Both teams are still looking for their first win of the season and while West Brom would no doubt settle for a point here Chelsea cannot afford a further slip so early in the campaign. West Brom suffered a mauling at the hands of Man City on the opening weekend when they sat back too much and allowed City to dictate the game so it will be interesting to see if they switch to playing Saido Berahino up front on his own or if Rickie Lambert continues in support. The attack certainly hasn’t worked yet as they failed to get a shot on target at Watford last weekend.
The mood at Chelsea is definitely worse though, and West Brom can take a lot of confidence from their record against the Blues as they’ve won this fixture in three of the past four years and drew the other time. They’ve only picked up one point from their four meetings at Stamford Bridge in that time but they’ve never conceded more than twice. We said when West Brom played City that they were very good at limiting the damage against the best opponents and while they failed to contain the speed of David Silva and Raheem Sterling, that game will have helped sharpen them up physically and tactically. In the two seasons prior to this the Baggies have lost just four of 12 home games against top-six finishers with seven draws.
Chelsea have looked very sluggish so far as they’ve begun this campaign more like they finished than how they started last season. They’ve scored just four times in their last five away games and three of those came against Leicester when they trailed at half-time having looked very ordinary in attack. Their final eight trips to bottom-half finishers last season saw them win five times, which would make their current price about right, but the Leicester win was the only one by more than a single goal. Seven of their 10 trips to bottom-half finishers last season had at least three goals but against a Pulis side, and with their current form, Under 2.5 Goals looks rightfully odds-on.
West Brom are more vulnerable to speed than the physical approach Diego Costa brings and should be able to make this a decent contest. The draw looks worth a punt at 3.9, while if you fancy Chelsea to bounce back, they are 3.5 to win by one goal, which is better value than the 4/6 on the win. They have won 13 of their last 14 games following a defeat but that failure was a home draw against West Brom and dutching the two outcomes above looks a good conservative play with combined odds of about 5/6.
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