Wolves vs Chelsea - Lambert says Chelsea have 'no weaknesses' ahead of FA Cup tie



Posted Saturday, February 18, 2017 by PA

Wolves boss Paul Lambert insists the onus is on Chelsea ahead of tomorrow's FA Cup clash at Molineux.

Lambert's team have already accounted for Stoke and Liverpool in this season's competition but face their toughest task to date on Saturday evening when Antonio Conte's Premier League leaders come to town.

Stoke rested some players against Wolves while Liverpool played several youngsters, but the talent at Conte's disposal is on a different level in comparison.

Chelsea are eight points clear at the top of the table and have been defeated only once since October, while Wolves are 18th in the Championship and have lost their last three league matches.

Lambert fails to see a weakness in the Chelsea side, even if Conte does not field his first choice line-up.

"Usually I'd say the expectation is on us because we are at home, but the onus and expectancy is on Chelsea because of who they are and the resources they have got," said Lambert, who won the Scottish Cup four times as a player.

"You look at their players and every one is an international, everyone on their bench is an international.

"It's not as if they are young and they don't play. If Pedro doesn't play then Willian comes in, or Cesc Fabregas can come in. They have got no weaknesses at all."

It is clear the size of the task facing Wolves is not lost on Lambert but he hopes his team can spring another surprise, as they did at the bet365 Stadium and at Anfield.

Burnley were praised last weekend for the way they contained Chelsea to earn a 1-1 draw at Turf Moor but the Scot insists he will not be copying the approach of Clarets counterpart Sean Dyche.

"We will need to punch above our weight and stay in the game as long as we can," said Lambert.

"We will have to do what we are good at and not get drawn into playing Chelsea's way. We will have to find a way of taking them out of their comfort zone, as we did at Liverpool.

"What Burnley did was excellent but I saw the possession stats were incredibly high in Chelsea's favour, which you would expect. Burnley are ahead of us in league terms and Sean has done a great job there but I would be uncomfortable with teams having a lot of the ball.

"I'm not so sure, so I'm not going to play the same way that Burnley did. That's taking nothing away from Burnley because they got a brilliant result but when you sit and wait for a team to come at you you've got to hope they have an off-day and don't fire at all levels."

Jack Price is back in contention having missed the Championship defeat to Wigan in midweek after suffering concussion in the previous home loss to Newcastle.

The injury news is not so good as regards Nouha Dicko and he is set to remain sidelined for the tie with his hamstring trouble.

Fellow striker Joe Mason will also continue to miss out because of hernia problems.

Chelsea boss Conte has tasted defeat to a team of underdogs including Lambert before.

Conte was recovering from a cruciate knee ligament injury and watched on as highly-fancied Juventus were beaten 3-1 in the 1996-97 Champions League final by Lambert's Borussia Dortmund - a side which included three former Juve players.

Now the pair are reunited at Molineux on Saturday and Conte said: "This is one of the three finals that I lost.

"We were favourites. I remember that they were the underdog before the game, but they won very well against us.

"He was a good player. I remember very well.

"Revenge is not a good word. Now we started a new career me and Lambert, as coaches.

"I wish for him the best for his career - after this game. For me it will be a great pleasure to shake his hand."

David Luiz and Marcos Alonso will be rested for the game.

Captain John Terry could replace Luiz, who has been playing with a knee injury, while Nathan Ake and Kenedy are options to replace Alonso at left wing-back, with Cesc Fabregas among those potentially coming in.

With no midweek game next week, Chelsea are unlikely to make wholesale changes, so Diego Costa and Eden Hazard could continue.



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