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Premier League

  • April 16, 2011
  • • 15:00
  • • The Hawthorns, West Bromwich
  • Referee: L. Probert
  • • Attendance: 25163
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Premier League preview: West Brom - Chelsea

Premier League preview: West Brom - Chelsea

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The champions hit the Baggies for six when they met on the opening day of the season, but the Midlands club have been one of the form teams in the league over the last month


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PROBABLE LINE-UPS
West Brom: Carson; Reid, Meite, Olsson, Shorey; Thomas, Scharner, Mulumbu, Morrison, Brunt; Odemwingie.

Chelsea: Cech; Ivanovic, David Luiz, Terry, Cole; Ramires, Lampard, Essien; Anelka, Torres, Malouda.  
DID YOU KNOW?

  • Since taking over from Roberto Di Matteo, Roy Hodgson's side have been unbeaten in six games, including three wins.
  • West Brom have turned things round in second halves of games. If their games finished at half-time, they would be four points off safety in 18th place.
  • The Baggies have the joint sixth best goalscoring record in the league having notched 46 strikes from 32 games, better than Everton, Liverpool, Tottenham and Aston Villa, among others.
  • Striker Peter Odemwingie has netted just under a quarter of his side's goals this season with 11 strikes to his name in his maiden Premier League campaign.
  • Scott Carson has kept just a solitary clean sheet this season, which came at the first home game of the season against Sunderland in August. That's the worst record in the league.
  • Chelsea have the second best away record in the league, with 23 points from 16 games.
  • However, the Blues have lost two of their four games in the Midlands this season, having been defeated 1-0 by both Birmingham and Wolves.
  • Ramires may have been sent off in the Champions League on Tuesday, but Chelsea have the third best disciplinary record in the Premier League, with just one red card awarded to Carlo Ancelotti's players in 31 games.
  • The reigning champions have the third best average goals per game scored, weighing in at 1.77 goals a match; a record bettered only by Arsenal (two goals a game) and Manchester United (2.19 strikes).
  • Despite the gulf in quality between the two sides - and Chelsea's far greater amount of years in the top flight - the clubs have met 123 times, with the Blues winning 51, drawing 32 and losing 40 of their duels with West Brom. However, since the Premier League's inception, the London club have won all nine games, scoring 26 times.
LAST MEETING

August 14, 2010: Chelsea 6-0 West Brom

The reigning champions began the season with a bang as Didier Drogba scored a hat-trick with Florent Malouda grabbing a brace against the newly promoted side.

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Players to watch

C. Brunt

Position: Midfielder

Games: 14

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The Northern Irish midfielder and club captain has been in fine form this season, and is joint second in assists along with Andrey Arshavin, Leighton Baines and Wayne Rooney on 11. Only Manchester United winger Nani ahead of the pack on 18.

Stunning set-piece deliveries from Brunt has contributed to his exploits, but the 27-year-old is more than just a dead ball specialist. His tenacity will ensure that the Chelsea midfield will be put under pressure throughout.

Fernando Torres

Position: Attacker

Games: 0

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When is the Spaniard not the man to watch? The 27-year-old British record signing has been nothing short of an embarrassment since his deadline day switch from Liverpool, and his substitution at half-time of the Champions League second leg at Old Trafford in midweek was a low point.

The £50 million man simply has to start performing, whether it is from the bench or from kick-off at the Hawthorns. Doubts over his pace, his mentality, his touch and his eye for goal have been raised. But somewhere underneath the sulkiness lurks a world-class striker and sooner than later the talent will seep through the depressed exterior.

Editor's Prediction

West Brom have gone unbeaten since Roy Hodgson took over in February and saw off Liverpool at the Hawthorns.

Chelsea are too schizophrenic to call these days, particularly when Fernando Torres figures from the off. The champions have looked inept and directionless on occasion, but have shown glimpses of the steeliness that took them to the title last year.

One suspects that after a midweek humbling they will come out firing, though they could just as well wither away. Regardless of what Chelsea side turns up, they will not come away from the Midlands with three points.

Last Five Matches

Head To Head

West Bromwich Albion

Chelsea

Wins
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2
Wins

Betting & Predictions

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