Big Match Breakdown: Chelsea v West Brom
Blues aiming for top four return
Chelsea are in Monday night action for the second week on the spin, and they’re out for a better result against West Bromwich Albion.
Hounded 4-1 by Watford seven days ago and Bournemouth before that, Antonio Conte’s Blues have seen both Tottenham and Liverpool up the pressure by winning this weekend.
Tonight they host a West Bromwich Albion side seven points from safety after wins for West Ham United, Huddersfield Town and Newcastle United.
Relegation rivals Stoke City and Brighton & Hove Albion also collected what could be a precious point on Saturday.
Alan Pardew’s Baggies may sniff a result tonight, but they play Huddersfield, Watford, Leicester City, Bournemouth, Burnley and Swansea in their six games after this, and that is where their survival fate will lie.
There’s much at stake for both sides tonight, and Coral News Team have all the pre-match info…
The Baggies have claimed a couple of draws at the Bridge in recent times, but they haven’t won a league game at Chelsea since 1978.
And for all the Blues’ struggles, they have been largely strong at home. Before collapsing to Bournemouth , Conte’s men had conceded just once in seven home games.
West Brom have won five of their last 46 away games, and are winless on the road since August.
Conte has bemoaned both his side’s injury list and his lack of squad depth, but Olivier Giroud could bag his first start since joining the club.
With Pedro and Ross Barkley also likely to miss out, Willian could get a starting berth too. Davide Zappacosta could come in for Cesar Azpilicueta or Andreas Christensen.
West Brom are likely to be without Jonny Evans, while Kieran Gibbs could miss out too.
With Jake Livermore injured, Claudio Yacob and Gareth Barry will hold in midfield, as Daniel Sturridge prepares to start up front against his former club.
Eden Hazard ran the show in November’s reverse tie, and the Belgian could prove the difference again. Barry and Yacob will have to keep close tabs on both him and Cesc Fabregas.
Gareth McAuley versus Olivier Giroud is set to be an old-school tussle, while Victor Moses could influence play if allowed to maraud down the flank.
There could be value in the two sides claiming a point, as occurred in 2016 and 2013.
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