Graham Potter believes Chelsea have already made progress since his appointment ahead of hosting Wolves – who could hand former Blues hero Diego Costa a start at Stamford Bridge.
Potter’s team overcame Crystal Palace via a dramatic late goal last Saturday, and followed that result up by dismantling Milan in the Champions League on Wednesday.
The former Brighton and Hove Albion coach, however, remains wary of the threat posed by Wolves, who are manager-less after sacking Bruno Lage on Sunday.
“I think we’ve made a little bit of progress from the first day to now, as you’d expect. There is a long way to go,” Potter said.
“We have to focus on the next match. We’ve got this incredible amount of games so rather than think too much about what’s going to happen at the end of the season, just focus on the next game.”
On Wolves, Potter added: “They have a lot of talented players and you can’t control the opposition’s situation. They have been in games they have narrowly lost and we are expecting a tough game.”
Wolves could hand a first start of the season to Costa, who scored 30 goals and provided nine assists in 45 home Premier League appearances for Chelsea.
Interim coach Steve Davis revealed the Spaniard is raring to go, saying: “He’s lifted the group when he came in. We only really got to know him this week, but he has been a breath of fresh air for us.
“Hopefully we will be brave in our selections. It is a chance to change things but if you change things too much in a short space of time it can lead to confusion.
“With it being Chelsea and it’s his birthday today, it’s a big weekend for him. We’ve had to look after him. He wants more than we’re giving him.”
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Chelsea – Raheem Sterling
Sterling has been involved in six goals in his last five Premier League games against Wolves (all for Manchester City) – scoring four times and providing two assists. Can the England international impress against one of his preferred opponents?
Wolves – Diego Costa
Costa averaged a goal or an assist every 95 minutes of league action at Stamford Bridge when he represented Chelsea – a rate only bettered by Didier Drogba (every 88 minutes) among players to have played 1000+ minutes at the stadium in the competition.
KEY OPTA FACTS
– Chelsea are winless in their last four Premier League games against Wolves (D3 L1), with each of the last three meetings ending level.
– Since Wolves’ return to the Premier League in 2018, Chelsea have dropped eight points from winning positions against them, more than they have against any other side in that time.
– Wolves haven’t scored more than once in any of their last 11 Premier League games, since a 2-2 draw with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in May. Wolves are the lowest scorers of any Premier League side this season (three), and are the only side yet to score after half-time so far.
– This will be Graham Potter’s first Premier League home match in charge of Chelsea; none of the last 14 managers to take charge of the Blues in the competition have lost their first home game (W10 D4) since Graham Rix and Ray Wilkins did so in joint-caretaker charge against Leicester in September 2000.
– Joao Moutinho could make his 151st Premier League appearance for Wolves, which would put him level with Conor Coady for the most games played for the club in the competition. Ruben Neves has also made 150 Wolves appearances in the competition, but is suspended for Saturday’s match.