WEST Bromwich Albion will be looking to make amends for a heavy 5-2 loss to Everton when they face Chelsea at the Hawthorns. The Baggies experienced all sorts of problems at the back in the Goodison Park clash, but it has to be noted that Kieran Gibbs was sent off on the stroke of half time. Since Slaven Bilic will watch the Chelsea game from the stands as well, home win should not be considered.
The likes of Ahmed Hegazi and Kenneth Zohore remain in the recovery room for the hosts. The Blues, on the other hand, aim to bounce back from the heart-breaking loss to Liverpool. Frank Lampard’s troops will not have a better chance than this to get back on course, and even though Andreas Christensen is sidelined through suspension, we expect Chelsea to dominate.
West Brom’s 3-0 mid-week Carabao Cup win against League Two’s Harrogate Town at the Hawthorns would have done little to repair the hit the Baggies’ confidence took in Albion’s Premier League opener at home to Leicester and the 5-2 away loss to Carlo Ancelottis Everton side.
Slaven Bilić’s charges were soundly beaten by the Foxes, who powered to a 3-0 victory in the West Midlands thanks to debut effort from Timothy Castagne and a penalty spot brace from Jamie Vardy. The most worrying aspect of Albion’s performance was their lack of attacking thrust, and the Baggies recorded an xG (expected goals) figure of just 0.35.
Following a massive summer outlay that saw the Blues snare Timo Werner, Kai Havertz and Hakim Ziyech among others, big things are expected of Chelsea this season. Despite their eventual 3-1 win, Chelsea’s display in their opening game of the new campaign at Brighton last week was unconvincing, though teething problems were always likely with so many new faces on board.
With German international Timo Werner keen to finally break his Chelsea duck and his compatriot Kai Havertz eager to shine, Chelsea have the attacking tools to make life uncomfortable for a rocky West Brom backline. Frank Lampard will be confident his side can dominate the proceedings at the Hawthorns.
PREDICTION: CHELSEA TO WIN