With only one point from two matches, the Premier League Champions have had a very unsettled start to the season. While the signing of left-back Abdul Baba Rahman and winger Pedro has lifted the mood, both the players and the manager know that anything less than 3 points at The Hawthorns, this Sunday will be seen as the onset of a crisis.
TEAM NEWS, INJURY UPDATES AND SUSPENSIONS
Jose Mourinho confirmed at the press conference that midfielder Oscar and winger Victor Moses are injured.
He also said that Thibaut Courtois was going to start after serving a suspension after being sent off against Swansea on the opening day.
He also added that he did not know whether Pedro and Baba Rahman would be ready for the match.
West Bromwich Albion:
Goal-keeper Ben Foster will not be available as he is out with an ACL injury and is tipped to return in October. Meanwhile, on loan German midfielder from Arsenal, Serge Gnabry will be fit for selection.
Chelsea are certainly under pressure to get a win after a horrendous start, and
the fact that such a do or die match comes away to West Brom is a worry. Chelsea’s recent record at the Hawthorns has not been impressive. However, making the most out of a pressure situation is one of Mourinho’s greatest abilities, and this could be a fantastic chance to make a statement of intent.
Mourinho will be going in for all 3 points, which means Chelsea will attack from the start, but it also means they will be left vulnerable to counter attacks, a chance that they have to take. Baba Rahman has had a bit more time to train with his new teammates than Pedro, so we might see the young left-back in action on Sunday.
West Bromwich Albion:
West Brom were the last team Chelsea lost to last season. Although by then Chelsea had already bagged the title, Hawthorns has not been a happy hunting ground for the Blues. Tony Pulis’ side knows how to dig deep and get results against bigger teams, and this time it will be no different.
They will press, put men behind the ball and look to hit Chelsea with long balls and counter attacks. Saido Berahino is a quick and skillful striker and will look to exploit any lapse in Chelsea’s recently porous defense.
KEY PLAYER BATTLES
Saido Berahino vs Gary Cahill/John Terry:
The Chelsea defense has been leaking goals in the past 2 matches, and so keeping a clean sheet becomes much more important. Cahill and Terry will have to be at their very best to keep the fellow Englishman quiet.
Craig Olsson vs Diego Costa:
Costa made a fine start to the Premier League last season, but he is yet to open his account this term. He will be hungry for goals and it will be interesting to see him go against Olsson.
– Jose Mourinho’s last six Premier League defeats have come against a manager who has a surname starting with P (Pulis, Poyet, Pardew, Pochettino, Pulis and Pellegrini).
– Tony Pulis has won two Premier League games against Mourinho – no manager has won three Premier League games against the Portuguese.
– Roberto Di Matteo and Andre Villas-Boas managed their last Premier League game as Chelsea boss against WBA at the Hawthorns before they were sacked.
– Chelsea have only ever lost back-to-back Premier League games under Mourinho once before, this coming in May 2006.
LAST 5 MEETINGS
West Brom 3-0 Chelsea 18/05/2015
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 02/05/2013
PREDICTED STARTING LINE-UPS
Chelsea: Courtois (GK), Ivanovic, Terry, Cahill, Azpilicueta, Fabregas, Matic, Hazard, Willian, Costa, Falcao
West Bromwich Albion: Myhill (GK), Dawson, Olsson, McAuley, Brunt, Gardner, Fletcher, Yacob, Morrison, Berahino, Rondon
West Bromwich Albion 1-3 Chelsea
Time: 1330 GMT / 1800 IST
Venue: The Hawthorns
Referee: Mark Clattenburg
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Edited By: Harshal Ahire
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