With no UEFA involvement, Antonio Conte can afford to treat this as a pretty regular weekend fixture. He is bound to want to rest a few regulars and give minutes to others he feels deserve them, but the Championship travails of hosts Wolverhampton Wanderers belie the fact they have twice beaten top-flight opposition to reach this far in the FA Cup.
The Italian will also be aware his friend and compatriot Carlo Ancelotti is Chelsea’s only Double-winning coach to date. As a result the head coach may retain a few more regulars from the start than in previous rounds at home to sides from League One and the Championship.
Conte briefly reverted to a back-four formation with two strikers up top as the Blues sought a winner last weekend at Burnley, and Wolves play in a similarly dogged and direct fashion. However, the Blues’ usual 3-4-3 causes so many teams problems there is no requirement to switch.
Goalkeeper Asmir Begovic seems almost certain to retain his ever-present role in this competition, with Cesc Fabregas another likely starter. David Luiz limped away from Turf Moor. He is fit but likely to be rested and though John Terry has declared himself fit, the door also looks open for Kurt Zouma or Nathan Ake in defence. Bithday boy Ake, along with Pedro (more usually in the front three) were the wing-backs in the previous round against Brentford.