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West Brom - Match Preview


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The Match

Chelsea host West Bromwich at Stamford Bridge on Saturday 9th November in their latest Premier League match with the game set to kick off at 3pm UK time. After the dismay away defeat to Newcastle last Saturday, the Blues will look to bounce back against the visitors tomorrow. They did, however, return to winning ways on Wednesday in the Champions League as a brace from Samuel Eto’o and goal from Demba Ba sealed a 3-0 win against German side Schalke which put them on the verge of qualification for the Last 16. Jose Mourinho’s side will be desperate to do the same domestically against the Baggies ahead of the international break and take advantage of title rivals Manchester United hosting Arsenal in a huge clash at Old Trafford on Sunday.

This game will see the reunion of the Portuguese manager and his former assistant Steve Clarke from his first stint here at Stamford Bridge as they go head-to-head for the first time as managers. The pair enjoyed a successful spell together between 2004 and 2007 and still have a good relationship with one another as Mourinho fondly called Clarke his ‘brother’ in his post-match interview on Wednesday and then speaking highly of him in his press conference earlier today. The Chelsea manager, however, will not want to lose a former staff of his – just like against Andre Villas-Boas with Tottenham in September – and look to get one over the Scotsman.

The Blues head into this game in a decent run form – with the exception of the defeat last weekend at Tyneside and draw at White Hart Lane – having won 9 of their last 11 matches in all competitions including impressive wins over Manchester City and Arsenal though not necessarily been firing on all cylinders during the run. On the other hand, Steve Clarke’s men endured a difficult start to the Premier League as his West Brom side picked up just 1 point from their opening 3 matches but have since then turned their fortunes around. The side from Midlands have won 3 and lost only once – at Anfield two weeks ago - in the subsequent 7 Premier League matches coming into this game including picking up a fine 2-1 win and 1-1 draw against Manchester United and Arsenal respectively.

Key to their recent revival has been late minute summer signings in midfielder Morgan Amalfitano – on loan from Marseille – and Stephane Sessegnon from Sunderland as well as the much talked about West Brom’s youth product, Saido Berahino. Between the trio, they have scored 5 of the Baggies’s 10 Premier League goals this season while also providing 3 assists for the other goals.

Steve Clarke’s West Brom will no doubt prove to be a stiff opposition come Saturday –as they did when these two sides last met in March - but if Jose Mourinho is to lead his side to a third Premier League title, then a win on Saturday against a lesser opponent is a must with competition not only for the title is tight but also the four Champion League spots. Chelsea have always enjoyed this fixture but 2 defeats in the last 3 meetings – though both coming at the Hawthorns – will serve as a reminder of what the Baggies are capable of.

Last 5 Premier League Meetings

2nd March 2013 – Chelsea 1-0 West Brom

17th November 2012 – West Brom 2-1 Chelsea

3rd March 2012 – West Brom 1-0 Chelsea

20th August 2012 – Chelsea 2-1 West Brom

16th April 2012 – West Brom 1-3 Chelsea

Team News


Jose Mourinho will once again not have Fernando Torres available for selection due to a muscular injury but should be back after the international break said the manager in his press conference. The rest of the squad is fit and available for tomorrow’s game with Marco van Ginkel being the exception as he continues to recover from a long term injury.

Eden Hazard is also back after being left out altogether against Schalke in mid-week for missing a training season prior to the game and it remains to be seen if Mourinho will stick with the same side that brushed the Germans aside after making 6 changes from the starting XI that performed poorly against Newcastle or make some changes to freshen up the side as Chelsea are the only English side that is playing on Saturday this weekend following a Champions League match with Manchester City, Manchester United and Arsenal all playing on Sunday.

Changes may well be a possibility though with Ashley Cole set to replace Cesar Azpilicueta at left back and further forward, Frank Lampard may come in for John Obi Mikel while Hazard looks set to take the place of Andre Schurrle or Willian.

With Fernando Torres out, it is down to Samuel Eto’o and Demba Ba to stake their claim for the striker position. The two goals scored on Wednesday may give the former an edge to start this game but the latter also scored shortly after coming off the bench in the same game and Mourinho may give Ba the nod and opportunity to impress instead, particularly when the Baggies have been a favourite opponent of the Senegalese having scored 6 goals in 5 league appearances against them.

