Competition: Premier League – Chelsea vs. West Bromwich Albion
Venue: Stamford Bridge – Sunday, December 11 – 12:00 GMT (07:00 ET)
Match Odds: Chelsea 1/4 – Draw 5/1 – West Brom 11/1
Chelsea host West Brom on Sunday as they look to stretch their winning run to nine games in the Premier League and move back ahead of Arsenal to the top of the table.
The Blues have been excellent over the past two months and their 3-1 win at Manchester City last weekend only confirmed that they are back to their very best, with a Premier League title looking likely at this stage.
Antonio Conte’s men have only conceded two goals in their last eight games and should prove too strong for the Baggies here, with everyone expecting Chelsea to return to the top of the table.
West Brom have been in good form of late though and will arrive looking to frustrate the home side. Tony Pulis’ men have not lost in four and have only lost one of their last five away games in the Premier League.
They are hard to break down and would love to walk away from Stamford Bridge with a point on Sunday. They have managed to do just that on two of their last three trips to West London, but remain huge underdogs for this one.
The last meeting between the two sides saw them draw 2-2 at Stamford Bridge back in January. There tends to be a lot of goals when these sides meet and so an exciting game is expected in Sunday’s early kickoff.
Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has said he will start to rotate his squad over the busy Christmas period, despite making very few changes to the starting lineup during their eight-game winning run. John Terry is out again, while Oscar is ruled out with illness. Nemanja Matic missed the game at City last week but could return here, while Pedro and Diego Costa are likely to play despite picking up knocks last weekend.
West Brom could welcome back Nacer Chadli on Sunday, with James Morrison a doubt. Gareth McAuley hasn’t trained this week, so he’s unlikely to start in defence, paving the way for Jonas Olsson to step in. Salomon Rondon will lead the line in what is likely to be a defensive setup by Tony Pulis.
Chelsea’s last five: W/W/W/W/W
West Brom’s last five: L/W/W/D/W
Key Stat: West Brom have not won a league game at Stamford Bridge since 1978. They have drawn three and lost ten since their last victory 38 years ago.
Key Player: Diego Costa – The Chelsea player scooped the November Player of the Month award and is back to his best. He was instrumental in last weekend’s win at Manchester City and will need to continue to show the fight and hunger in and around the box if Chelsea are to remain on track for the Premier League title. If Costa avoids a booking on Sunday, he will have gone nine games without one for the first time in over five years.
Chelsea 2-0 West Brom – West Brom will arrive at Stamford Bridge looking to remain tight and make things tough for the home side, but Chelsea have proven how good they are over the past two months and have more than enough quality to breakthrough and win this game comfortably. Home win.