Chelsea vs West Bromwich Albion Preview: Conte seeking Stamford Bridge response from Blues

Chelsea will look for a resounding Premier League response as the Blues host West Bromwich Albion at Stamford Bridge on Monday night. 

Having suffered a humbling against Watford at Vicarage Road last Monday, Antonio Conte's men have the chance to amend matters seven days later against a Baggies side themselves having lost their last league game, mired in the bottom three in the English top-flight.

Both sides will be scrapping for points on the Kings' Road for very different reasons, ahead of their respective FA Cup fifth-round ties at home to Hull City and Southampton next weekend respectively.

Moment of truth for Blues

With a potentially pivotal few weeks ahead for the hosts, Chelsea will be looking to start off on a positive note in front of their own fans.

As Nigel Adkins' Tigers wait to pounce in the cup on Friday night - aware of the uncertainty of Conte's men in recent weeks - the West Londoners then face FC Barcelona in the UEFA Champions League in just over a week's time before traveling to Old Trafford to face Manchester United in a fortnight.

Whilst fighting of three separate fronts at home and across Europe, the pressure remains high on the Blues' boss, with off-field talk regarding Luis Enrique and a potential switching of personnel in the dugout in the near future.

Embed from Getty Images

Visitors becoming cut adrfft

As the hosts look to the resumption of matters on the continent, West Brom are contemplating a very different and angst-ridden next few weeks in the West Midlands.

Having staged somewhat of a resurgence under boss Alan Pardew, the Baggies have lost their last two league games - suffering a potentially decisive loss to Southampton at the Hawthorns last weekend.

After wins for both relegation rivals Swansea City and Huddersfield town over the weekend, West Brom are now seven points from safety with just 12 games to play this season.

As the visitors look to Daniel Sturridge to bring much-needed goals to the Baggies' fold, the forward makes his return to Stamford Bridge having spent an uncertain four-year spell with the West Londoners between 2009 and 2013.

Embed from Getty Images

Baggies' long wait for away win

Having met in the Premier League 23 times previously, Pardew's men have won just three times - all at the Hawthorns.

The last time West Brom won in West London was almost 35 years ago in November 1983 in a 1-0 League Cup win  and have taken just two points from the defending champions in the modern league era.

With the hosts having suffered losses against sides from the bottom half of the table in recent weeks however, the West Midlanders may be eyeing a shock scalp this time around and with a decent away record to boot in the past few seasons.

Team News

Conte will assess defensive duo Andreas Christensen and Marcos Alonso before the game, with the Spanish full-back the more likely to return to the starting XI after a muscle problem.

With Álvaro Morata out, Olivier Giroud could make his first start for his new club, with Pedro Rodriguez expected to be passed fit despite hobbling off against Watford.

Ross Barkley however is out with a hamstring injury.

West Brom again have a number of injury concerns ahead of the trip to the capital.

Defensive duo Kieran Gibbs and Jonny Evans are both expected to shake off hamstring and back niggles, with midfielder Grzegorz Krychowiak also expected to line up despite a thigh problem.

Jake Livermore is a slight doubt with a hamstring problem also, but Hal Robson-Kanu is ruled out of the game with the same issue.

Fellow midfielders James Morrison and Nacer Chadli could return after the FA Cup next weekend.