Chelsea vs West Bromwich Albion Preview: Blues look to extend winning run against buoyant Baggies

Chelsea vs West Bromwich Albion Preview: Blues look to extend winning run against buoyant Baggies

Match preview of the Premier League clash between Chelsea and West Bromwich Albion at Stamford Bridge on Sunday lunchtime.

neil-leverett
Neil Leverett

Antonio Conte's Chelsea will look for their ninth Premier league win on the bounce, as West Bromwich Albion travel to Stamford Bridge on Sunday.

After Arsenal temporarily climbed to the summit of the top flight following their 3-1 win over Stoke City on Saturday, The Blues will seek to re-establish their dominance as an impressive Baggies side make the trip to West London.

Baggies set to test Conte's system

With Tony Pulis' men themselves are on an unbeaten run of four games - winning three - and the visitors are set to test Chelsea's resilience this weekend.

Having lost 3-0 to rivals Arsenal back in September, the Blues have gone on to restore an aura of near invincibility. The switch to a 3-4-3 system has paid handsome dividends for a previously struggling West London outfit.

Last weekend's win at Manchester City was the icing on the cake for Chelsea's renaissance. Having fallen behind to Gary Cahill's own goal, the visitors clung on, after The Citizens wasted a number of chances. Goals from Diego Costa, Willian and Eden Hazard sealed an impressive win at the Etihad Stadium.

Brunt return pivotal for visitors

After suffering an ACL injury that ruled him out of Euro 2016 for Northern Ireland, the return of Chris Brunt has been key to West Brom's surge up the table into eighth spot.

With the 31 year-old now deployed in a more natural midfield role opposite the flourishing Matt Phillips, Tony Pulis has seen his man be instrumental in their 4-0 thumping of Burnley at The Hawthorns.

Brunt both scored and assisted versus Watford last time out out also, as the Northern Irishman has underlined his threat in a more comfortable role to his makeshift left-back berth.

Blues have dominant record 

The meeting between Chelsea and West Brom will be the 21st occasion the two have met in the Premier League.

The Blues hold significant sway over their less illustrious opponents with 14 wins compared to just three for Sunday's visitors - all in the West Midlands.

The Baggies most recent record however is much healthier, having held Chelsea to draws in two of the last three seasons in West London.

The last time the two met back in January, James McClean's 86th minute leveller earned Pulis' men a deserved point on the King's Road.

Team News

Striker Diego Costa has been passed fit for the hosts, however Antonio Conte is sweating on the fitness of four key men.

Pedro, David Luiz and Nemanja Matic will all be assessed late on for the visit of West Brom, but midfielder Oscar is ruled out with an illness.

Defender John Terry is also absent with a gluteal strain.

Tony Pulis could be without both James Morrison and Gareth McAuley who are both struggling with knocks.

Goalkeeper Boaz Myhill is absent however, with Saido Berahino still not match fit.

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