Wolves v Chelsea FA Cup preview: Anything can happen against Antonio Conte's stars

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As tests go, it doesn't get much tougher than this.

Chelsea's predicted XI – which could be missing the likes of £32million Diego Costa, £34m David Luiz and £32m Eden Hazard – still costs an estimated £100m.

Wolves' XI is slightly more modest at £17m – of which £13m is Helder Costa.

That's not to mention the league positions of the current clubs.

Chelsea are the champions-elect of English football, eight points clear at the top of the Premier League and have only lost one game since October.

Wolves are 18th in the Championship having lost four of their past five league games.

And yet, having beaten an all-but full strength Stoke City, then defeated the might of Liverpool at Anfield (albeit a team with a few youngsters), Wolves will be confident of at least giving the Blues something to worry about.

Paul Lambert, while not exactly bullish about his team's chances, has faith in them.

The minimum he asks of them is to play their own game.


"As long as we can stay in the game as long as we can and not let the occasion overawe us then let's see what happens," he told the Express & Star.

"We're up against a team that's eight points clear in the Premier League with a great manager and a great team who are playing ever so well.

"But on one given day, you never know.


"We'll need to punch above our weight – but first and foremost we have to do what we're good at, not play Chelsea's way, or into their way of playing.

"Like at Liverpool, we have to try and take them out their comfort zone. I've watched a few games of theirs and been to see them live.

"If we play short passes near our goal and we lose it we'll be in trouble. We have to find a way to eradicate that, limit mistakes as best we can.

"For me the most important thing is we play the way we play, which is hopefully with the energy we've showed recently bar Tuesday night. Don't worry about anything else."

Lambert says Tuesday night's defeat to Wigan hasn't influenced his team selection.

Paul Lambert manager / head coach of Wolverhampton Wanderers speaks with Andreas Weimann

He's likely to bring in the likes of Andreas Weimann, Conor Coady and Kortney Hause, who all starred at Anfield.

Wolves won at Stoke and Liverpool playing a counter-attacking style. How does Lambert see this one playing out?

"Normally I'd say the onus is on us at home, but on this occasion it's not because we're up against a team that I don't even know when they last got beat," he said.

"The onus and expectancy is on Chelsea because of who they are and the resources they've got.

"You look at their bench and everyone's an international. It's not as if they're young and they don't play. If Pedro doesn't play then Willian comes in, or Cesc Fabregas can come in.

"They've no weakness at all.

"We can go and enjoy it – but we only enjoy it if we get a foothold in the game and make it a game.

"I don't want to turn up and think this is a great occasion – I want to get through and win the tie.

"We've got so many fans coming as well. For me we have to play the way we play, don't change, bar what happened against Wigan."


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