West Brom vs. Chelsea
Venue: The Hawthorns
Kick off: 5:30PM
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 this evening.
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.
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.
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 possible XI: Johnstone, Furlong, Ajayi, Ivanovic, O’Shea, Townsend, Pereira, Sawyers, Livermore, Diangana, Robinson.
Chelsea possible XI: Caballero, James, Zouma, Silva, Chilwell, Kante, Kovacic, Mount, Havertz, Werner, Abraham.