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West Brom vs. Chelsea

The Hawthorns



West Brom v Chelsea Preview

Roberto Di Matteo returns to familiar territory this Saturday when he takes his Chelsea side to the Hawthorns, to face West Bromwich Albion, a club he used to manage, in a Premier League fixture that Chelsea need to win to achieve a first win in four Premier League games. In the opposition corner though will be Steve Clarke, a man Chelsea supporters know well and a man who has surprised many by taking West Brom into a high-flying position in the Premier League. The duo may be fends off the field but there`ll be an intense rivalry come 15:00 hours Saturday. But who will emerge victorious?

Vital Quotes:

The fickle world of football management was never highlighted better when West Brom decided to dispense with the services of Roberto Di Matteo. Having taken the club from the Championship to the Premier League, he was shown the door without the club really being in dire trouble. The rest, as they say, is history with Roberto having achieved hero status in taking us to a wonderful FA Cup and Champions League double last season.

Talking about the exit of Roberto, from the Hawthorns, their Swedish defender, Jonas Olsson has remarked

"In Sweden we have a saying that everything happens for a reason."

"It worked out well for West Brom and it worked out well for Robbie."

"Winning the Champions League and the FA Cup was quite a turnaround for him. I thought he`d do well but I don`t expect anyone expected him to do quite so well."

Like we said, it can be a fickle world.

West Brom Team News:

Steve Clarke welcomes his former club knowing he cannot select his on-loan striker Romelu Lukaku with Chelsea being his parent club. Also absent for the Baggies will be their top-notch keeper Ben Foster, who has a groin injury, whilst there are doubts over Gareth McAuley (didn`t he score the winner last season?) and Youssouf Mulumbu, both of who have hamstring injuries.

Player to watch: Shane Long

Not the biggest name in the Premier League but a player who has that knack of getting on the score-sheet!

Chelsea Team News:

Roberto Di Matteo takes his squad up to the Midlands without the influential John Terry who picked up a knee injury last time out against Liverpool. Also missing will be Frank Lampard who is still recovering from the calf injury he recently sustained. Ashley Cole will be hoping to have recovered from the hamstring injury he sustained against Swansea whist Di Matteo will need to assess the Brazilian contingent who did a trip across the Atlantic to play in a friendly in New Jersey.

However, we expect the starting eleven to be not too far removed from the following:-

Cech, Ivanovic, Luiz, Cahill, Cole (or Bertrand), Mikel, Ramires, Oscar, Hazard, Mata, Torres.

Player to watch: Petr Cech

With John Terry once again sidelined, Cech will once again wear the captain`s armband. The Czech keeper is back on top of his game again and in the last fixture, against Liverpool, pulled off a couple of fine saves to ensure we kept a share of the spoils.

Match Facts & Stats

This fixture went down in the history books last season as the one that got Andre Villas-Boas the sack. Has anyone wondered how things would have turned out if he hadn`t been off-loaded?

Ref Watch:

Our officials this weekend are:- Referee: M Oliver Assistants: S Child, D England Fourth Official: S Attwell

Match Prediction:

Can Chelsea get back to winning ways at the Hawthorns after failing to get a win in their last three Premier League games? I sincerely hope so! But Steve Clarke will ensure we face a stiff test and will be keen to ensure that his own sides` meteoric rise up the table continues. But, I reckon we can and we will get all three points, in a tight affair, finishing 2-1 to us.

Next Fixtures:

Next up for Chelsea is a titanic Champions League battle, on Tuesday evening, in Turin where a result against Juventus wouldn`t go amiss in our desire to reach the knockout stages of the competition.

