It’s been a difficult few weeks for Andre Villas-Boas and his Chelsea players after Wednesday night’s 2-1 reverse in the Champions League against Bayer Leverkusen condemned the team to their fourth defeat in five games.
But a fixture agaisnt Wolves should provide the Blues with the perfect opportunity to get back to winning ways.
The last three visits to Stamford Bridge made by Mick McCarthy’s men has seen them concede 11 goals, while Chelsea’s defence has been breached just twice.
Roger Johnson may be worth considering at 11/1. In five of Chelsea’s opening 12 league fixtures, they have conceded from an opposition defender.
The one shining light so far for Villas-Boas has been the form of Daniel Sturridge, whose strike to level matters in the loss to Liverpool last Sunday brought his goal tally for the season to six in all competitions.
Despite defeat to Leverkusen on Tuesday evening, Sturridge will have been more than satisfied with his own performance, with much of Chelsea’s creativity going through the forward, and his inch-perfect pass for Didier Drogba allowed the Ivorian to open proceedings.
McCarthy will know all about the goalscoring prowess of the England Under-21 international, whose injury time strike on his debut for Bolton last season secured the three points for the Trotters in a 1-0 victory.
Odds of 7/2 for Sturridge to score the first goal of the game look great value, while the former Manchester City man can be backed at 3/4 to score at anytime.
A successful £25 free bet on Sturridge to score first against Wolves would return £112.50, with the free bet available to new customers who sign up for a bwin account.
Another Chelsea player who will be looking forward to the visit of the Old Gold is Florent Malouda, who has opened the scoring in each of the last two meetings between these sides in west London.
The Frenchman is priced at 6/1 to repeat the feat for a third time, while Drogba can be had at 3/1 to score first and follow up his goal in midweek.
Wolves should take confidence from the fact that Chelsea have been unable to keep a clean sheet in any of their six games at home in the league this season, with the partnership of John Terry and David Luiz looking far from convincing.
While three points appear out of reach for a side that sits one place above the relegation places, it certainly isn’t out of the question that they could find the back of the net at some point during the game.
The obvious favourites are Stephen Fletcher at 5/2 and Kevin Doyle at 11/4, while Roger Johnson may be worth considering at 11/1. In five of Chelsea’s opening 12 league fixtures, they have conceded from an opposition defender.
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