Match Preview : Chelsea v West Brom


Rafael Benitez steps into the tie looking to guide his team back to winning ways after a 2-0 defeat to defending Premier League champions Manchester City in their last league fixture.

The Spaniard’s job has been under question all week despite their 2-0 victory over Middlesbrough in the FA Cup, and the pressures of finishing third from the fans looks to be showing after his midweek rant.

Only nine points behind Chelsea, Steve Clarke’s West Brom side have won two games in a row and the former Chelsea player and coach will be delighted if his side can produce the same result as when they met earlier this season.

A defining afternoon for interim manager Rafael Benítez following his critical remarks about Chelsea fans.

John Terry may have to settle for another place on the bench as Frank Lampard maintains his crusade to set a new Chelsea goalscoring record before his summer departure.

Gary Cahill (virus) and Cesar Azpilicueta (leg) are available again after missing the midweek FA Cup win at Middlesbrough.

Oriol Romeu remains a long-term absentee.

Meanwhile, West Brom could be without their two front line strikers at Stamford Bridge.

On-loan Romelu Lukaku is ineligible to face his parent club but forward partner Shane Long is a doubt with the ankle injury suffered against Sunderland and has been unable to train so far this week.

Left back Goran Popov will complete a three game ban for his red card against Tottenham.

Because of the problems, Albion head coach Steve Clarke, once of Chelsea, has included 16-year-old midfielder Isaiah Brown, who is still at school, in his squad.

Projected Lineups :


Ivanovic, Luiz, Terry, Cole
Lampard, Ramires
Moses, Mata, Hazard

Reid, McAuley, Olsson, Ridgewell
Mulumbu, Yacob
Dorrans, Morrison, Brunt

Key Stats : 

  1. Rafa Benitez’s win ratio of 51.9% makes him the Blues’ ninth most successful manager in the Premier League area. He is lower than the likes of Avram Grant (66.7%), Luiz Felipe Scolari (55.6%) and Claudio Ranieri 53.3%.
  2. Chelsea have been awarded more penalties (nine) than any other side in the Premier League this season.
  3. Blues midfielder Frank Lampard is now just three goals shy of equaling the club’s all-time scoring record of 202, which was set by striker Bobby Tambling in the 1960s and 70s. He is 13/10 to score anytime with bet365.
  4. West Brom have conceded 32% of their goals on the road after the 80th minute this season.
  5. In seven of their last eight Premier League wins the Baggies have scored exactly two goals.
  6. The Black Country side have a win ratio of less than 25% for the month of March. They have four wins in 20 games.

Prediction : 

Albion are lethal if you’re a Chelsea manager, but not when you’re playing at home – 3-1 Chelsea. 

Comments are closed.