Jose Mourinho made a strong statement recently by acquiring the services of the star winger Pedro from Barcelona. Though his team started poorly with a shaky draw against Swansea and a loss to Manchester City at the Etihad, the manager will hope that the arrival of Pedro will lift the spirits of the team and that his team can finally get their first win of the season.
West Bromwich Albion also started their season with a loss and a draw and the fans will be quick to point out that their team has got the better of the Blues in the recent years. Tony Pulis has also had good success against Jose Mourinho in the past year and a half and this fixture could not have come at a better time for Chelsea. In this article, we have given a preview of the WBA vs Chelsea match along with the Predictions.
The game between West Bromwich Albion and Chelsea will be played at the Hawthorns on the 23rd of August. The Kickoff is scheduled at 1:30 pm BST (6:00 pm IST)
Apart from Pedro, who Mourinho said will take the time to get into the squad, the arrival of Baba Rahman will also provide them a much needed left back in place of Ivanovic who looked sluggish. Thibaut Courtois will also regain his place as the No.1 after serving his one-match suspension. Oscar and Victor Moses are still unavailable due to an injury.
Tony Pulis has no headaches in the injury department as he has a fully fit squad to face the Champions of the previous year. The Tottenham target, Saido Berahino will be available for selection after the club rejected a bid for the winger from Tottenham.
The shaky start to the season for Chelsea has been due to a number of factors. At the back, Ivanovic and Cahill did not look comfortable and this is something Tony Pulis will try to take advantage of. Though the defense is a bit strengthened with the arrival of Courtois, Mourinho will be tempted to play the new signing Baba Rahman in place of Ivanovic. This will give the likes of Berahino a chance to run at the new left back.
In attack, Costa wore a lone figure at the tip of the attack in the game against Manchester City. Hazard, Willian and Ramirez who started he game could not connect with his front man and Chelsea failed to create any kind of opportunities. However, Lescott and Dawson will not be as challenging as Kompany and Mangala and Chelsea may just find form in front of goal especially with the arrival of Pedro who may well start the game on Sunday despite his manager’s statement.
West Bromwich Albion
Myhill, Chester, Dawson, Lescott, Brunt, Gnabry, Fletcher, Morrison, McManaman, Lambert, Berahino.
Courtois, Ivanovic, Terry, Cahill, Azpilicueta, Matic, Fabregas, Pedro, Willian, Hazard, Costa.
No manager has ever beaten Jose Mourinho more than two times in the Premier League. Tony Pulis has a shot at making history when the two sides meet at the Hawthorns. However, an out of form Chelsea also has enough talent to beat the best teams in the league. So, Pulis has his work cut out if he wants to come out of this game with even a point.
Our Prediction: WBA 1-3 Chelsea