Wolves eye one more capital gain to end a taxing season
Midfield star Ruben Neves knows Wolves will have to be at their very best to grab what would be a massive win at Chelsea tomorrow.
Everyone knows the significance of this clash and what is at stake for Nuno Espirito Santo’s side by now, writes Joe Edwards.
Just as one last reminder, though, a win would seal sixth place and another season in the Europa League.
Anything less than that, and Wolves will be hoping Tottenham – currently one point behind – slip up at Crystal Palace.
Hosts Chelsea have a lot riding on the game, too, as they need a point to guarantee a Champions League spot.
It promises to be a tense, eventful end to the longest Premier League season ever known.
And Neves said: “They’re a big team, like a lot of teams in the Premier League.
“But we know what we’re capable of, so we just go for the game like we do with every single one – play our football and try to get the three points.
“They have a very good team. They’re a big team, so they have a lot of players who can make the difference.
“When you play against a team like Chelsea, you can’t give space to anyone.
“They’re a great team, and we’ll have to be on our best to get a result there.”
Wolves do have a knack of responding well to pressure, and their record under Nuno in the capital has been exceptional in recent years.
They have not won at Stamford Bridge for 41 years, though.
Nuno, typically, is level-headed going into the encounter.
“This game is no different than any other,” he said.
“The approach is exactly the same. We approach it knowing that Chelsea are a very good team – full of quality.
“They’ve got a lot of a talent in their squad, you can see they play good football, so we want to compete. We want to play the game. What happens after, we’ll see.”
Given Chelsea have something so important to play for too, some may look at that as a disadvantage.
Others may consider it as a slight advantage, though, given Wolves’ tendency to hurt teams on the break if allowed the right space.
But Nuno said: “I don’t know how the game is going to develop.
“That’s the mystery for everybody, and this is football.
“It’s a new game, so new things will happen that require new answers from us. We have to find solutions to compete against a very good team.
“But nobody knows what is going to happen in the game.
“You can predict, can guess, can think about it, but when the moment comes, new things will happen.”
What we do know is that Wolves have everyone available.
Raul Jimenez and girlfriend Daniela Basso welcomed their baby daughter, Arya, into the world earlier this week, which allayed any fears of him missing the game to be at the birth.
Chelsea, meanwhile, could welcome N’Golo Kante back to the fold after his recent injury woes.
“Raul is OK. Everything went well with his baby,” said Nuno.
“He is ready to go, as are all of the squad. Everybody is OK, so we are ready to go.”
Nuno also revealed the players will be given a short break after this game, ahead of the Europa League last-16 second-leg against Olympiacos at Molineux on August 6, and he added: “We love to compete, this is our mentality.
“The players want to play the game, want to try new things.
“We’re always searching for an improvement of the team.
“We’re always looking for a new challenge. It’s a new game, a new challenge, and a new chance to do things better.”
Predicted Wolves XI
(3-4-3): Patricio; Dendoncker, Coady, Boly; Doherty, Moutinho, Neves, Otto; Traore, Jimenez, Jota