West Brom v CHELSEA: Preview


Venue: The Hawthorns
Date: Sunday, 23 August
Kick-off: 13:30 BST

Today’s game will be Mourinho’s 300th in charge of Chelsea, so in spite of our poor start to the season you’d have to think he’ll fare better than Villas Boas and Di Matteo did after defeats in this fixture. Not that Mourinho will be advocating our defence throws caution to the wind again this weekend though, after the lesson we took against City. Tony Pulis likewise, knows that feeling well so it’s likely to be a bit of a cautious affair and we won’t be expecting any bulldozing from either side.

MANAGER’S VIEWS
Going into today’s early game, West Brom manager Tony Pulis laughs off talk of a crisis at Chelsea, saying “There’s a crisis at every Premier League team. It is a joke. A crisis after two games? They could have Pedro, (Diego) Costa and (Eden) Hazard playing, that’s not bad is it? They’re the champions and they deserved to win it. They were so far ahead of everyone. We know it’s going to be tough. To have Man City and Chelsea as our first two home games is very difficult, plus we have the window to deal with.”
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho meanwhile, says “This week we trained better than ever. Why? Because we are not happy. I’m not happy with the results, the players are not happy. We want to do better and the only way is to work well. This week we got a very good young left-back and we got one of the best attacking players in the world. Pedro is a player we like a lot and we are happy to have. He wants something more for his career, that’s an evident sign of ambition. He won everything playing with all these stars (at Barcelona) but he wants more and I’m really happy with that.”

SQUAD NEWS
For West Brom, Saido Berahino should play despite speculation about a move elsewhere. Serge Gnabry is fit and could make his debut.
For Chelsea, Thibaut Courtois should return after his one game ban and John Terry is likely to start. Victor Moses and Oscar are out with unspecified injuries, whilst new signings Baba Rahman and Pedro could make their debuts.

TEAMS
WEST BROM (Possible line-up): Myhill, Chester, Dawson, Lescott, Brunt, Gnabry, Fletcher, Morrison, McManaman, Lambert, Berahino.
CHELSEA (Possible line-up): Courtois, Ivanovic, Terry, Cahill, Azpilicueta, Matic, Fabregas, Pedro, Willian, Hazard, Costa.

LAST SEASON
West Brom 3-0 Chelsea (18th May 2015)

RECENT FORM
West Brom: LD
Chelsea: DL

OTHER STUFF
West Brom have won three of their last four at home to Chelsea.
West Brom are yet to score this season.
West Brom have had two shots on target in their opening two games.
No team has beaten West Brom more often in the Premier League than Chelsea
Chelsea have only once lost back-to-back Premier League games under Jose Mourinho
Chelsea have only kept one clean sheet in their last seven league games.

PREDICTION
Mourinho’s last six Premier League defeats have come against a manager who has a surname starting in P: Pulis, Poyet, Pardew, Pochettino, Pulis, Pellegrini – doesn’t bear thinking about really!

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