Chelsea travel to West Brom on Friday night knowing that three points will seal the Premier League title. Their 3-0 win over Middlesbrough on Monday moved them seven points clear of Tottenham once again, meaning that victory over the Baggies will secure the trophy for the second time in two years. There’s little left for the Blues to do, and they have plenty of insurance with two more home matches to come after Friday’s clash. However, Antonio Conte won’t want to wait any longer to win his first trophy as Chelsea boss, he’ll want his men to get over the line with two games to spare.
Their meeting with West Brom comes at exactly the right time, with the hosts in awful form at the minute. Baggies boss Tony Pulis was in the crowd for the Boro game, but he’d struggle to find a way to stop this relentless Blues side. They looked brilliant in that win over the second bottom side, and now they’re on the verge of wrapping up their fifth Premier League title.
Team News: Status quo to remain in defining game
Once again Conte comes into this game with a fully fit squad to pick from. While N’Golo Kante missed out on Monday with a slight knock, he’s expected to return this weekend. However, it’s hard to see who drops out for him. Is it Nemanja Matic, who scored against Middlesbrough, or Cesc Fabregas, man of the match on Monday night? That’s a tough choice for the boss, it’s probably going to be Pedro who drops out, with Fabregas stepping forward into a more attacking role behind Diego Costa. Aside from that, the side should remain unchanged.
West Brom have a pretty big absence ahead of this game, as they’re without former QPR man Matt Phillips. He’s added a different element to West Brom’s attack, and they look a little short up top without the winger in the team. Welsh forward Hal Robson-Kanu is another absentee for the Baggies, as they look to improve their awful recent form. Their last home game saw them operate a slightly more attacking 4-2-3-1 formation, but it’s hard to see Tony Pulis going with the same set up for a game with the league leaders.
West Brom Form
West Brom are currently searching for their first win since March 18th, following their late drama on Saturday. The Baggies led 2-1 at Turf Moor on Saturday, before Sam Vokes hit a leveller for Burnley. That 2-2 draw kept them eighth in the league, but they’re 13 points behind seventh placed Everton. Their European dream has faded, just as their form fell apart.
West Brom have lost 1-0 in their last three home games, including a meeting with Liverpool. Their last victory here came against Arsenal almost two months ago, a game which saw an abysmal display from the Gunners. The Baggies have just one point from four home meetings with the current top five, but can they add to that tally this weekend?
West Brom v Chelsea Head to Head
West Brom put up a fight at Stamford Bridge in the latest meeting between the sides. The Baggies were in the game until Diego Costa’s strike gave the Blues all three points, continuing their winning run. The Blues lost 3-0 at the Hawthorns shortly after winning the title in 2015, but they returned four months later to win 3-2, which is their most recent visit to this ground.
- Chelsea 1-0 West Brom, Dec 2016
- Chelsea 2-2 West Brom, Jan 2016
- West Brom 2-3 Chelsea, Aug 2015
- West Brom 3-0 Chelsea, May 2015
- Chelsea 2-0 West Brom, Nov 2014
- Chelsea to win to nil – 21/20 with Coral
- Eden hazard to score any time – 5/4 with Sky Bet
Chelsea are priced at 4/11 with BetVictor to take the three points they need at the Hawthorns. Given how poor the hosts have been here of late, it’s no wonder that the champions elect are priced at odds so short. The draw this weekend is priced at 17/4 with Bet365. The Baggies are priced at 8/1 with Betfred to take the points, which would be a huge shock in the title race. Can the Blues make the most of this opportunity and seal the title, or will Tony Pulis spoil the party? We all remember how his Crystal Palace side struck down Liverpool’s title hopes in 2014, could the same thing happen here? We think not.
Luckily, West Brom are in no kind of form to stop the leaders. They’ve been far from their best, tailing off just as they looked on course to book a place in Europe. They’ve now lost 1-0 in three straight home matches, and they look far too short up front. The Baggies have failed to score in five of their last six matches in the Premier League, while the Blues finally look solid at the back. After back to back 3-0 wins, they should be in strong enough shape to keep a clean sheet on Friday night against the goal shy hosts. We’re backing Conte’s side to see out their title push with a clean sheet, so we’re backing the Blues to win to nil at 21/20 with Coral.
Our second tip is Eden Hazard to score any time on Friday night, despite him failing to hit the target on Monday. Not only has the Belgian scored key goals against Southampton and Tottenham recently, but he’s got form in massive matches like this. His goal settled the 2014/15 season, winning the title for Chelsea. Last term Hazard scored the goal which handed Leicester the title. Can the Belgian score the title deciding goal for the third season running? That would be some accomplishment, and we’re expecting him to find the net at the Hawthorns. We’re backing Hazard to score any time, which is priced at 5/4 with Sky Bet.