Chelsea will hope to build on their huge Carabao Cup victory against Barnsley when they trip to The Hawthorns to take on West Bromwich Albion.
After an incredible transfer window, Chelsea’s start to life in the English Premier League has already seen a high and a low, with opening day victory against Brighton, followed by a defeat at the hands of the defending champions Liverpool.
During the two games, it was evident that the injuries in the squad forced Frank Lampard to play a complicated setup with likes of Mason Mount and Kai Havertz occupying the wing in the first game and then Timo Werner on the left flank in the second.
During their midweek match against Championships side Barnsley in the Carabao Cup, though, new signing Kai Havertz was able to click with the rest of the team, playing off of Tammy Abraham in the centre.
West Bromwich Albion, on the other hand, sit rock bottom, with zero points in their two games. They have also managed to concede eight in the process while scoring two, following a 4-2 thrashing at Goodison Park against Everton in their previous outing in past weekend.
If things were not already rough enough, they also lost their Cup game to Brentford who came out on top in the penalty shootout.
The last meeting between these two was at the Stamford Bridge during the 2017/18 season which saw West Brom sink to the Championship. The game ended 3-0 in favour of Chelsea courtesy a brace from playmaker Eden Hazard and a goal from Victor Moses. Ahead of the latest meeting between the two sides, Sportarena takes a closer look at the encounter.
Team News & Tactics
West Bromwich Albion
Slaven Bilic will be without the services of former Arsenal defender Kieran Gibbs, who picked up a red card against Everton following an off the ball aggressive foul at James Rodriguez and is suspended for this weekend.
Ahmed Hegazi, Kamil Grosicki and Kenneth Zohore will also miss the game due to injuries. At the same time, star striker Hal Robson-Kanu is doubtful after he hobbled off against Brentford in the Carabao Cup.
But Chelsea legend Branislav Ivanovic, who joined West Bromwich Albion on a short-term deal this week is expected to make his debut for newly-promoted side when faced his former club.
Probable Lineup (5-4-1): Johnstone; Furlong, Ajayi, Ivanovic, O’Shea, Townsend; Pereira, Livermore, Sawyers, Diangana; Robinson
Frank Lampard has provided an updates on the fitness of Christian Pulisic and Hakim Ziyech and has termed them as unavailable for this game. However, both of attackers duo are expected to join team training soon. Andreas Christensen is suspended while starlet Billy Gilmour remains out with an injury problem.
First Premier League starts for Thiago Silva and Ben Chilwell are under consideration. However, the latest arrival at Stamford Bridge, Eduoard Mendy, will not be in the starting XI this evening and will be eased into the team.
Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Kepa; James, Zouma, Silva, Chilwell; Kante, Kovacic; Hudson-Odoi, Havertz, Mount; Werner
- Chelsea and Barnsley have never previously played each other in the League Cup. The Blues have, in fact, won their last four home games against Barnsley in all competitions, scoring 12 goals in the process, with the Tykes’ last win at Stamford Bridge being 37 years ago in March 1983.
- Chelsea are looking to progress to the League Cup fourth round for the 10th successive season, with Newcastle United being the last side to beat them at this stage in the tournament back in the 2010/11 season.
- Barnsley last reached the Carabao Cup fourth round in 2009/10 when they lost 2-0 at home to Manchester United.
- The last lower division side to knock Chelsea out of the Carabao Cup were Burnley in the fourth round in 2008, onpenalties at Stamford Bridge after extra-time. Huddersfield were the last Football League team to beat the Blues inside 90 minutes.
- The last time Barnsley won away at a Premier League side was at Anfield against Liverpool in the fifth round of the 2007/08 FA Cup.
German sensational Kai Havertz was signed by Chelsea after a long-fought battle against Bundesliga side Leverkusen. In his first two games in the Premier League, Havertz has struggled to click with his team-mates, having played in roles that do not suit him. That said, there have been some positive signs in the form of off the ball runs, and passing.
Moreover, the game in mid-week, while against Barnsley, could serve as the huge motivation boost he needs to gel with the rest of the team.
And if Lampard gets his team selection on point, there is little stopping the 21-year-old from tearing it up against a West Brom side who seem to have one too many cracks within their team.