Wolverhampton Wanderers vs Chelsea: 3 things to look out for at Molineux

With a momentum building triumph in the EFL Cup quarterfinals behind it, Chelsea Football Club travel north to Wolverhampton for a Christmas Eve clash in the Premier League.
Chelsea v Newcastle United - Carabao Cup Quarter Final
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Pedro Neto
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3. A potential injection of energy off the bench from Pedro Neto with a return possible

Per coach O'Neil, Portuguese midfielder Pedro Neto could return to the pitch this Sunday for the first time since suffering a hamstring injury in October. Despite competing in just 10 Premier League fixtures so far this season, Neto is tied with Kieran Trippier and Mohamed Salah for the league lead in assists. That's videogame type stuff, to be honest.

Photos have surfaced of him on the first team training pitch, potentially preparing to be an impact substitute against the west London outfit. This is a massive chance to go level on points with the west London side, so you have to assume Neto will make an appearance at some point. The Portuguese winger has gone just one match in Wolves' colors since September without a goal contribution. That consistency has attracted the interest of one of the Blues' London rivals, Arsenal.

He would be the exact definition of an jolt of energy off the bench. Poch's men, even if up a goal, cannot relax with No. 7 in yellow and black back on the pitch. Whatever side he is deployed on, the Blues should match it by slotting Malo Gusto on that same flank with one of the four center backs standing little chance given his acceleration pace.

2. More brilliance from Conor Gallagher in the midst of transfer speculation

Since being given a red card in the victory over Brighton and Hove Albion, midfielder Conor Gallagher has rebounded valiantly. In the mid-week at the Bridge, the Englishman led the Blues in total touches and defensive actions, demonstrating once again his importance to this CFC team. Even with that, the rumors about his move away from west London have persisted.

Though the club is supposably not actively looking to sell the academy graduate, bids over £50 will to be "seriously considered." Poch's recent comments are quite confusing, essentially leading people to believe that though he wants to retain him, that may be up to him. How is that possible? Managers cannot find success when the "higher-ups" are making the decisions for them. Locking him down long-term past the summer of 2025 should be the focus, not playing with the idea of selling the midfielder to a bitter rival in north London.

He competed at least 90 percent of his passes over the last two contests while leading the Blues with 19 total recoveries in that same span. How much more does the club want to know he is a long-term asset for this project? With this the only game on Sunday in the league, this is an opportunity to make even more statements to the people at the club that see a future without him.