Monday, August 20, 2018

Chelsea vs West Bromwich Albion

Verdict: Both teams to score

Best Odds: 1/1

Bookmaker: Bet 365

Under-fire Chelsea manager Antonio Conte will aim to get his team back on track when they host West Bromwich Albion on Monday night. We make our prediction on the Premier League clash.

Chelsea

There’s no doubt that the future of Antonio Conte will take centre stage at Stamford Bridge on Monday night. Chelsea have just one win in 2018, and back-to-back defeats by a three-goal margin have seen the Italian in a dangerous position. With the Blues currently two points behind Tottenham Hotspur and sitting in fourth place, a victory against the Premier League’s basement club would be ideal. The next few fixtures will definitely make or break Chelsea’s season, and most definitely Conte’s future, as they look ahead to three cup competitions. The match against the Baggies is followed by Hull City in the FA Cup and Barcelona in the Champions League, with all games coming at Stamford Bridge. If they are to get anything from these vital games, then they must focus on their defensive frailties. Seven goals conceded in their past two games is a far cry from their title-winning displays from last season.

Team News

Tiemoue Bakayoko is unavailable after he was sent off against Watford in the last match. Alvaro Morata is also out with a back injury, which means Olivier Giroud could make his first start for the club.

Meanwhile, Andreas Christensen could return to action after his recent hamstring injury.

West Bromwich Albion

After this weekend’s fixtures, West Bromwich Albion now find themselves a massive seven points from safety. Having won just one of their past 24 league games, they are in a desperately precarious position. It had seemed that Alan Pardew’s appointment in November was starting to look the correct decision when they went on a run of three wins and a draw. This included an impressive FA Cup victory away to Liverpool. However, this good spell failed to materialise and they suffered a demoralising defeat at home to Southampton last time out. Pardew seems to have installed belief into his side that they can find the net, with 10 goals scored in six games in all competitions. However, they’ve also conceded the same amount of times in this period. Even though the Baggies are bottom of the Premier League, they actually find themselves in a strange position. With Chelsea’s terrible run of form, Pardew’s men may go into the game believing they can take something away from Stamford Bridge.

Team News

Jay Rodriguez will start for West Brom despite his recent charge by the FA for racism.

Jonny Evans, Kieran Gibbs, and Grzegorz Krychowiak are all available for Pardew.

However, Nacer Chadli, Jake Livermore, and James Morrison are unavailable.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Chelsea have won the last three league meetings with West Brom without conceding a goal
  • The Baggies haven’t beaten the Blues at Stamford Bridge in any of their last 16 attempts in all competitions (D3 L13)
  • Chelsea haven’t lost back-to-back home games since November 2011
  • West Brom has won just two of the last 18 Premier League trips to London (D6 L10)
  • Antonio Conte hasn’t lost three consecutive league games as a manager since 2009

Conclusion

Both of these teams have terrible defensive records of late. We reckon there could be goals galore as Chelsea have obvious attacking talent, and West Brom have improved in that area under Pardew.

Verdict: Both teams to score

Best Odds: 1/1

Bookmaker: Bet 365

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Ashley Randall


Ash is a freelance football writer who lives, breathes and dreams the beautiful game. A lifelong Wolverhampton Wanderers season ticket holder, if he isn't at Molineux then he will be watching any game on television that he can set his eyes on. Producing work for various football websites and publications, Ash has also written for regional newspapers and global magazines.

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