Wolverhampton Wanderers Training Session


Predicted Wolves XI to face Chelsea: Diego Costa starts against former club

Wolves are at Stamford Bridge today to take on Chelsea in the Premier League.

It has been an eventful past week at Molineux, with Bruno Lage getting the sack following the defeat to West Ham United last Saturday.

Lage paid the ultimate price for another bad result and performance, with his stint at Molineux lasting 16 months.

He showed signs of promise early on.

Photo by Jack Thomas – WWFC/Wolves via Getty Images

But ultimately he just couldn’t impose a brand of football that had an end product.

He got unlucky with injuries. And the striker situation was tough for him. But he should have done much better, and Wanderers cannot really be blamed for acting when they did.

Today, Steve Davis and James Collins will be taking the team down in west London.

It will be a tough game against the Blues. But perhaps the lack of expectation for Wolves to do anything without a manager will lead to a decent showing and/or a positive result.

Here’s how Davis and Collins may set the team up…

Predicted Wolves XI to face Chelsea – Diego Costa starts against his former club

Jose Sa will be back starting once more in goal for Wolves and in front of him, there could be a good chance of seeing Toti Gomes alongside Maximilian Kilman.

U21s boss Collins in particular knows Toti, 23, fairly well, and might be keen to give him his first minutes of the season. He really ought to have played last weekend, but Lage unbelievably fielded Ruben Neves and Jonny Castro Otto in defence.

Nelson Semedo and Jonny might be the choices at right and left-back respectively.

Rayan Ait-Nouri has been less consistent than the Spaniard so far this season. And it might be best for a more experienced player to feature next to Toti on that left side.

Photo by Jack Thomas – WWFC/Wolves via Getty Images

With Neves unavailable through suspension, we might have seen Boubacar Traore come in for his first start.

He has the ability to operate as a holding midfielder. But it the midfielder will not be available for tomorrow’s game due to illness, which is a real shame.

It is fairly likely, then, that Matheus Nunes and Joao Moutinho will line up in midfield.

Up top, Goncalo Guedes and Adama Traore may provide the width, with Daniel Podence to perhaps play in a number 10 role.

Former Valencia man Guedes could do with a strong outing here. He is yet to score since moving to Molineux in the summer.

Traore was lively after he replaced Pedro Neto – who has suffered ankle ligament damage and will now miss the World Cup – against West Ham. So it’s possible he could come in for his first Premier League start of the season.

Through the middle, Diego Costa should start against his former club. Even if he is only 75% of the way there with his fitness.

He was really good when he came on against West Ham and instantly made Wolves look more threatening.

Photo by Jack Thomas – WWFC/Wolves via Getty Images

He and £18 million star Traore combined for a chance, which he probably should have converted.

Perhaps this is the way to go, with someone like Hwang Hee-chan to replace him in the second-half and stretch the defence.

Wolves go into this game without a manager. But these players can absolutely cause an upset if they just believe.

Wolves (4-3-3): Sa/Semedo, Kilman, Toti, Jonny/ Nunes, Moutinho, Podence/Traore, Costa, Guedes.