The Premier League heads into the break for the FA Cup with one match which comes in the Monday Night Football. Chelsea are in action for the second Monday in a row but this time they are at home where West Brom will be the visitors to Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea were well beaten last week and they will be looking to make up for that while having seen a number of rivals at the foot of the table all win this weekend West Brom will be desperate for a result.
You have to suggest that based on last week there are big problems at Chelsea right now. There has been the plot of Antonio Conte and potential rifts with the powers that be throughout the season and rumours are starting to get stronger where that is concerned and it could be that which is affecting the team.
Another thing that is negatively impacting on them is injuries and we certainly saw that last week when they were well beaten by Watford. They offered little up front in that match and defensively they were awful. The champions are most certainly under pressure to get a result in this match even if only to save their manager’s skin.
There is no doubt that performances have dramatically improved for West Brom since Alan Pardew took charge but unfortunately both for him and for them there is nothing to show for it in terms of results. I would wager they would gladly swap performances for results at this stage of the season but at the same time they will be hoping performances transfer into results.
Scoring goals was a big issue for Albion at the beginning of the season but since Pardew arrived they have found them easier to come by. The obvious detriment to that is that they are leaking more goals but they are better to watch and their current methods should be applauded. If they can win here they will be back in the mix of those looking to survive.
Olivier Giroud could make his full debut for the Blues after he came off the bench last week. Andreas Christiansen faces a late fitness test but Alvaro Morata is definitely out through injury and Tiemoue Bakayoko is suspended.
West Brom do have Jay Rodriguez available despite his charge for an alleged racist incident in the match with Brighton. Jake Livermore, Nacer Chadli and James Morrison are unavailable but Jonny Evans, Grzegorz Krychowiak and Kieran Gibbs could all feature.
Chelsea are incredibly short for this match but after last week I am definitely in no rush to back them. That said, West Brom’s results aren’t all that encouraging so it is difficult to back them either.
I do think we will see goals here. Chelsea were leaking from all angles last week while West Brom and just shipped three to Southampton and given the precarious position that the Baggies are in as far as the league table is concerned they can’t really go and park the bus and look for a point. I expect both teams to have a go here and over 2.5 goals looks likely.
WON – Back Over 2.5 goals for a 4/10 stake at 1.80 with Betfair
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