Chelsea vs West Bromwich Albion Preview: How to watch, team news, manager's words and predicted line-ups
Thomas Tuchel of Chelsea during a press conference at Chelsea Training Ground on April 2, 2021 in Cobham, England. (Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images)

With a maiden Premier League manager of the month award under his belt, Thomas Tuchel will look reinvigorate his side's galvanising form as Chelsea welcome West Bromwich Albion to Stamford Bridge

Sam Allardyce, who is unbeaten in his last three clashes against the Blues, was just 24 years old when the Blues last suffered defeat to the Baggies at home in a league fixture. 

The visitors won 3-1 in September 1978 at Stamford Bridge against a formidable Chelsea side consisting of club greats like Peter Bonetti, Ron Harris and Ray Wilkins.

West Bromwich Albion head into the game winless in their last 13 visits to the capital - their last such win dating back to 2016.

However, with points won against Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool and Chelsea this season, anything is possible when a relegation brawl is on the cards.

Story Behind the Game

What this fixture means

A win for Chelsea could see the Blues extend their advantage to five points over fifth placed West Ham and just two points off Leicester City, should the Foxes fail to turnover the 'Cityzens' once more. 

Meanwhile, a draw would take Chelsea three points adrift of the Hammers. But, should Moyes’ side beat Wolves on Monday night by a nine-goal difference, Tuchel’s side will fall to fifth.

A win for West Brom would be enough for Allardyce to start the engine in their hot pursuit of Premier League survival.

League Form

Chelsea: DDWWD

West Bromwich Albion: DDWLDL

Previous clashes

Chelsea have won six of the last ten meetings with West Brom, drawing three and losing just once. 

This clash would normally be bookmarked in the calendar as a free scoring frenzy with an average of 3.1 goals a game.

But, since Tuchel’s arrival in West London, out of the first 14 fixtures, only once has there been more than two goals scored in a single game – when Sheffield United just fell short in a 2-1 loss to the Blues.

Team News 

Chelsea 

Everyone is available for selection for Chelsea apart from N’Golo Kante who is nursing a small hamstring injury picked up whilst on international duty with France.

West Bromwich Albion 

The visitors will be without 21-year-old midfielder Conor Gallagher who is on loan from Chelsea.

Hal Robson-Kanu breached protocol whilst on international duty with Wales. He has since tested negative for Coronavirus.

Manager's Words

Thomas Tuchel

"It can be enjoyable to take a break, to breath and relax and refocus. At the same time, it's strange.

"The players come back from different time zones – [Olivier] Giroud and [Kurt] Zouma had a game with five hours time difference and they take three, four flights to arrive back.

"This is clearly not the best prepartion to arrive for a game at 12.30pm. It's a time that I am still adapting too.

"We don't break out heads too much about it, it's clear when you join a club like Chelsea we have to adapt.

"We had a good training session today and we will have the team together for dinner. It's important we enjoy these moments and refocus for the games ahead."

Sam Allardyce

“We’ve done very well against Manchester United and Liverpool. Man United certainly should’ve been a win.

“We did extremely well against Everton and lost. We had enough chances to win that game too.

“If we get that level of performance and some proper finishing, we could pull off one of the biggest shocks the Premier League has seen recently on Saturday.

“We can’t fly into Chelsea because they’re so good they can just rip you apart. It’s about meticulous planning and about making sure we are as defensively sound as Chelsea are.

“Chelsea are where they are because of how good they are defensively. They hardly ever concede goals.

“They’ve been keeping plenty of clean sheets and that’s why they’ve got themselves up to fourth.

“We’ve got better at stopping conceding stupid goals, but we’ve not managed to stick our chances away.

“Chelsea will be very difficult to break down and most people who watch Premier League football will give us no chance. The Albion fans will give us a chance because they always will. We’ve got to try and make them proud of us on Saturday.”

Predicted Starting XI

Chelsea (3-4-2-1)

Edouard Mendy; Cesar Azpilicueta, Andreas Christensen, Antonio Rudiger; Reece James, Jorginho, Mateo Kovacic, Marcos Alonso; Mason Mount, Kai Havertz; Timo Werner

West Bromwich Albion (5-4-1)

Sam Johnstone; Darnell Furlong, Semi Ajayi, Kyle Bartley, Darnell O’Shea, Ainsley Maitland-Niles; Robert Snodgrass, Okay Yokuslu, Jake Livermore, Matheus Pereira; Mbaye Diagne

How to watch?

Kick-off is at 12:30pm GMT on Saturday, 3rd April 2021.

The match will be televised live on BT Sport 1.

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