WBA vs Chelsea Preview, Team News, Likely Line-Ups, Key Man + Predicted Score
Chelsea take on West Bromwich Albion at the Hawthorns this evening. Here’s a preview with team news, likely line-ups, key man and predicted score for the game.
Chelsea take on West Bromwich Albion at the Hawthorns this evening looking to extend their lead at the top of the Premier League.
The Blues climbed to the summit of the table on Saturday after capatalising on Arsenal’s slip-up away at Anfield by beating Newcastle United 3-0 at Stamford Bridge, while third-placed Manchester City could only manage a 0-0 draw away to Norwich.
It leaves Jose Mourinho’s men sitting one point clear of the Gunners and two ahead of City, and with their title rivals not playing until Wednesday night, the west Londoners have the perfect opportunity to open up a four point advantage.
They will face a West Brom side who currently sit 18th in the division after Saturday’s 3-1 defeat to Crystal Palace, which was the Midlanders fifth successive game without victory. However, with just four points separating them from 10th-placed Swansea City, a couple of positive results could see them catapult up the table.
Pepe Mel will take heart from the fact that Albion have held both Everton and Liverpool in their last two home games, while he will also be encouraged by their home victory over Chelsea last season.
West Brom are sweating on the fitness of defender Billy Jones after he picked up a knee injury at Selhurst Park at the weekend. He will be given a late fitness test but is expected to take his place at right-back tonight.
Mel is already without influential defender Jones Olsson, as well as attackers Nicolas Anelka and Stephane Sessegnon for the game.
On-loan signing Thievy Bifouma is pushing for a start after coming off the bench to grab his first goal on Saturday.
Chelsea have been boosted by the return of striker Fernando Torres. The Spaniard hasn’t featured since injuring his knee against Manchester United last month but is now back in the squad after returning to training.
However, Mourinho may decide to stick with Samuel Eto’o in attack tonight and introduce Torres back into the first team against Manchester City at the weekend.
Skipper John Terry misses out once again after failing to recover from a muscular injury that kept him out of the Newcastle clash, so David Luiz will partner Gary Cahill at the back.
January signing Mohamed Salah could make his first start following his £11m move from FC Basel after making an impressive cameo appearance off the bench at the weekend.
Eden Hazard: The Belgian was in sensational form on Saturday, scoring all three goals to ease Chelsea past the Geordies. He will certainly be the man West Brom will need to keep quiet tonight if they want to get a result.
WBA 1-2 Chelsea: The Blues seem to have found their form just at the right time and we can’t see West Brom being able to stop them extending their lead at the top.
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