Chelsea face newly promoted opponents for the first time this season and in the 5.30pm Saturday slot. The Blues produced mixed results on the road last season and at during a period last season, Frank Lampard’s side favoured fixtures away from Stamford Bridge where they weren’t as successful.
Their venue The Hawthorns is also a happy hunting ground for the Blues, who scooped all three points from the past three visits, scoring eight times.
Kieran Gibbs is suspended following his sending off against Everton last weekend. Hal Robson-Kanu is a doubt as he was replaced in their midweek Carabao Cup loss against Brentford.
The home side have an abundance of players on the injury list with Grosicki, Ahmed Hegazi and Kenneth Zohore. None will be available for selection against Chelsea.
Ex-Chelsea legend and new West Brom signing, Branislav Ivanovic, could be called up for his Premier League debut against his former club after signing on a free transfer from Zenit. against his old club. Conor Gallagher, on loan from Chelsea won’t feature in this match against his parent club.
Summer signing Hakim Ziyech hasn’t featured in Chelsea’s three opening matches due to an injury sustained during pre-season, but he seems to be recovering well, and Frank Lampard has said that the fixture at West Brom will come too soon for the Moroccan. Christian Pulisic is also back in training and remains out for the trip to the Hawthorns. The Chelsea boss believes the American is between 1-2 weeks away to be in contention.
Another summer signing, Thiago Silva, did however make his debut on Wednesday night in which he played some minutes to get him up to speed. The 36-year-old could be given his first Premier League start. Frank Lampard has a choice between Kepa Arrizabalaga and Willy Caballero for the goalkeeper position as new signing Edouard Mendy won’t feature, but should be available for the Carabao Cup trip to London rival Spurs on Tuesday.
New signing Ben Chilwell came on in the second half against Barnsley to provide an assist. Lampard could be tempted to start Chilwell at left-back as he was signed for that positon and will need to make his own. What better way to get your Chelsea league debut against a newly promoted side.
Potential XI for Chelsea
Lampard will opt with a 4-2-3-1 formation following Wednesday’s thumping victory against Barnsley. This formation gets the best out of summer signing Kai Havertz by playing him in his best position, the number 10. He prevailed by scoring a hat-trick, his first in his career and surely the first of many.
Timo Werner will be recalled after given a rest on Wednesday night. However, he will start from the left flank which will allow last season’s top goal scorer Tammy Abraham to lead the line, who was exceptional in the Carabao Cup. Kurt Zouma will partner the experienced Thiago Silva, a pairing which we will see for the majority of this season. Furthermore, N’Golo Kante and Mateo Kovacic will partner one another in the double pivot. Kante the more defensive which will allow Kovacic to break pressing lines and start attacks for the forward players.
West Brom 0-3 Chelsea
This is the game where we will see Timo Werner get off the mark in a Chelsea shirt. So far he has shown signs as to why he was signed, to score goals and at the Hawthorns he will score, possibly two depending on how the Baggies react following his first goal. The other goal scorer will be another German who we signed this summer, Kai Havertz. Following his hat-trick on Wednesday night, Havertz will be full of confidence and his partnership with Abraham will continue to blossom in this fixture.
With Thiago Silva starting, I can see this be the start of where Chelsea become a far better team defensively, in which we will take all three points this evening, with a clean sheet – something we didn’t see very often last season.