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Preview: West Bromwich Albion vs. Chelsea - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Saturday's Premier League clash between West Bromwich Albion and Chelsea, including team news and predicted lineups.

West Bromwich Albion will be looking to get off the mark with their first Premier League points of the season when they take on Chelsea at The Hawthorns on Saturday.

The Baggies have lost their first two games back in the top flight and were knocked out of the EFL Cup in midweek, whereas Chelsea have won and lost their opening two league games.


Match preview

Chelsea's Kai Havertz celebrates scoring his hat-trick goal with Tammy Abraham against Barnsley in the EFL Cup third round on September 23, 2020© Reuters

Frank Lampard admitted that last week's 2-0 home defeat to Liverpool was a "reality check" for his side, showing how far Chelsea still have to go to challenge for the title.

The Blues continued their spending spree on Thursday by bringing in Rennes goalkeeper Edouard Mendy, who will likely replace calamity keeper Kepa Arrizabalaga between the sticks.

It is now a case of Lampard fitting his new recruits into the side, with Ben Chilwell and Thiago Silva making their debuts in the win over Barnsley and fellow newbie Kai Havertz scoring a hat-trick.

That midweek EFL Cup victory gave Chelsea a chance to really flex their muscles, but three points are needed this weekend if they are to put the Liverpool loss behind them.

Lampard's men, who started the season with a 3-1 win at Brighton & Hove Albion, have a good record against the Baggies down the years, winning each of their last three away games.

West Brom manager Slaven Bilic on June 20, 2020© Reuters

Albion have not exactly made a fast start to the season, losing 3-0 to Leicester City and 5-2 to Everton, as well as being knocked out of the EFL Cup on penalties by Brentford.

Taking their last top-flight campaign into the equation, West Brom have won just 11 points from the last 48 available, with all of these points being earned in a six-game spell.

The eight goals Albion have conceded so far this term is the most of any Premier League side, and the most they have ever shipped in the first two games of a league campaign.

Facing the likes of Havertz, Timo Werner and co. this weekend is the last thing Slaven Bilic will want, then, with his side already rooted to the foot of the division.

The good news for West Brom is that there is still plenty of time to turn things around. Another heavy loss here, though, and the pressure will already be on head coach Bilic.

West Bromwich Albion Premier League form: LL
West Bromwich Albion form (all competitions): LLL

Chelsea Premier League form: WL
Chelsea form (all competitions): WLW


Team News

Christian Pulisic pictured scoring for Chelsea on June 25, 2020© Reuters

Hakim Ziyech has still yet to make his debut for Chelsea because of an injury sustained in pre-season, while Christian Pulisic remains doubtful.

The good news for Lampard is that Silva came through his debut unscathed and is in line to make his Premier League bow, and that could also be the case for new arrival Mendy.

However, Mendy has to pass coronavirus medical checks before he can be considered for selection, so Willy Caballero may get the nod for this one.

Chilwell got an assist to his name on his first appearance in a Chelsea shirt and, fitness depending, could retain his place at left-back at The Hawthorns.

As for the hosts, Kieran Gibbs is suspended following his red card against Everton and is expected to be replaced at left-back by Conor Townsend.

Hal Robson-Kanu scored twice in West Brom's 2-2 draw with Brentford but was replaced late on due to what Bilic described as "tightness", rendering him doubtful for this match.

Kamil Grosicki, Ahmed Hegazi and Kenneth Zohore are also unlikely to play any part for the Baggies because of injury problems.

It could be an emotional first game back in the Premier League for Chelsea legend Branislav Ivanovic, who joined Albion on a short-term deal this week.

West Bromwich Albion possible starting lineup:
Johnstone; Furlong, Ajayi, Ivanovic, O'Shea, Townsend; Pereira, Sawyers, Livermore, Diangana; Robinson

Chelsea possible starting lineup:
Caballero; James, Zouma, Silva, Chilwell; Kante, Kovacic; Mount, Havertz, Werner; Abraham


SM words green background

We say: West Bromwich Albion 1-3 Chelsea

Chelsea have lost three of their last seven away Premier League games at newly-promoted sides, including their most recent such clash at Sheffield United in July last season.

That is not the best of returns, and the Blues did taste defeat in their last league outing, but we cannot see past a comfortable away victory on Saturday.


Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting an away win in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Away Win:data


Video prediction

Watch the Sports Mole Football Shorts prediction for this game below:


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Who will win Saturday's Premier League clash between West Bromwich Albion and Chelsea?

West Bromwich Albion
Draw
Chelsea
West Bromwich Albion
0.0%
Draw
0.0%
Chelsea
0.0%
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Rennes goalkeeper Edouard Mendy pictured in October 2019
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Frank Lampard confirms Edouard Mendy undergoing medical with Chelsea
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TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Everton5410147713
2Aston Villa44001221012
3Liverpool53111313010
4Leicester CityLeicester530212849
5Arsenal53028629
6Wolverhampton WanderersWolves530257-29
7Tottenham HotspurSpurs522115878
8Chelsea522113948
9West Ham UnitedWest Ham521211747
10Leeds UnitedLeeds52129907
11Manchester CityMan City42117707
12Southampton521289-17
13Newcastle UnitedNewcastle521279-27
14Crystal Palace521268-27
15Manchester UnitedMan Utd4202912-36
16Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton5113911-24
17West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom5023513-82
18Burnley401338-51
19Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd501427-51
20Fulham5014412-81

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