Baggies slump shows no signs of changing against Chelsea
West Bromwich Albion entertain 5/4 Premier League title favourites Chelsea, boasting a decent recent record when the Londoners come to the Black Country.
The Baggies earned 2-1 and 1-0 victories in their last two home games against the Blues, but have fallen on hard times this term after slipping into the bottom three.
Albion head coach Pepe Mel has yet to win a game from four in charge. That poor form of two draws and as many defeats explains prices of 6/1 on a home win and 3/1 for a draw.
Chelsea are odds-on at 1/2 to extend their lead at the top as they are on a run of 11 matches unbeaten in all competitions.
Jose Mourinho has a horse for this particular course – if he wants to give Demba Ba a rare run-out.
Senegal striker Ba has been a peripheral figure at Stamford Bridge this season and completed a full 90 minutes just once, but has scored six goals in as many games against the Baggies.
With Fernando Torres set to return to the Blues squad after a knee injury, there may be no room for Ba to make the trip.
Those who point to the last win West Brom enjoyed in this match-up must remember both players who scored for them in the 2-1 victory in November have since moved on.
Nigerian forward Peter Odemwingie joined Cardiff City last summer – and subsequently signed for Stoke City. Albion also lost Republic of Ireland striker Shane Long to Hull City.
Long, in particular, is a huge loss, although deadline-day signing Thievy broke his Baggies duck on his debut off the bench in the 3-1 defeat at Crystal Palace.
He is 7/2 to score again in this encounter with Chelsea and Albion are now enticing at 9/4 to go down
Jose Mourinho’s men, meanwhile, capitalised on Arsenal losing at Liverpool and Norwich City improbably holding Manchester City to a goalless draw by beating Newcastle United.
Eden Hazard hit a hat-trick for the Blues, and the ever-improving Belgian is 25/1 to repeat that feat here.
Veteran midfielder Frank Lampard has averaged about a goal every other game against West Brom in his glittering career. With six in 13 appearances, he is due one if selected. Lampard is a worthy investment at 15/8 to score at anytime against Albion.
Nicolas Anelka and Stephane Sessegnon, who netted the second in the 2-2 reverse fixture, are both injured, so highly-rated youngster Saido Berahino could be handed another audition of his prodigious talents here.
Berahino, a 6/1 shot to sneak into Roy Hodgson’s England World Cup squad, is 11/4 to net at anytime against the Blues.
In each of the last four seasons, there has been one meeting where both West Brom and Chelsea have both scored.
That stat makes odds of 13/5 on a Blues win and the opposition scoring tempting, but would be ignoring the wonderful recent defensive record of Mourinho’s men.
Chelsea have kept four clean sheets in a row, seven out of eight played in 2014 and in nine matches of their current unbeaten run.
The Blues are evens to add another shut-out here, though Mourinho confirmed captain John Terry will once again miss out with a niggle.