The Journalist

Writer: Merlin Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Friday November 16 2012

Time: 1:16PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
Blue India
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16/11/2012 14:34:00

Nice one merlin and I think we'll win 3-1, with torres scoring first, I really hope we rest oscar,luiz,ramires and hazard, while we use cech, betrand,cahill,ivanovic,cesar,mikel,romeu,mata,moses,torres,sturridge will do it. What our results is like in the coming games against juve away and city at home will really show what we need to know about robbie, I pray to God we win all our remaining fixtures and stop the rut from going to deep. And I think robbie should try 2 strikers upfront, it might be the turning point for torres, 4-2-3-1 might not suit nando, we can try a 4-4-2 or 4-1-3-2 formation with varying talents in our disposal and revert to 4-2-3-1 later, just suprise any team and stop being predictable
Report Abuse
16/11/2012 15:11:00

Too* if we can stop the november rut, we'll use the momentum to sustain ourselves till january
Report Abuse
16/11/2012 15:16:00

Start Ceazar-Luiz-Cahill-Ryan,,,Mikel-Romeu,,,Mata,,,Marin-Torres-Sturridge against WBA.
Report Abuse
16/11/2012 15:43:00

And Start with Ceazar-Iva-Cahill-Cole,,,Mikel-Ramires-Oscar,,,,Moses-Torres-Hazard in a 4-3-3 setup against Juventus.
Report Abuse
16/11/2012 15:45:00

Hmmm, nice formation worth noting there, but I have a question for u, why drop mata against juve? When we are sure of the fact that we don't gel so well when mata is not playing.
Report Abuse
16/11/2012 15:55:00

Start our regular starters giving rest to one or two that might look weary due to the international friendlies. Westbrom is not to be taken lightly.
Report Abuse
16/11/2012 15:59:00

Ashley Cole ‏@TheRealAC3 And to all you non-supporters out there, I definitely couldn't have made it to the top without climbing over you!! #HatersCantBreakMe
Report Abuse
16/11/2012 17:06:00

Is Ashley Cole leaving? Ashley Cole ‏@TheRealAC3 Just want to take a moment to thank you all for your endless support. Couldn't have made it this far without you & I sincerely appreciate it
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16/11/2012 17:06:00

@Desmond We don't need to gel, we need to win, even if it is ugly. Moses and Hazard will track back better and are damn fast on the counter. Oscar-Rami will also help the fullbacks and kill their midfield with their energy and tackling,Mikel will just sit back and shield the back four. Cahill-Iva are no nonsence CB's that will stay back and not venture forward, Azpi has all the pace on the world to defend well and attack, Cole will need to reduce his forward runs and keep the defence organized. We can win @Turin.
Report Abuse
16/11/2012 18:17:00

RDM rubbished reports about the possibility of Oriol Romeu leaving in January. Says he's a fantastic prospect, been playing a bit more lately and will have an even greater participation in future. Wish he'd say something along the same lines about Marko Marin too.
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16/11/2012 18:34:00

Not going to be an easy win by no means. Clarkies got his team well drilled, lets not forget who he learnt his trade as a manager's not only the special one jose. not surprised to see him have such success as manager thus far. but the albion is well drilled.
Report Abuse
16/11/2012 18:36:00

Hope sturridge starts ahead of Torres. Id hate to see us wasting another 90mins with him on the field.
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16/11/2012 18:39:00

hope we win this one, it wil spoil my day if we fail to get the 3pts
Report Abuse
16/11/2012 18:54:00

Chelsea have used fewer players than any other Premier League side so far this season (19). - Opta. Cue rotation.
Report Abuse
16/11/2012 19:05:00

@Carefree_1990, if its true den we will be having fatigued players in december
Report Abuse
16/11/2012 19:33:00

My team to face west brom: (4-2-3-1) Azpilecueta, Ivanovic, Cahill, Cole---Ramieres, Oscar-----Moses, Mata, Hazard---- Sturridge
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16/11/2012 19:47:00

I dont wanna see torres in that line up......he should just be benched pronto!
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16/11/2012 20:22:00

This a must Win RDM knows it, Our Boys Know it. I predict a 1-3 win for us
Report Abuse
16/11/2012 20:35:00

A win z all that matters... We need to rotate our squad well... Cech, cesar, iva, cahill, ryan, mikel, romeu, marin, hazard, moses, sturidge ...
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16/11/2012 21:11:00

a 3-1 win for us...... Hazard will score tomorrow
The Persian
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16/11/2012 21:30:00

Marko Marin must start.
Report Abuse
16/11/2012 21:58:00

Cech, Azpilecueta, Ivanovic, Cahill, Bertrand, Mikel, Ramires, Harzard, Mata, Oscar, and player who will be replaced by Falcao.
Blue Day
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16/11/2012 22:01:00

