West Brom - Chelsea Preview: Roberto Di Matteo’s men seeking return to winning ways at The Hawthorns
With just two points from their last three matches, the Blues need to find their form against a fifth-placed Baggies side who have exceeded expectations so far this season
By Alfie Meekings
Jones, McAuley, Olsson, Ridgewell
Morrison, Mulumbu, Yacob, Brunt
Ivanovic, Luiz, Cahill, Cole
Mata, Oscar, Hazard
Steven Reid (hamstring) could feature for West Brom after playing an hour for the reserves last weekend. However, Steve Clarke has intimated that he will be cautious with the 31-year-old’s return. Romelu Lukaku is ineligible as the Blues are his parent club.
The Baggies are also without goalkeeper Ben Foster, as the 29-year-old recovers from an operation on his groin. However, James Morrison (groin), who withdrew from the Scotland squad midweek, is likely to make a return.
Defender Craig Dawson has been suffering with blurred vision since a training ground incident last week and is still unavailable but Youssuf Mulumbu (hamstring) should be fit, despite missing the international break.
Chelsea will be without John Terry (knee) who picked up an injury in their draw with Liverpool last weekend, while Saturday is also expected to be too soon for Frank Lampard (calf).
There is some good news for Roberto Di Matteo, however, as Ashley Cole (hamstring) and David Luiz (illness) are both likely to make a return to the starting lineup.
Youssouf Mulumbu, Claudio Yacob, Ramires and Luiz are all one yellow card away from a suspension.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
West Brom have won five and lost just one of their six Premier League matches at the Hawthorns this season.
Meanwhile, Chelsea have not lost a game away from Stamford Bridge this term, winning three and drawing two.
The Blues have won 18 and lost one of their last 21 games against the Baggies (W18 D2 L1)
However, that lone loss came the last time these two sides met at The Hawthorns in March - a result which ultimately cost Andre Villas-Boas his job.
In the visitors’ last 11 matches in all competitions an average of 4.55 goals have been scored.
All three of the hosts' first-team strikers – Shane Long, Peter Odemwingie and Romelu Lukaku – have three goals this term.
Juan Mata (pictured, right) has four goals and six assists this campaign, and his superb form saw him crowned the Premier League’s Player of the Month for October.
The hosts’ manager, Steve Clarke, was assistant to Jose Mourinho and Avram Grant when they managed Chelsea, and notched up 421 appearances for the club in his playing days, while Roberto Di Matteo managed the Baggies between 2009-2011, taking them into the Premier League in the process.
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Top 3 Predictions
West Bromwich Albion 0-3 Chelsea FC
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West Bromwich Albion 1-3 Chelsea FC
- 17.93 %
West Bromwich Albion 1-2 Chelsea FC
- 9.72 %
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|30||Sebastien Gabriel Tamaş||Defender|
|12||John Obi Mikel||Midfielder|