Chelsea vs West Bromwich Albion
English Premier League
Stamford Bridge, London
Kick-off: Saturday, 20:30 IST
Head-to-head: Chelsea 50 ,West Brom 37 , Draw 29
Chelsea host West Bromwich Albion in match 12 of the Premier League season at Stamford Bridge.
West Bromwich Albion came close to winning at Chelsea last season but it would be a surprise if they were to take even a point on Saturday. In recent history, Chelsea have not enjoyed playing West Brom, having won only one of their last five outings against the Baggies. But Chelsea are in a different proposition this season as they have a four-point lead at the top of the table.
Chelsea have not lost a single game this season and they dropped just four points in their eleven games. Chelsea have not lost a single point at Stamford Bridge.
West Brom are currently 13th on the table with 13 points from 11 games. West Brom have only won one of their last five games.
Cesc Fàbregas and Diego Costa both missed international duty with Spain due to minor injuries but Jose Mourinho says striker Costa has ‘fully recovered’ from hamstring and groin complaints while Fabregas is in contention after returning to training on Friday after a minor thigh tear. André Schürrle also withdrew from the Germany squad due to illness but has had enough time to recover and it remains to be seen if the Germany forward plays any part. Ramires is available for selection though ‘not in very good condition’. Willian is most likely to come into the side as the only change to the starting XI which won 2-1 at Liverpool. Ramires will be shifted inside to play alongside Nemanja Matic if Fabregas is not fully fit.
Jonas Olsson remains sidelined while Sébastien Pocognoli remains a doubt for the trip to Stamford Bridge due to hamstring injury. Craig Gardner is available for the game against Chelsea following a suspension and could return to the side along with Stéphane Sessegnon. The midfielder missed the 2-0 loss against Newcastle through suspension but could come straight back into Alan Irvine’s starting XI at Stamford Bridge. Saido Berahino may not have made his England debut as he had hoped in midweek, but he will lead the line for West Brom in London, with Stephane Sessegnon likely to be recalled into the team.
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho says it will be a difficult match.
“I expect to win, but I expect a very very difficult match. They have a good team nad they can give us a very difficult match. They know that they can get a result against us because they got it in the past.”
West Bromwich Albion manager Alan Irvine thinks they have a chance in the game.
“I would probably argue that Chelsea have strengthened a very good squad from last year by adding some exceptionally good players. They are stronger but it doesn’t mean we can’t get something from there. We have a chance – there is absolutely no question of that – but we will need to play extremely well.”
- Didier Drogba has scored eight goals in nine Premier League games against West Brom. This is Drogba’s joint highest tally against any club along with Arsenal.
- Chelsea have won just one of their last five Premier League games against West Brom (W1 D2 L2).
- West Bromwich Albion have won just three of their last 14 Premier League games (W3 D4 L7).
- Cesc Fabregas has averaged a goal assist every 225 minutes in his Premier League career. This is a better rate than any other player in the history of the competition (min 25 assists).
- Diego Costa has scored 10 goals in nine Premier League matches this season.
- Chelsea have hit the target with 54 per cent of their attempts at goal. The best shooting accuracy in the Premier League.
- Chelsea have netted with 23 per cent of their shots. The best conversion rate in the League.
- Chelsea have recovered the most points from losing positions of any team in the Premier League (9).
- Only two teams have ever had more points after 11 games of a Premier League season than Chelsea currently have. Chelsea in 2005-06 and Manchester City in 2011-12 with 31 points each.
- Chelsea are unbeaten in their last 14 Premier League matches (W11 D3 L0).
Recent Form (In Premier League)
Chelsea : WWDWW
West Bromwich Albion : LWDDL
Possible starting lineups:
Chelsea : Courtois ; Ivanovic , Azpilicueta , Cahill , Terry , Fabregas , Matic , Oscar , Willian , Hazard , Costa
West Bromwich Albion : Foster ; Wisdom , Dawson , Lescott , Davidson , Dorrans , Morrison , Gardner , Brunt , Sessegnon , Berahino
Chelsea 2 – 0 West Bromwich Albion
Picture Courtesy: Birmingham.co.uk