A friend of mine staying in Cheshire County, says there is a rumor that Marin is starting ahead of oscar tomorrow against west brom! and that the 90mins he played for the reserves was to get him in shape for that game, it seems chelsea fans there are not to sure about him starting, but If indeed its true ill be glad to see my guy Play :) cause he may be better than oscar in my opinion. P.s: glad @Desmondadonis isn't our manager with his crazy team selection and all! West bro is not a team we should take lightly by resting key players, dude!
pego sama
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16/11/2012 22:25:00

@Blue Day....excellent call on Sturridge being replaced by Falcao. :()
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16/11/2012 22:29:00

By the way don't make the "we are playing juve and man city" excuse for your wholesale team changes @Desmond, even morinho who in my opinion is pretty good at knowing when to rest players dosen't drop ronaldo,ozil or alonso in a situation he knows he has to win in the league and play a dortmand or mancity in the champs league 4 days later.
pego sama
Report Abuse
16/11/2012 22:35:00

 xpect us τ̲̅ȍ win but RDM need τ̲̅ȍ have a̷̷̴̐ plan B ȋ̝̊̅Ŋ every match he plays cos we α̲̅я̩̥̊ε̲̣̣̣̥ S̶̲̥̅☺ predictable D̶̲̥̅̊i̶̲̥̅̊$ days Ђw ever we should start playin with wings Α̲̅Ω̴̩̩̩̥d̶̲̥̅̊. Give dose trio a̷̷̴̐ little rest Fø̲̣̣я̅ ones too o!..we nid too Ơ̴̴̴̴͡.̮Ơ̴͡ marco marin play a̷̷̴̐ premier league too..
Report Abuse
16/11/2012 22:42:00

I thought I would share this with you guys.I had a dream last night that we lost to Spurs in the Capital One Cup Final(Spurs are out of it though) and also in the F.A Cup final.Immediately,on the grounds of Wembley,Roman sacked Robbie and appointed KAKUfrank as the manager and @Mq as the assistant manager.LOL.:-p
Report Abuse
17/11/2012 04:44:00

Robbie's views on Falcao: "If you ask any manager, he would have him in his team," said the Italian. "He is one of the best strikers, probably, in European and world football. His ratio of goals per game is quite impressive, not just this season but over the last three seasons, at Porto and Atletico Madrid. "I know the window's nearing and there'll be a lot of speculation for our club, but whatever we do we'll keep it behind closed doors."
Report Abuse
17/11/2012 05:01:00

Your opinion on Robbie's thoughts on Falcao.Don't you think Falcao is his main target after reading this?If he didn't want him,he would have said that we have Torres or something like that."Closed doors" means there will be a deal.
Report Abuse
17/11/2012 05:02:00

Marin needs to start
Report Abuse
17/11/2012 05:19:00

start with chech cezar iva cahill ryan.....mikel oscar moses marin hazard falcoa...
Report Abuse
17/11/2012 07:24:00

Yes Zeenut
Report Abuse
17/11/2012 07:30:00

Cfc250,from every indication, the deal is in process. Falcao coming out to say that he is interested in EPL even in January and Cfc strongly linked with his move is not far from reality. And the way i see it, we are the most propective suitors,with city not likely to go for him,atleast not in the winter windows. Lets just not get our hopes too high,fingers crossed.
Report Abuse
17/11/2012 08:18:00

@pego sama, its my opinion pal, there is no need shooting me down for it, u don't have the intelligence to do so, go back to the international friendlies and neat pick our players performance, oppositions, distance travelled and most of their season's appearance so far and the upcoming fixtures, after u are through with that homework, u can come back for a healthy debates. Thank you
Report Abuse
17/11/2012 09:00:00

A healthy debate*
Report Abuse
17/11/2012 10:08:00

My team....cech..azpilicueta..ivanovic..cahill...bertrand....mikel...romeu..oscar..marin...moses...sturridge
Report Abuse
17/11/2012 10:21:00

Rdm should try not to be a bitch this time...
Report Abuse
17/11/2012 11:11:00

We just realized the problem facing chelsea and the concerns are there to be worked upon.
Report Abuse
19/11/2012 07:13:00

Hope the changes said are going to bring the qualification to the next round back on track
Report Abuse
20/11/2012 07:25:00


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