Chelsea v West Brom: Baggies to offer too little, too late
They’ve been an unstoppable juggernaut this season and that only looks like continuing at Stamford Bridge this weekend.
Even the international break doesn’t look like affecting Jose Mourinho’s men, having come out of the past week relatively unscathed.
While many a manager will be cursing the injuries their players picked up for their national sides, Chelsea have got off relatively scot free.
Diego Costa and Cesc Fabregas pulled out of the Spain squad with niggles, but should be fit to return at the weekend, while the same can be said for Germany’s Andrea Schurrle.
It’s an unfortunate situation for visitors West Brom, who come into this tie as huge 12/1 outsiders, while the draw is 11/2 and the Blues unsurprising heavy favourites at 2/9.
Here’s where we see the value in west London.
Slow starts on the road have been the Baggies’ downfall this season. They have yet to find the net in the opening 45 minutes of any of the matches away from the Hawthorns to date, and would be in a far better league position if they could come out of the blocks with more vigour.
Chelsea are the opposite. Mourinho’s men have found the net in the first period in eight of 11 Premier League games this campaign and look a solid pick to land this bet.
The Belgian seems to take great heed from having the Stamford Bridge faithful behind him. He has found the net six times in all competitions this season, with all of those goals coming in the confines of west London.
The fragility of Diego Costa has seen the number 10 relied on more as an attacking threat this campaign, and with two goals in four games against the Baggies, knows how to upset the side from the West Midlands.
While West Brom are slow starters, they do have the attacking talent to cause issues.
The emergence of Saido Berahino this year has been key and Alan Irvine’s side can certainly threaten any side, demonstrated by the fact that they have found the net in eight of their last nine matches.
But in the end it will probably prove fruitless. Chelsea have netted two or more in seven of their eight matches in all competitions at Stamford Bridge this year, and with Jonas Olsson absent for the Baggies, they could better that total this time round.
All odds and markets correct as of the date of publishing