Match Preview: Chelsea FC at West Bromwich Albion


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Coming off a comprehensive 3-0 victory against Newcastle United on the weekend, Chelsea FC head to The Hawthorns to face 18th placed West Bromwich Albion. The Baggies have struggled mightily this season and even fired manager Steve Clarke earlier in the year. Manager Pepe Mel will look to steer his side clear of the drop zone but with the mighty Chelsea coming to town his cause will not be made any easier.

Chelsea will be without John Terry for the second match in a row but according to Jose Mourinho he should be fit again for Saturday’s FA Cup tie with Manchester City. Fernando Torres returned to training last week and is on track to start tomorrow with both Demba Ba and Samuel Eto’o also available. Mourinho will look to rest any player who picked up a knock on Saturday or is simply looking in need of some rest so a heavy squad rotation may occur.

The last time the two clubs met, West Brom threatened to end Jose Mourinho’s unbeaten streak at Stamford Bridge until a controversial late penalty salvaged a point for the Blues. This current West Brom side has lost much of their early season momentum and will miss Nicolas Anelka, Jonas Olsson and Stephane Sessegnon so an already poor side will be further weakened for Chelsea’s visit. This could be another sampling of “19th century football” so the object will to be score early and hopefully often. With Manchester City facing Sunderland and Arsenal playing the in crisis Manchester United, Chelsea will do well to dispatch of the Baggies and claim three more valuable points on the road.

Match Prediction: 2-0

Match Facts and Notes:

  • West Brom have won their last two matches against the Blues at The Hawthorns and have lost just one of their last four games against Chelsea
  • West Brom are winless in four matches under Pepe Mel and have won only one of their last 15 league games and have won the fewest games in the division (four) and drawn the most (11)
  • The Baggies have kept just three clean sheets in their last 22 league games at The Hawthorns
  • Chelsea have earned 26 points out of the last possible 30 and kept seven clean sheets in nine games – including their last four away from home
  • They have conceded six goals fewer than any other side in the Premier League this season
  • Eden Hazard scored his first Premier League hat-trick against Newcastle on Saturday and now has 12 top-flight goals this season, three more than he managed in the whole of 2012-13
  • The Blues have scored 11 goals from outside the box in open play this season in the Premier League, more than any other side

Stats courtesy of BBC Sport.
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Tags: Barclay's Premier League Chelsea Football Club