Goalkeepers: Petr Cech and Mark Schwarzer

Defenders: Cesar Azpilicueta, Branislav Ivanovic, John Terry, Gary Cahill, David Luiz, Ashley Cole and Ryan Bertrand

Midfielders: John Obi Mikel, Ramires, Frank Lampard, Michael Essien, Juan Mata, Oscar, Eden Hazard, Andre Schurrle, Willian and Kevin De Bruyne

Strikers: Samuel Eto’o and Demba Ba

West Brom

Steve Clarke has several injury headaches to deal with ahead of this game. Right back Billy Jones became the latest casualty for the Baggies after picking up a hamstring injury last weekend against Crystal Palace, thus seeing him joining Zoltan Gera and Ben Foster on the treatment table.

Winger Scott Sinclair would not be featuring in this game against his old club as he continues to recover from a hamstring injury and another former Blues player in Nicolas Anelka, is unlikely to face his old club either as he is rated doubtful with a groin strain.

On a more positive note, striker Victor Anichebe has fully recovered from his hamstring injury and will be available for selection. Otherwise, the rest of the squad is fit and ready to be selected by Clarke tomorrow.

Goalkeepers: Boaz Myhill and Luke Daniels

Defenders: Jonas Olsson, Gareth McAuley, Liam Ridgewell, Steven Reid, Diego Lugano and Craig Dawson

Midfielders: Claudio Yacob, Youssouf Mulumbu, Stephane Sessegnon, Graham Dorrans, James Morrison, Chris Brunt, Morgan Amalfitano and Goran Popov

Strikers: Shane Long, Saido Berahino, Matej Vydra and Markus Rosenberg

Stats and Facts

1. Chelsea have won 12 of their 14 Premier League encounters against West Brom and have kept 6 clean sheets in 7 home games during that run (via Whoscored).

2. Chelsea have been winning at both half time and full time in 6 of their last 7 home matches against West Brom in all competitions (via Whoscored).

3. Chelsea are unbeaten in their last 14 Premier League matches at Stamford Bridge - W12 D2 - and have scored at least 2 goals in 13 of those matches. The one time they failed to do so was the 1-0 win over West Brom in March.

4. Chelsea have scored more goals in the final 15 minutes of Premier League games this season than any other side – 6.

5. Chelsea have only won 3 of their last 14 Premier League matches in November - D5 L6 - and none of those wins came in last season.

6. John Gregory(QPR), Chris Hughton(Newcastle), Andre Villas-Boas(Chelsea), Mick McCarthy(Wolves), Roberto Di Matteo(Chelsea) and Paolo di Canio(Sunderland) have all been sacked following league defeats to West Brom.

7. The 14 previous Premier League meetings between Chelsea and West Brom have seen a total of 13 managers take part (via Daily Mail).

8. Chelsea have hit more shots off target than any other Premier League side this season – 77 (via Daily Mail).

9. Chelsea have scored 76 goals in their last 26 Saturday 3pm Premier League games at Stamford Bridge, an average of 2.9 per game (via Daily Mail).

10. Chelsea have made fewer interceptions than any other side this season – 80 (via Daily Mail).

11. Demba Ba has scored 6 goals in 5 Premier League appearances against West Brom – 1 for Chelsea, 2 for West Ham and 3 for Newcastle.

12. Shane Long has scored 2 goals in his last 3 games against Chelsea – both being the opening goals.

13. Since West Brom;s promotion to top flight in 2010, only Juan Mata (10) has more assists from dead balls in the Premier League than Brunt (8).

Match Odds (Final Result/Full Time)

Chelsea WIN - 2/7

DRAW - 9/2

West Brom WIN - 9/1

*Odds obtained from SkyBet*


Depending on where you are from, you can watch the match in the following channels:

United Kingdom: BBC One

United States: NBC Sports Network, Mun2, NBC Sports Live Extra

Middle East: Al Jazeera Sports

Belgium: Sporting 2

India: Star Sports 4 India

For additional regions, you can check out the TV schedule for the match here.

There should be many match streams that can be found online if your local sports channels are not broadcasting the game or if you happen to be busy and cannot catch the game live, follow TalkChelsea on Twitter as it would provide live match commentary on the action.

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