Chelsea - West Brom Preview: Stamford Bridge side look to maintain unbeaten Premier League record against the Baggies
Both teams look to register first win of the season as Roy Hodgson's side seek to avenge last year's 6-0 capitulation which saw them register their biggest defeat of the season
By Josh Clarke
Bosingwa, Alex, Terry, Cole
Ramires, Mikel, Lampard
Anelka, Torres, Malouda
Reid, Tamas, Olsson, Shorey
Morrison, Mulumbu, Scharner, Brunt
Hilario is set to start in goal for Chelsea after Petr Cech was ruled out for up to four weeks with a knee injury. Meanwhile, new boy Romelu Lukaku could be set to feature on the bench, but otherwise Andre Villas-Boas is likely to field a more or less identical squad to the one who recorded a stalemate with Stoke.
With David Luiz still sidelined and Daniel Sturridge serving the rest of his suspension, the only change looks likely to be Nicolas Anelka being drafted in at the expense of Solomon Kalou.
Roy Hodgson will be buoyed by the return to fitness of Jermone Thomas and Peter Odemwingie – with the latter having put to bed talk of unrest at the club after signing a new long-term deal at The Hawthorns. Though, whether or not both feature remains to be seen, particularly given Shane Long’s goalscoring debut and the nuisance Somen Tchoyi made of himself against Manchester United.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Chelsea have never lost to West Brom in the Premier League.
- On top of that, West Brom have not won at Stamford Bridge in six games now.
- Though Roy Hodgson's men may have cause for optimism; they haven't lost on their travels in six Premier League games.
- West Brom will be hoping that Didier Drogba doesn't start. The Ivorian has scored eight goals in seven games against the Baggies.
- Last season West Brom recouped more points from losing positions than any other Premier League team - chalking up 27 points for their tally.
- In the last four encounters between the two in west London, Chelsea have not conceded a goal.
- Chelsea can counter that though, having only dropped six points from winning positions - making them the most efficient team in the league.
- West Brom only kept two clean sheets last season - a Premier League record.
- In the corresponding fixture of last year, Chelsea smashed West Brom 6-0.
- Alongside Arsenal, Chelsea are the Premier League team who have gone on the longest run without a win - a stretch of four games.
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Top 3 Predictions
Chelsea FC 3-0 West Bromwich Albion
- 25.85 %
Chelsea FC 4-0 West Bromwich Albion
- 23.46 %
Chelsea FC 2-0 West Bromwich Albion
- 11.73 %
|Premier League (EPL)||11 Feb 2014||West Bromwich Albion 1 - Chelsea FC 1|
|Premier League (EPL)||9 Nov 2013||Chelsea FC 2 - West Bromwich Albion 2|
|Premier League (EPL)||2 Mar 2013||Chelsea FC 1 - West Bromwich Albion 0|
|Premier League (EPL)||17 Nov 2012||West Bromwich Albion 2 - Chelsea FC 1|
|Premier League (EPL)||3 Mar 2012||West Bromwich Albion 1 - Chelsea FC 0|
|1 Mar 2014||Fulham 1 - Chelsea FC 3||EPL|
|26 Feb 2014||Galatasaray 1 - Chelsea FC 1||UCL|
|22 Feb 2014||Chelsea FC 1 - Everton 0||EPL|
|15 Feb 2014||Manchester City 2 - Chelsea FC 0||FA|
|11 Feb 2014||West Bromwich Albion 1 - Chelsea FC 1||EPL|
|12||John Obi Mikel||Midfielder|
|-||Sebastien Gabriel Tamaş||Defender|
Although the striker didn’t net against Stoke last weekend, the sharp movement and decent efforts on goal were reminiscent of Torres’ time at Liverpool – which can only be a massive bonus for Chelsea.
It’s only a matter of time before Torres gets off the mark for Chelsea and once he gets into his groove, it’s not particularly difficult to envision the Spaniard bagging 20-odd goals this season.
The awkward striker looks as if he’s going to be a pretty hands-on job for most Premier League teams this season.
Whereas out-and-out goalscoring may not be Tchoyi’s primary talent, holding the ball up and bringing the Baggies’ plethora of attacking midfielders into the game is where the Cameroonian may have a big influence on the game.
With Peter Odemwingie close to full fitness, Roy Hodgson has somewhat of a selection headache, with Shane Long scoring on his debut and Tchoyi proving a handful for Manchester United to deal with.
Against Manchester United, the Baggies showed that they will present a problem to most teams this season, though I think on the day, Chelsea will prove too much for their visitors. I think Chelsea will win this one rather convincingly.