Chelsea will not let Wolves run riot

LONDON • Chelsea will look to avoid an FA Cup fifth-round upset at Wolverhampton Wanderers today with their mood still upbeat despite being held to a disappointing 1-1 draw at Burnley last Sunday.

The Blues hold an eight-point lead over Manchester City in the Premier League but the FA Cup could give them a chance to rest some of their more established players, even against a side who knocked out Liverpool last time.

Certainly manager Antonio Conte was able to make nine changes from his regular side for the fourth-round tie at home to Brentford and still emerge comfortable 4-0 winners.

Pedro Rodriguez was one of those who played against Brentford and could feature against Wolves too after claiming he is now "very happy" at Stamford Bridge.

The Spanish winger came close to a return to Barcelona in the summer but no longer has any plans to leave following a successful campaign, in which he has scored nine times in 27 appearances.

"This is the best moment for me at this club and also the best moment for the whole team since I've been here," he said.

"I'm very happy here. It's a good situation when you are top of the league and progressing in the FA Cup. We are on the right path."

Wolves suffered their eighth home defeat of the Championship season after Wigan Athletic won 1-0 with a late goal on Tuesday.

Manager Paul Lambert has said that he is drawing on some advice from Ottmar Hitzfeld, his former boss at Borussia Dortmund.

"One of the greatest bits of advice I ever had was from Ottmar Hitzfeld. Once I asked him how he handled a defeat - he said to analyse it for 24 hours and let it go," Lambert said.

"Because if you don't, it eats away at you. And you've got the job of picking everyone else up as well as yourself."

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WOLVERHAMPTON V CHELSEA

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 18, 2017, with the headline 'Chelsea will not let Wolves run riot'. Print Edition | Subscribe