Chelsea vs West Bromwich Albion: Preview
After an unlikely loss at the St James Park, Chelsea return to their home, Stamford Bridge, to take on an impressive Baggies side who have displayed strength and character in the last few weeks. The Blues are currently five points behind leaders Arsenal and Saturday’s early kickoff gives them a chance to bridge the gap between the two crosstown rivals from London.
West Brom manger Steve Clarke gets his first chance to reunite with Jose Mourinho since he left the Stamford Bridge job and will look to get something from the match. Chelsea have so far won six games in October with Mourinho’s squad rotation producing desired effects.
West Brom enter the Bridge ending a three-match winless streak by triumphing 2-0 over Crystal Palace in their previous outing. It’s not surprising that Chelsea have a 100 percent home league record so far this season and Mourinho is unbeaten in 65 Premier League home games with the Blues.
Mourinho on his supposedly meeting with former assistant manager said,
“I am very happy to meet Steve Clarke again. It will be a difficult game because he organizes his teams well. He was more than an assistant coach… in charge of training methodology, sessions, match preparation. We stay in touch but not speaking about our jobs directly. Every game Steve Clarke plays I wish he will win, but tomorrow that is not the case which is strange.”
Chelsea will be without Fernando Torres who has a thigh injury, which means that either Demba Ba or Samuel Eto’o would definitely start with the latter being the most realistic choice after his incredible outing against Schalke. Elsewhere Eden Hazard who was dropped during the Champions League match is likely to be recalled.
West Brom winger, and former Chelsea youngster, Scott Sinclair will miss out on a return to his former club after suffering a hamstring strain. Also on the injury list are Billy Jones, first choice Goalkeeper Ben Foster and Zoltan Gera. Another former Chelsea man, Nicolas Anelka, is also doubtful but Victor Anichebe is declared to be fit again for the Baggies.
Possible starting lineups:
Chelsea: Cech; Ivanovic, Luiz, Terry, Cole; Ramires, Lampard; Mata, Oscar, Hazard; Eto’o
West Brom: Myhill; Jones, Ridgewell, McAuley, Olsson; Morrison, Mulumbu, Brunt, Sessegnon, Amalfitano; Long
- Chelsea have won 12 of their 14 Premier League games with West Brom (W12 L2) including all seven at Stamford Bridge.
- West Brom have won two of their last three league games against Chelsea, but both have been at the Hawthorns.
- The 14 previous Premier League meetings between Chelsea and West Brom have seen a total of 13 managers take part.
- Chelsea have hit more shots off target than any other Premier League side this season (77).
- Chelsea have scored 76 goals in their last 26 Saturday 3pm Premier League games at Stamford Bridge, an average of 2.9 per game.
- Chelsea have won 12 of their last 13 Premier League home games.
Coming to the predictions it looks an easy win for the home side, but last week’s unpredictable loss to Newcastle show signs of disturbance and weakness in the Blues. However they have the firepower to beat anyone and I will predict a 2-0 win for the home side.