Friday, 15 April 2011

Match Preview: West Bromwich Albion vs Chelsea


Though not a big game by that name, Chelsea want to finish off the season on a respectable note, by a win against West Bromwich Albion in this weekend at the Hawthorns, to heal some of the wounds they suffered by the exit from the UEFA Champions' League, for yet another season running, and that to in the hands of their bitter league rivals, Manchester United. Perhaps, the biggest speculation around Chelsea, and also in England, in none but the sacking of Carlo Ancelotti, but still the proper Chels from around the world are trying to motivate themselves in this game, because they still have that belief that they still can finish second in the League. They aint wrong though, 'cause second-placed Arsenal have a big-game against Liverpool this weekend, and so the Chels can hope that their London rivals can drop points.

Some Stats:

Chelsea have won our last seven league games at the Hawthorns scoring 18 goals and conceding four.

Talk to 1955 champion Frank Blunstone and he will tell you in that campaign there was no more important game than this fixture at the Hawthorns on 9 March. Chelsea were placed fifth, five points behind leaders Wolves in the days of two points for a win.

Unfortunately for West Brom, he did so in full view of the referee, who promptly whistled for a penalty. This was duly dispatched to make it 2-2, and the momentum had swung. Chelsea ran out 4-2 winners and were up to third with a manageable deficit of just three points.
Fortified by the great comeback, Drake's side won six of the next nine to clinch the club's first championship triumph.

Today Chelsea are looking to extend our unbeaten run against West Bromwich to 20 games. The Baggies last win against us was in November 1983 in the League Cup third round at Stamford Bridge. The 19-game run consists of 16 wins and three draws.

Chelsea have won the last 11 meetings between the clubs in all competitions including all nine in the Premier League.

Twenty-two-year-old Ray Wilkins captained the last side to lose a league game to the Baggies.Chelsea TV's Clive Walker and Tommy Langley were also in the team. Albion won by the only goal, scored by Ally Brown 32 years ago at the Hawthorns in the old First Division.

Chelsea have not lost a league game this season when opening the scoring.

The Blues have fallen behind in 12 of our last 22 league games and have come back to win on only three occasions - at Ewood Park against Blackburn in October, Sunderland away and Man Utd at home.

Chelsea have the best defensive record conceding 25 goals in 31 games in the Premier League this term and the third best attacking record scoring 55, more than Man City, Liverpool and Tottenham.

Chelsea have lost seven in the Premier League this term which is the most since we lost the same number in 2003/04 when we finished runners-up to Arsenal. Our opposition opened the scoring on each occasion with the Blues failing to score in six of those seven matches.

Chelsea are unbeaten in five away Premier League matches since our defeat at Wolves on 5 January.

The Blues have the second best away record in the division with 23 points out of a possible 48 on our travels with victories at Wigan, West Ham, Blackburn, Bolton, Sunderland and Blackpool, draws at Aston Villa, Newcastle, Tottenham, Fulham and Stoke and defeats to Man City, Liverpool, Birmingham, Arsenal and Wolves.

If selected, Paulo Ferreira will make his 200th and Zury Zhirkov his 50th appearance for Chelsea.

Past Encounters:

1975/76 - Drew 0-0 - old Second Division
77/78 - West Brom won 3-0 - old First Division
78/79 - West Brom won 1-0 - old First Division
84/85 - Chelsea won 1-0 - old First Division
85/86 - Chelsea won 3-0 - old First Division
88/89 - Chelsea won 3-2 - old Second Division
2002/03 - Chelsea won 2-0 - Premier League
04/05 - Chelsea won 4-1 - Premier League
05/06 - Chelsea won 2-1 - P.L
08/09 - Chelsea won 3-0 - P.L

Drogba: On a rampage against the Baggies
Trivia: 7 - Didier Drogba has scored seven goals in just six Premier League games against West Brom.

The Reverse Fixture this Season

14 August 2010 Premier League
Chelsea………..……6 West Brom…..……….….0
Malouda 6, 89
Drogba 45, 55, 68
Lampard 63
Att: 41,589

Chelsea v West Bromwich Albion in all competitions

Games played 124
Chelsea wins 51
Albion wins 40
Draws 33

Team News

West Bromwich Albion have no injury worries, and are likely to deploy the same team that came back and won against Sunderland. Chelsea have their full squad at their disposal for yet another time, but wont rest anyone, but Mikel can replace Essien at the holding role.

David Luiz was ineligible in the Champions League and is likely to be recalled for this match. Ramires's red card on Tuesday only applies to European matches and he can play at the Hawthorns.

Probable Team:


Petr Cech
Branislav Ivanovic
David Luiz
John Terry
Ashley Cole
John Obi Mikel
Frank Lampard
Yossi Benayoun
Fernando Torres
Nicolas Anelka


Ross Turnbull
Didier Drogba
Michael Essien
Jose Bosingwa
Salomon Kalou
Yuri Zhirkov

West Bromwich Albion

Scott Carson
Jonas Olsson
Abdoulaye Meite
Nicky Shorey
Steven Reid
Youssuf Malumbu
Paul Scharner
Jerome Thomas
Chris Brunt
Peter Odemwingie
Simon Cox


Boaz Myhill
James Morrison
Marek Cech
Carlos Vela
Gabriel Tamas
Marc-Antoine Fortune
Gonzalo Jara

2010/11 Premier League scorers

Drogba 10 (2 pens), Malouda 10, Kalou 7, Anelka 6, Lampard 6 (4 pens), Essien 3, Ivanovic 3, Terry 3, David Luiz 2, Ramires 2, Alex 1, Benayoun 1, own goal 1 (Evatt, Blackpool). Total 55.

Barclays Premier League race for the Golden Glove

(clean sheets) 

Petr Cech 14
Joe Hart (Man City) 14
Pepe Reina (Liverpool) 12
Edwin van der Sar (Man Utd) 12
Ben Foster (Birmingham) 8


According to Bet365, the odds of a win for the home side is 5.50 , and that of the away side is 1.70. The draw is at 3.60, while Didier Drogba to score first is 6.00. The odds of the score at full time of 1-2 is 9.00 (overall). 

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