Chelsea travel to the Hawthorns on Monday night to face West Bromwich Albion in the penultimate game of the season, with nothing to play for other than pride. The Baggies themselves sit five places above the relegation zone, and thus this match bears no real consequence, with Chelsea already being crowned champions of England.
Jose Mourinho revealed in his pre-match press conference that Kurt Zouma, who was substituted before half time against Liverpool, is out with for the last two games with a knee injury, along with Ramires and Oscar. Ramires is out with illness while Oscar has a thigh injury. Their absence may mean a start another youngster like Solanke, Loftus-Cheek or Izzy Brown.
John Terry, Branislav Ivanovic and Eden Hazard were keen to make their records of playing all 38 games in a season, so they were not going to be rested.
Mourinho also said that Diego Costa is fit to make the squad, but it is unlikely that he will start.
West Bromwich Albion
West Brom have no fresh injury concerns, with Ben Foster the only absentee. Boaz Myhill will be guarding the post at The Hawthorns, like he has been doing lately.
With both Ramires and Oscar out, Mourinho is likely to give youngster a chance, with Izzy Brown looking the likely candidate this time round. Remy is likely to start with Fabregas behind him, and Hazard and Brown on both flanks. Mikel and Matic will be guarding the defense, which will be made up of the usual quadruple of Terry, Cahill, Ivanovic and Azpilicueta. Courtois will be the goalkeeper. Chelsea will be looking to get all 6 points, even though the title is in the bag, and will play to win.
West Bromwich Albion
West Brom have been playing the 4-5-1 formation since Tony Pulis was appointed their manager. Victor Anichebe will lead the line with Chris Brunt and Craig Gardner in support. Youssouf Mulumbu, Claudio Yacob and Darren Fletcher will be playing in midfield. Lescott, Olsson, McAuley and Dawson will be the four in defense, while Myhill will be between the posts. With safety being guaranteed after the appointment of Tony Pulis, the Baggies will look to spoil the party mood of Chelsea.
KEY PLAYER BATTLES
Brunt vs Ivanovic
Chris Brunt, who has been playing in the left wing, will keep Ivanovic busy. While the right back has been impeccable all season, he has to be cautious not to get caught out with the bombing forward.
Dawson vs Hazard
Left back Craig Dawson may have a torrid time, with Hazard looking to get back to his best form after a relatively subdued performance against Liverpool. Hazard will be looking to justify his selection as the FWA Player of the Year, and will look to end the season on a high.
West Brom are unbeaten in their last 3 home matches against Chelsea. Fabregas is just 2 assists behind Thierry Henry’s record of 20 assists in a season.
HEAD TO HEAD
Chelsea 2-0 West Brom 22/11/2014
West Brom 1-1 Chelsea 11/02/2014
Chelsea 2-2 West Brom 09/11/2013
Chelsea 1-0 West Brom 02/03/2013
West Brom 2-1 Chelsea 17/11/2012
PREDICTED STARTING LINE-UPS
Chelsea: Courtois (GK), Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry (C), Azpilicueta, Matic, Mikel, Hazard, Fabregas, Brown, Remy
West Brom: Myhill (GK), Dawson, Olsson, McAuley, Lescott, Mulumbu, Fletcher (C), Yacob, Brunt, Gardner, Anichebe
West Brom 0-1 Chelsea
Time: 2000 GMT / 0115 IST
Venue: The Hawthorns
Referee: Mike Jones
If you want to write articles & share your views with your fellow Blues, contact us at – email@example.com
Edited By: Harshal Ahire
Like Us on Facebook: [fblike] [sc:twitter]