Content written by Squawka.com
Having beaten Liverpool at Anfield in the last round, Paul Lambert’s Wolverhampton Wanderers will probably feel like they can defeat anybody left in the FA Cup.
Wolves were good value for their 2-1 win over Jurgen Klopp’s team, playing counter-attacking football to expose the Premier League team’s high-line, and such a tactic could see them spring another surprise here.
Helder Costa was their star that day, assisting both Stearman and Weimann’s goals, and he has since made his loan from Benfica permanent for a £12m fee. His namesake Diego will likely be rested for the game, so a Costa starring role could, for once, be bad news for Conte’s team.
The Wolves star man’s key attribute is his pace, and it is looking increasingly likely that he will be coming up against Chelsea skipper John Terry, who has been declared as fit to play in what will be a weakened Chelsea side.
Terry is no longer a first team regular at Stamford Bridge, but their record in games that he has started is good. The have lost just one, against West Ham in the EFL Cup, and in his four Premier League starts this season they have won three and drawn one.
It therefore maybe premature to pinpoint the 36-year old as a weak link, but he is not the quickest now, and Costa showed what a nuisance he can be to a defence who are vulnerable on the turn.
The Championship team come into this game one the back of three consecutive league defeats, two of which were against teams in the relegation zone. Before this poor run, their form was good having won seven of their previous 12 games.
Fulham and Reading are the two teams who have completed the most passes in the Championship, and Wolves picked up four points in their two home games against them. Barnsley, who have completed the fewest of those Wolves have faced at Molineux, defeated them 4-0.
This strength at playing against teams who are comfortable in possession puts Wolves in a good position against higher division teams. Chelsea have 64% and 60% possession in the past two rounds of the tournament, against Peterborough and Brentford, so one can expect them to be camped in Wolves’ half for most the game, with the home team ready fly out on the break.
Michy Batshuayi will be hoping to prove his worth to Antonio Conte, yet having scored two goals in his two FA Cup appearances so far, it seems unlikely that he would be able to force his way into the managers Premier League plans.
If Chelsea play well they will surely progress to the next round, but Paul Lambert’s men will look to frustrate them. The longer the game remains goalless, the more chance the home side will have of springing a shock. Wolves will be hoping that Costa will be the man to sink the Blues and fire them into the Quarter-finals.