through injury and has made an important contribution since his arrival at the club.
Lampard was asked whether his Chelsea side will find it difficult to create without Ziyech and he said his team must find ways to step up without the Moroccan international.
“It felt like Everton played like Tottenham did and if people are watching us, they will try to stop us from doing what we do well. We need to find other ways and make sure to have ways around teams.
“At our top-level, we’d have found a way around it. We can’t make an excuse for not having wingers. It’s unfortunate but we have others capable of playing in those areas. Hopefully, they are back soon anyway.”
I think Wolves put in an inspired performance and hold Chelsea to a 1-1 draw at the Molineux Stadium.
Odds on a Wolves home win open at +425. Odds on a Chelsea win open at -150. Odds on a draw between the two sides open at +280.