Chelsea to stay in touch at the top with big win against West Brom
Schalke found themselves on the wrong end of a Stamford Bridge backlash in the Champions League and West Brom are next in the firing line to face home heroes Chelsea.
Steve Clarke’s men shocked most football watchers when landing all the points at Old Trafford earlier this season, but their only other Premier League wins in 2013/14 have been against the bottom two and they are readily opposed away to the Blues.
Chelsea to win with a one-goal handicap @ 5/6
Jose Mourinho’s men bounced back from their 2-0 away blip against Newcastle with a 3-0 thumping of Schalke in Europe’s elite club competition.
Chelsea have won all of their Premier League games at Stamford Bridge since the Special One’s return and three of their five victories on the King’s Road this season have been by two or more goals.
The Portuguese restored order to the Blues’ defence against the Bundesliga side by dropping maverick centre-half David Luiz and pairing Gary Cahill with John Terry.
Chelsea’s three losses this term have all occurred when this centre-half partnership has been split up.
West Brom may have beaten a below-par Manchester United side away from home, but they have been poor on the road overall this season and are no threat to Mourinho’s unbeaten home record in the Premier League as Chelsea boss.
Samuel Eto’o to score the first goal @ 7/2
Schalke goalkeeper Timo Hildebrand’s dilly-dallying allowed Eto’o to score the most opportunistic of opening goals against the Gelsenkirchen side.
However, the Cameroon international followed that up with an excellent finish to kill the game off and is likely to keep his place in the Chelsea starting line-up here.
Eto’o took a while to get used to his new west London surroundings, but a player that’s scored almost 300 club goals in his career can’t be kept quiet for long.
With Fernando Torres in patchy form, the Spaniard’s fellow Blues forward can add to the Premier League goal he scored recently at Stamford Bridge by breaking the deadlock in this clash.
Willian to score at any time @ 7/4
After coming through a disappointing debut in the Blues’ 2-1 reverse at home to Basel, Willian has improved immeasurably in recent matches.
Bar that Champions League loss to the Swiss, Chelsea invariably play better when the Brazilian winger starts and have won the last four games he has made it onto the teamsheet in by at least two goals.
The 25-year-old got off the mark in the Premier League with a stunning strike in Chelsea’s 3-1 win at Norwich.
Willian is likely to keep his place in the starting lineup against the Baggies after a fine display of pace and penetration against Schalke, so the 7/4 on him scoring his second Chelsea goal is a decent bet.