It all comes down to this. Chelsea play Wolverhampton Wanderers on the final game of the season. After losing to Liverpool on Wednesday night, Champions League qualification is still not secured. Frank Lampard’s side need just one point to make the all-important top four.
It may have been a 5-3 loss at Anfield, and the spotlight may be on Lampard after his comments to Jurgen Klopp but scoring three goals at the Champions gives encouraging signs.
The formation is a big talking point heading into matchday 38. Lampard has played a back three over the past two games, providing a 3-1 win over Manchester United and a 5-3 loss to Liverpool.
A back four could have been implemented for this game with Wolves. But due to how Nuno Espirito Santo sets up his side, in a back three, it could be matched to combat their attacking wingbacks and fluid midfield.
The West London club will be confident heading into the penultimate fixture due to the reverse fixture at Molineux. The 5-2 Victory was played in a 3-4-3 formation, is this further evidence that Lampard may stick with this tactical set up?
Tammy Abraham scored a hattrick that day. The number nine may start from the bench on Sunday due to the recent involvement of Olivier Giroud.
The Blues have won three out five in their past meetings with the Black Country club. Two of these victories came in domestic cup competitions with Wolves playing in the EFL. 2-0 in the Carabao Cup and 6-0 in the F.A. Cup.
Recent form since the restart
The Blues form since the restart has been very simple, either win, or lose.
Aston Villa 1-2 Chelsea (PL)
Chelsea 2-1 Manchester City (PL)
Leicester City 0-1 Chelsea (F.A. Cup)
West Ham 3-2 Chelsea (PL)
Chelsea 3-0 Watford (PL)
Crystal Palace 2-3 Chelsea (PL)
Sheffield United 3-0 Chelsea (PL)
Chelsea 1-0 Norwich (PL)
Manchester United 1-3 Chelsea (F.A. Cup)
Liverpool 5-3 Chelsea
Nuno’s side are a much stronger outfit these days, they are fighting for a European spot themselves which means they will not hand Chelsea three points.
West Ham 0-2 Wolves
Wolves 1-0 Bournemouth
Aston Villa 0-1 Wolves
Wolves 0-2 Arsenal
Sheffield United 1-0 Wolves
Wolves 3-0 Everton
Burnley 1-1 Wolves
Wolves 2-0 Crystal Palace
Predicted line up
Despite playing a back three in recent games, a switch to a back four could be opted for in the final game of the season.
Who to look out for?
Adama Traore will be a severe threat for Chelsea. Azpilicueta could switch to left-back in order to prevent regular attacks down their right side. The defensive frailties of Marcos Alonso could be exposed by Wolves, meaning they could muster continuous attacks.
Pulisic is likely to return to the 11 for the final day. The winger impressed when he came on against Liverpool. The winger was introduced in the second half and provided a goal and an assist. ‘Captain America’ must play if Chelsea are going to maximize their chance of three points.
The final day is simple. Avoid defeat, and Chelsea play Champions League football next season. Manchester United will be playing Leicester City elsewhere, this has a huge impact for Blues. If Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side beat The Foxes, Chelsea can still make top four if they lose.
The only way that Lampard’s side fail to make the top four, is if Leicester beat United and Chelsea lose. It is due to be a nail-biting experience at Stamford Bridge.