Mateo Kovacic and Kai Havertz are expected to start when Chelsea lock horns with Wolves at Molineux on Sunday afternoon.

Chelsea will aim to keep up with their Premier League title rivals when they take on Wolverhampton Wanderers on Sunday. It is a must-win encounter for the Blues, who were only able to secure a point against Everton earlier this week.

There has been a massive debate surrounding the possibility of a potential postponement amid the rising cases of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus in England, with six matches in this weekend’s round of fixtures already wiped out until further notice.

The Blues already have the likes of Romelu Lukaku, Callum Hudson-Odoi, Timo Werner, and Ben Chilwell ruled out after testing positive for COVID-19. However, Thomas  Tuchel has recently confirmed that Kai Havertz is available after coming back with a negative result.

“No more positive tests but the lottery starts again tomorrow. We are happy Kai [Havertz] has a negative result and he is back in training,” said the Chelsea boss during the pre-match press conference.

Wolves vs Chelsea Preview: Probable Lineups, Prediction, Tactics, Team News & Key Stats

Havertz’s return means the young attacker could be given the mantle of spearheading the Chelsea frontline, with additional support from Mason Mount and Hakim Ziyech. Christian Pulisic is another option should Tuchel opt for more dynamism and pace in the final third this weekend.

However, things get a bit muddled in the midfield department. “Jorginho is a doubt for Sunday as he is in pain, Ruben Loftus-Cheek is a doubt because he is in pain. Mateo Kovacic is back in his first training session today,” Tuchel confirmed when asked about team news updates.

Earlier in the week, the German did float the idea of deploying Kovacic and N’Golo Kante in central midfield despite only becoming available recently, which is a stark possibility against Wolves. However, the former Borussia Dortmund trainer does also have the option of Saul Niguez and Ross Barkley, as both of them can operate in midfield.

Even Reece James is capable of operating in the middle of the park, although the Englishman is more than likely to retain his place at right wing-back. Similarly, Marcos Alonso remains a favourite on the opposite flank due to the absence of Chilwell.


Defensively, Tuchel may want to provide Thiago Silva with a much-needed breather, thus paving the way for Trevoh Chalobah to form the three-man backline alongside Cesar Azpilicueta and Antonio Rudiger. They are set to cover Edouard Mendy in goal, with the Senegalese international eyeing his first clean sheet since late November.

Predicted Chelsea XI: Mendy; Azpilicueta, Chalobah, Rudiger; James, Kante, Kovacic, Alonso; Mount, Ziyech; Havertz

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