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Chelsea Team News: Injuries, suspensions and line-up vs West Brom

11:10 GMT+4 18/11/2017
David Luiz
The Blues looking to keep pace in their efforts to defend the Premier League title as they travel to the Midlands to face the Baggies

Chelsea travel to face West Bromwich Albion on Saturday as they aim to build on their 1-0 win over Jose's Mourinho's Manchester United before the international break. 

Antonio Conte’s side trail Manchester City by nine points, but ended their recent run of fixtures with a positive result to keep in touch of Pep Guardiola's league leaders. 

Blues 8/5 to beat WBA & O2.5 goals

Tony Pulis has come under pressure for the first time as West Brom manager, with his side sitting only one point above the relegation zone after 11 games. West Brom have lost their last three games and they are without a win since August in the Premier League. 


CHELSEA INJURIES


Antonio Conte has confirmed that the majority of Chelsea's players have recovered from knocks over the international break. Eden Hazard and Gary Cahill were left out of their national teams but they are back fit to face West Brom. 

Danny Drinkwater skipped England duty after getting a knock against Manchester United but he is ready to come back on Saturday. N'Golo Kante is fit after making his triumphant return in that same match as Chelsea beat Man United 1-0 at Stamford Bridge. 

David Luiz and Tiemoue Bakayoko are both fit and have trained at Chelsea despite reportedly suffering injuries in training around a week ago. However, Michy Batshuayi is out with an ankle injury and Charly Musonda has a knee problem that he sustained in training. 

Victor Moses is out for at least another week but he told Goal about his fitness status in an exclusive interview, as he was shortlisted for the BBC African Footballer of the Year. 

"The rehab has been going very well and hopefully I can just take my time to get myself as fit as possible to go back out there and enjoy my football again," Moses told Goal. "It is always frustrating when you watch the lads and you want to go in there yourself to try to help, to do the best you can to help the lads.

"Apart from that, it is always frustrating to watch from the sidelines when you just want to go out there and play football. You have to be disciplined, you don’t get to spend much time with the players. I am always by myself with the physio, trying to concentrate on my rehab to get back as quickly as possible."


CHELSEA SUSPENSIONS


Chelsea have no suspensions for the upcoming match against West Bromwich Albion. Antonio Rudiger is only one caution away from earning a one-match suspension for receiving five domestic yellow cards. 

The cut-off this season is after 19 league games, so to escape bans then all Chelsea players need to avoid accumulating five bookings until they play Everton on 23 December. 


POTENTIAL STARTING LINE-UP


Should Chelsea recall David Luiz or continue playing Andreas Christensen? That is the biggest question that Conte faces after the youngster impressed versus Manchester United as Luiz was left out. 

Chelsea have Antonio Rudiger vying for a place against Gary Cahill, while Davide Zappacosta may continue at right wing back in Moses' absence. Alvaro Morata, Eden Hazard and Pedro have emerged as first choice front three but they will only line up together if Conte chooses to play in a 3-4-3 system.

Conte may also look at using the 3-5-2 formation that most recently saw the Blues beat Manchester United at Stamford Bridge. Cesc Fabregas joined Kante and Bakayoko in a three man midfield. 

Kante will undoubtedly continue his recovery from injury against West Brom. 


WEST BROM TEAM NEWS


Craig Dawson has a knee injury and he is expected to be out for most of December. James Morrison has an achilles injury and he is facing a race to be fit in time to face Chelsea. 

Pulis will be happy that he has only two players out with the rest of his side expecting to be fit to face the champions on Saturday. 


BEST OPTA MATCH FACTS


  • After failing to win in four visits to the Hawthorns between 2012-2015 (W0 D1 L3), Chelsea have since won back to back games there, including last May when Michy Batshuayi scored to seal the title in a 1-0 victory.

  • This will be Antonio Conte’s 50th Premier League game in charge of Chelsea, with the reigning champions winning more points (115) than any other side since the start of last season.

  • Conte has the best win percentage of any permanent Chelsea manager in league history (75.5%).

  • Alvaro Morata has been directly involved in 10 goals in his first 10 Premier League games for Chelsea (seven goals, three assists) – only Diego Costa (11) had more goal involvements in his first 10 for the club.

  • Morata has won more points with his goals and assists in the Premier League this season than any other player (8).


TV CHANNEL & KICK OFF TIME


The match is not being televised in the United Kingdom and it will be first shown on Saturday evening on BBC One's Match of the Day.