After a tedious international break, Chelsea are back in action, as the Blues await a struggling West Brom side, who are fighting for their lives in the top flight. The reverse fixture provided a game that delivered more than expected at the Hawthorns, as the Baggies struck gold as they led Chelsea 3-0 at half time. The Blues dug deep to find their feet in the second half, with goals from Callum Hudson Odoi, Mason Mount and Tammy Abraham levelling the game. Despite the surprise earlier in the season, Chelsea are clear favourites coming into this fixture, with Thomas Tuchel’s side now unbeaten in 15. Thomas Tuchel also scooped the Premier League Manager of the Month award for March, following an astonishing opening to his stint as Chelsea boss.
Despite their league position, West Brom are not in woeful form. With just two losses in their last five, and two goals conceded, Sam Allardyce’s side will hope to keep Chelsea on the back foot. The West Midlands side are still a fair way from safety, but a big result at Stamford Bridge could really turn their season around, as time is running out.
Player updates and news:
Thomas Tuchel has revealed that just one Chelsea player will be unable, as N’Golo Kante returned early from international duty, after picking up a slight hamstring injury and trained on his own to relieve the pressure. Other than NG, the rest of the squad is fit, which means I don’t have to deliver any more bad news about Thiago Silva or Tammy Abraham, finally…
Tuchel also stated that everyone trained with high quality, which is great news for Chelsea fans as we get back in business in the league, with some huge games on the horizon.
Mendy, Azpilicueta, Christensen, Rudiger, James, Jorginho, Mount, Chilwell, Ziyech, Werner, Abraham.
Despite Thiago finally fit for action, I am doubtful we will see him start, as Porto on Wednesday is an absolute must win game, and we need our best side possible for that encounter.
I also feel Havertz may be in with a chance of starting, but I went with Tammy to lead the line as we haven’t seen him in action in quite some time, and Saturday’s opponents may be the perfect game to ease him back into action.
Timo Werner is confirmed to be starting by Tuchel, as the gaffer insists he will find the net soon, and he also praised his attitude and willingness to improve.
Players to watch:
Timo Werner: I stand with Tuchel in the belief that Werner will hit the heights we all know he is capable of, and I really think West Brom could be the game he does so. After a serious mistake, costing his national team the win against North Macedonia in the week, Werner received a lot of criticism, and I’m adamant he can prove the doubters wrong. If we can feed the ball in front of Timo, giving him the chance to run on to the ball and get in behind the West Brom defence, the German could cause some real problems.
Ainsley Maitland-Niles: The Arsenal loanee will be sure to have his work cut out, but will be motivated to keep West Brom in the Premier League. Maitland-Niles has a vast amount of quality, and will be hopeful to create as many chances as possible. Despite his skill, however, I think the task at hand may be too difficult for the 23-year-old.
Written by @mashgreaves