CHELSEA v West Brom: Preview

Venue: Stamford Bridge
Date: Saturday, 22 November 2014
Kick-off: 15:00 GMT

Thankfully another international break is over and we get back to the bread and butter of the Premier League today without suffering the usual multitude of injuries.
This afternoon sees us at home to West Brom – a fixture we scraped an extremely late draw in last season so the Baggies might well come looking for reimbursement this afternoon, having felt cheated out of all three points by the ref last time round.
Ramires might have to watch his step!
Of course, this is also the first home game since Jose Mourinho made it known there’s been no recent complaints about noise pollution from any of the Stamford Bridge neighbours, so we should expect a right racket today.

MANAGERS’ VIEWS
Ahead of today’s game, Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho takes nothing for granted, saying “No complacency, that’s for sure. If we lose matches, and I believe we will, it won’t be because of complacency. It will be because football is football. It was not in the Premier League but I can give you an example: our game against Maribor. We lost two points, but it wasn’t down to complacency. It was because of football. Their goalkeeper was the man of the match and we missed so many chances. My team played tremendously well in the second half but we still lost two points. You lose points because it’s football, because the opponents are better than you, but not because of complacency.”
Whilst on Diego Costa, Mourinho says “I believe [this period has set him up for the rest of the season], but now we are going to have a period that is new for him. I always think that the Christmas period for players doing it for the first time in their careers is more difficult. The English players, or those who have been here for many, many years, are more physically and, especially, more mentally adapted and prepared to cope with that incredible marathon of football we have to face. But in these two weeks he has had a little bit of a holiday, but one spent with a Chelsea physio. Even in that small period of holiday he was working many, many hours per day with our physio. After that he came back, he keeps going in the right direction and, at this moment, we feel he’s free of his old injury.
Diego has four yellow cards. Am I going to protect him for any game? No way. He plays, when he gets the fifth he gets the fifth because the important game is against West Brom. After West Brom is Sunderland. I am not thinking about Newcastle, Tottenham or Stoke – for us it is the next match. With Diego, we have to go match by match, but the way he trains and expresses himself in training, he has a free mind. He’s free of fears, at this moment. He is good.”

Despite a draw in this fixture last season, Baggies boss Alan Irvine says, “Of course it’s a completely different game. I’d argue that Chelsea have strengthened what was a very good squad last year by bringing in a couple of exceptionally talented players. So I feel that they’re probably stronger but it doesn’t mean we’re not capable of going and getting a good result there. We have a chance, there’s absolutely no question of that. Anywhere we go we have a chance.We’ll have to play extremely well because they’re a team capable of hurting you in many different ways. They’re very effective in free play and they’re very effective from set plays, so we will have to be able to cope with that first of all, but we must also give them problems. We’ve got to be able to take the opportunities that we get to attack them and it’s important that our players aren’t passive and just accept that Chelsea will have possession. We have to be organised when they do have possession but we’ve also got to be positive and aggressive when we have the ball.”

SQUAD NEWS
For Chelsea, in the injury front Nathan Ake (hamstring) is out for a few weeks, whilst Diego Costa (hamstring/groin) and Andre Schurrle (illness) are both ok to play and both Cesc Fabregas (thigh) and Ramires (groin) should also be available.
For West Brom, Jonas Olsson (Achilles) and Sebastien Pocognoli (hamstring) are injured, while Craig Gardner is available again following suspension.

TEAMS
CHELSEA (Possible line-up): Courtois; Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry, Azpilicueta; Matic, Fabregas; Hazard, Oscar, Willian; Costa.
WEST BROM (Possible line-up): Foster, Wisdom, Lescott, Dawson, Gamboa; Brunt, Dorrans, Gardner, Morrison; Sessegnon, Berahino.

LAST SEASON
Chelsea 2-2 West Brom (9 November 2013)

OTHER STUFF
• Chelsea are unbeaten at Stamford Bridge this season.
• A win today would set a new club record for Chelsea of 12 matches unbeaten from the start of a top-flight season.
• Chelsea have kept 10 clean sheets in their last 13 league games at home.
• West Brom have won one from five league games since back to-back wins in September.
• West Brom have not won successive away games in the league for two years but have still earned more points away (7) than at home (6) so far this season.
• West Brom haven’t beaten Chelsea at Stamford Bridge since 1978
• This game finished 2-2 last season

PREDICTION
I imagine most people would expect a straightforward 3 points at home this afternoon but then that was the expectation in this fixture last November as well and as it turned out we were lucky to get a point in the end. As always with Chelsea, we should probably never take anything as a given – so we should probably expect a sponsored silence!

One Response to “CHELSEA v West Brom: Preview”

  1. Ma trust is in GOD and In Chelsea. I believe we win our match against Westbrom.
    Chelsea for life.