Bruno Lage dismisses suggestions it is a good time to be playing Chelsea

Chelsea have taken four points from their last three games.
Wolves boss Bruno Lage refuses to underestimate Chelsea (Martin Rickett/PA)

Wolves boss Bruno Lage refuses to underestimate Chelsea (Martin Rickett/PA)

By David Charlesworth, PA

Wolves head coach Bruno Lage dismissed suggestions this is the right time to take on Chelsea as he revealed Fabio Silva and Yerson Mosquera have tested positive for coronavirus.

Chelsea sat atop the Premier League at the start of the month but are now below Manchester City and Liverpool in the standings after a mini-blip that has seen the European champions take four points from their last three games.

Yet Lage, whose eighth-placed Wolves are only five points adrift of the top-four, is wary of drawing any confidence from the Blues’ recent run ahead of Thomas Tuchel’s side’s scheduled visit to Molineux on Sunday afternoon.

“These types of teams don’t have a bad moment,” Lage said. “They have big players and are one of the best teams in the world – they won the last Champions League, have a lot of experience and so does the manager.

“He can replace several players because they have a good squad and they do very well in this system, they dominate this system. They can play 3-4-3 or 3-5-2, they know how to play both ways.

“For us, this is a challenge, this is why when I had this invitation from Wolves (to become boss in the summer) I didn’t think twice.

“These are the kind of things we want to compete, these are the kind of things we want for me and my players to play against. Every week is a massive challenge. It’s an opportunity for us every time.”

On-loan South Korean forward Hwang Hee-chan is doubtful because of an injury he suffered in the 1-0 win at Brighton last time out while fellow attacker Silva and defender Mosquera have recorded positive lateral flow tests.

Wolves are awaiting the outcome of the follow-up PCR tests ahead of a fixture which is set to be one of only five in the top-flight taking place this weekend, with four on Saturday postponed because of outbreaks at several clubs.

Asked if he thought a circuit-breaker should be implemented, Lage adopted a diplomatic tone, saying: “If some of the teams are losing a lot of matches, when you look at the table there’s teams with three or four games less, OK.

“Two or three games less you can understand, more than that, it is more difficult to understand the sequences of the table.”

Villa boss Steven Gerrard revealed on Friday afternoon the league was organising a managers’ get-together on Monday to address “concerns and unanswered questions” concerning the Covid crisis.

Lage added: “The most important thing is judge how many players should be available to play the game. We have a small squad. If you have some players with Covid maybe they don’t have players available for the games.

“That’s why in these moments we need to see day-by-day to try to analyse what is the best solutions and decisions for each game.”

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