Lopetegui chooses Neves replacement as youngster gets nod - Wolves predicted XI vs Chelsea - gallery
Here’s how we predict Wolverhampton Wanderers’ starting lineup to look against Chelsea in the Premier League on Saturday.
Wolverhampton Wanderers return to Molineux on Saturday afternoon as they face Chelsea in the Premier League. Julen Lopetegui’s side are desperate for a win having not tasted victory since the start of March, whereas The Blues are now under new management following the sacking of Graham Potter.
Chelsea announced the return of Frank Lampard on Thursday, with the iconic midfielder taking on a caretaker head coach role until the end of the season. Things didn’t quite work out the last time he took charge at Stamford Bridge, but the Londoners are hoping Lampard can provide a new manager bounce.
Wolves are very much looking over their shoulders ahead of this weekend’s clash, as 18th-placed AFC Bournemouth are now just one point behind. Wanderers may be up in 14th at the moment, but they certainly aren’t safe with the relegation zone still terrifyingly close.
Saturday’s visitors, meanwhile, are just three places above Wolves but there is an 11-point gap between the two sides. It has been a miserable campaign for Chelsea, with the hopes of qualifying for the Champions League all but gone and the likelihood of any European football now very small.
There’s no doubting this is a good time to face The Blues as they are a shadow of their former selves, but Lampard’s return could make things tricky – as could their urgency to move back into the top half. To try and counteract that, we think Lopetegui will freshen things up somewhat with his starting XI.
Star man Ruben Neves is unavailable, meaning there could be a chance for a fresh face to come into the team. That could also have ramifications for the rest of the lineup, with Neves near-on irreplaceable in this Wanderers side. With that in mind, here is the XI we think Lopetegui will go with. See below.