Entertaining end to the season at the Bridge
The race for Champions League and Europa League qualification will reach its conclusion on Sunday afternoon and no fixture looks more crucial in these pushes than Chelsea’s hosting of Wolverhampton Wanderers. Depending on the result of the Blues’ visit to Liverpool on Wednesday they may have already booked their spot in the top four with main competitors Manchester United and Leicester City going head-to-head on the final day, it must be said it is a difficult last couple of fixtures for Frank Lampard’s men. The hosts are strong favourites although both teams are in fine form.
Ones to watch
Olivier Giroud has been a first goalscorer winner in the last four matches that Chelsea have found the net. The experienced Frenchman is enjoying a resurgence after not getting a looking before Christmas, with his sights on an FA Cup winners’ medal the 33-year-old is the focal point of the Blues’ attack. Before last season he had managed Premier League in every campaign since joining Arsenal from Montpellier in 2012. A performance for the ages saw him playing a strong hand in winning the Europa League last season, Wolves’ dependable back three will have their work cut out dealing the 6ft 4in forward.
An unsung hero and crucial member of Wolves’ squad is Leander Dendoncker. The Belgian, who signed permanently after an initial loan from Anderlecht in the summer, fits perfectly into Nuno Espirito Santo’s three at the back, being able to operate equally comfortably as both a defender and a midfielder. His services have been particularly effective in defence, the team have kept seven consecutive clean sheets when the 25-year-old has started the match. Popping up with a couple of important goals as well since the resumption of play, Dendoncker is a good ball player in a back three, starting attacks from deep areas.
This encounter sees third play fifth in the expected goals table, with both sides boasting outstanding attacking contingents. Chelsea have been suspect defensively this season, Kepa Arrizabalaga has seen a severe drop off in his form compared to his debut 2018/19 campaign following transfer from Athletic Bilbao. Lampard has also had to try and gel a host of inexperienced Premier League stoppers in the likes of Kurt Zouma, Fikayo Tomori and Andreas Christensen. None of which have looked convincing additionally hampered by injuries to German centre back Antonio Rudiger.
This could be a treat for the neutral, two beautiful free flowing football sides with a lot still to play for.