West Bromwich Albion vs. Chelsea – England Premier League Match Preview, The Hawthorns, West Bromwich England, 11 AM EST Saturday November 17, 2012
By Jason Green, Soccer Handicapper, Predictem.com
Match Odds: West Bromwich Albion 3.75 / Chelsea 1.95 / Draw 3.60
Moneyline: West Bromwich Albion +275 / Chelsea -105 / Draw +260
Over/Under: 2.5 goals
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West Bromwich blew out of the gates with a 3-0 upset in their first match of the season and they are the most surprising team in the England Premier League so far this season sitting in 5th place in the league table. They have not just fed on the league minnows, but have played well against the good clubs playing to a draw against Tottenham and holding a lead 1-0 lead over Manchester City before allowing 2 goals after the 80th minute to lose.
Chelsea was in the lead for much of the season, but they have played to a couple of draws in the last 2 EPL matches and now sit in 3rd place in the league table only 3 points behind 1st place Manchester United.
The Blues have given up the 2nd fewest goals in league play and while their offense has the 3rd most goals they have only mustered 2 goals in their last 2 league matches.
The Baggies have a very well-balanced offensive attack with James Morrison, Shane Long, Peter Odemwingie, and Romelu Lukaku all having 3 goals in the season and the squad has scored 2 goals in each of their last 2 matches. They will face a solid Chelsea defense that has only conceded 2 goals in their last 2 matches. One thing Chelsea has going for them is that Romelu Lukaku is out for this match with an injury.
While the Blues’ offense has not been on fore lately West Brom will still have their hands full with the likes of Fernando Torres (4 goals) and Juan Mata (4 goals 6 assists). I think the Baggies will play a good defense match, but Mata will score, as he has been in form.
In the Baggies’ last match G Boaz Myhill made his first appearance in the EPL in a year and a half and was very impressive. He should get the start again with Ben Foster likely out recovering from a slight groin injury. He will play well, but he will not keep a clean sheet.
Chelsea G Petr Cech has only given up 2 goals in his last 2 EPL matches, but in his last 5 matches he has given up 11 goals. However, 2 of those games were not league games. Like Myhill he will not keep a clean sheet, as West Brom will score 1 goal.
Morrison is an attacking MF and his play will be key in this match. He has to spurn the offense and especially jump on any counter attacking chances.
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John Terry is out with a knee injury and Ashley Cole, who is also slightly banged up, will likely get the start at the left back.
Last season Chelsea beat West Brom at Stamford Bridge, but the Baggies scored a 1-0 upset at The Hawthorns.
West Brom must play like they did in the Manchester City match, well at least the first 80 minutes, as the Blues will like dominate the time of possession and the Baggies cannot get frustrated because of that.
West Bromwich Albion Recent Form:
10/6/2012 West Bromwich Albion 3 Queens Park Rangers 2 (Premier League)
10/20/2012 West Bromwich Albion 1 Manchester City 2 (Premier League)
10/28/2012 Newcastle United 2 West Bromwich Albion 1 (Premier League)
11/5/2012 West Bromwich Albion 2 Southampton 0 (Premier League)
11/10/2012 Wigan Athletic 1 West Bromwich Albion 2 (Premier League)
Chelsea Recent Form:
10/28/2012 Chelsea 2 Manchester United 3 (Premier League)
10/31/2012 Chelsea 5 Manchester United 4 (Capital One Cup)
11/3/2012 Swansea City 1 Chelsea 1 (Premier League)
11/7/2012 Chelsea 3 Shakhtar Donetsk 2 (Champions League)
11/11/2012 Chelsea 1 Liverpool 1 (Premier League)
Jason’s Pick to Win the Match: I think West Brom is for real and I would not be surprised if they snagged a Europa League berth for next season. They will play cautious for the first half and the Baggies would be happy with a draw, but they will not get it. Chelsea simply has too much firepower and a better midfield and the Blues will win this match 2-1.