Wolverhampton Wanderers host Chelsea in the Premier League on Wednesday in a 6pm kick-off at Molineux.
Chelsea are odds-on 4/6 favourites to win the match, with the draw 14/5 and a Wolves win 17/4.
Given Chelsea have won just five of their last 15 Premier League away games, there isn’t any value on backing them to win in my opinion.
Equally, Wolves are in a transitional phase at present, having switched to a back four and been deprived of their star asset with Raul Jimenez’s fractured skull, so I don’t trust them either.
My eye is more drawn to the fact that Stuart Attwell is officiating this clash, with the 38-year-old comfortably showing more cards per game (5.33) than any other Premier League referee so far this season.
Indeed, all of Attwell’s last 19 top-flight games have seen 30+ booking points, with him issuing both sides at least one card each in 18 of those, and 17 of the 19 matches also seeing 40+ booking pts.
Attwell even issued two or more cards to each side in 13 of those 19 matches, so given Wolves and Chelsea rank seventh and fifth in the league for fouls committed per game while possessing plenty of talented attacking players capable of drawing a foul, we should be able to rely on cards in this match.
Backing each team to pick up one card each alongside there being more than three cards in the match total gives us a nice price at 10/11 on bet365’s free Bet Builder:
With Attwell’s record, you could seek more value by simply backing both teams to pick up more than one card each at odds of 9/5.
In terms of player cards, I’m keen on Ruben Neves for the hosts and Ben Chilwell for the visitors.
Joao Moutinho is suspended after his red card against Villa so Neves should return to the starting XI, with the midfielder picking up three cautions in his eight league starts this season. 11/4 (bet365) is a great price for him to pick up another against a Chelsea side stacked with central midfield quality.
Chilwell, meanwhile, will be up against the pacey Traore, who he was booked against in February for Leicester, making 19/4 (Bet Victor) an interesting price. The double pays 20/1 with bet365.
Traore being booked himself is a huge price at 7/1 (bet365), too, with Chilwell Chelsea’s most fouled player this season and the flying Wolves winger picking up three cautions in his last four games.
Since Wolves switched to a back four, meanwhile, all four of their matches have seen both teams rack up four or more corners each, with this also landing in four of Chelsea’s last five league games (the 0-0 draw against Spurs being the exception).
Nuno Espirito Santo’s side have generally looked a more open team, while Chelsea have scored in 11 and conceding in 12 of their last 15 away matches.
I’m going to chance my arm at a 25/1 longshot, then, by backing Chelsea to win, both teams to score, and each team to pick up 2+ cards and 4+ corners.
This bet would have been one Wolves yellow card away from landing in this fixture last season, when Chelsea ran out 5-2 winners.
I may also request Kurt Zouma and Leandro Dendoncker both to have a headed shot on target each, which should pay around 33/1 (Sky Bet).
Zouma has had a shot on target in seven of his 11 starts, with Dendoncker having five in his last four matches, as Wolves look to find an alternative physical presence in the box without Jimenez.
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