West Brom v Chelsea – Match Preview
Chelsea manager Roberto Di Matteo travels to his former club West Bromwich Albion, who are on a run of form to rival some of the big clubs this season.
The Premier League clash on Saturday will see two teams at the top end of the table, with just four points separating them. Chelsea, league leaders for much of the season, lie third on 24 points from eleven games, three behind first-placed Manchester United, while West Brom are fifth on 20 points.
West Brom manager Steve Clarke, who has been instrumental in guiding his side to the strong start, will also be facing his former club, where he spent 12 years as a player and then a coach, while Di Matteo returns to the club he managed for two years.
The Blues will miss the services of skipper John Terry, who suffered a knee injury in the 1-1 draw against Liverpool last Sunday, while Ashley Cole and Frank Lampard remain doubtful.
Di Matteo will be desperate to pick up all three points, knowing full well a loss or even a draw, might see United pull well clear at the top, with Manchester City also capable of putting some daylight between the Blues.
The Italian will hope Oscar and David Luiz, who were a part of the Brazilian squad that played the friendly game against Colombia in the U.S. in midweek, will recover in time for Saturday’s game, with the former key to the ever blossoming partnership between Juan Mata and Eden Hazard.
Fernando Torres will also be keen to find his scoring boots, with reports of a move for Radamel Falcao in January refusing to die down, while on-loan West Brom striker Romelu Lukaku will want to prove a point or two against his parent club, with Clarke insisting there is no clause that says the Belgian striker cannot play against Chelsea.
West Brom will be without first-choice goalkeeper Ben Foster, who has been ruled out with a groin problem, while Youssouf Mulumbu is hopeful of shaking off a hamstring issue. Defender Steven Reid could be back in contention after recovering from his long-term injury.
Prediction – West Brom 2 – 2 Chelsea