West Brom v Chelsea
Saturday November 18 15:00

Irish quartet need to pick themselves up
It's not often you find a Tony Pulis-managed side in this sort of position but the table doesn't lie. Their 16th place is due to a lack of wins (just two), which in turn is due to a lack of goals (nine from 11 matches). Only new signing Jay Rodriguez has scored more than one league goal all season.

In addition to the absences of Craig Dawson and James Morrison through injury, Pulis will also have to contend with some pretty disappointed players in the dressing room. Gareth McAuley, Jonny Evans, James McClean and Chris Brunt all missed out on being at the World Cup as both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland failed to book their place in Russia via this week's play-offs. That said, that's a quartet of pretty strong characters so it may just spurn them on to make sure the season doesn't end up as a failure at club level, too.

Spanish duo's telepathy
It shows how high standards are at Chelsea these days that results under Antonio Conte aren't deemed quite good enough. Not only did he comfortably win the league last season but he has the best win record of any full-time Chelsea manager in the club's history with 75%, Opta tell us.

Chelsea's two best players this season have arguably been Cesar Azpilicueta and Alvaro Morata. The Spanish striker has led the line brilliantly, showing great strength, the ability to gold up the ball and his finishing has been top drawer.'Azpi' has been the most consistent of Chelsea's back-three and (with the exception of a poor performance in Rome), just as good when asked to play at wing-back.

Despite theoretically operating in such different parts of the pitch, their understanding has been incredible. Azpilicueta has provided five assists this season to his compatriot, by far the most successful partnership in this regard in the league (Opta).

Chelsea price understandable
Chelsea's price of 6/10 on Betfair Sportsbook is one of those typical cases of: 'Yes, they'll probably win but they're not necessarily value.'

The Blues have won their last three in the league, whereas the Baggies have taken just two points from their last five matches. And Chelsea enjoy playing them. They've beaten them 16 times in the league and Pulis doesn't like facing Chelsea, either. Only against Man City (13) has the Welshman lost more games as a Premier League manager than the 12 he's lost against this lot, according to Opta. A draw is 4.10 but there's very little evidence to suggest the hosts are worth backing at [6.4.].

Three points and clean sheet bonus for Chelsea's rearguard
This looks like a match tailor-made for Antonio Conte's side to outplay and out-think their opponents. After a few fast-and-furious games like the 2-1 defeat at Palace, the 3-3 draw at home to Roma and the 4-2 win over Watford, they've reverted to type with back-to-back wins over Bournemouth and Manchester United. A 1-0 win at the back end of last season was how it finished last time out and a repeat of that, a 2-0 win or a somewhat more unlikely 3-0 win can be covered by backing the Blues to win to nil at 2.50.

That worrying lowly goals-for tally suggests West Brom don't have the weapons to trouble a Chelsea defence looking like it's back to its best.

Bad boy Bakayoko?
Tiemoue Bakayoko has become a permanent fixture in Chelsea's starting XI and has for the most part impressed as an all-action midfielder.

But his determination to challenge for every ball and make a nuisance of himself to his midfield opponents can come at a cost and he's picked up three bookings in his last six games. 7/2 is a good price on him making it four from seven.


Ref Watch<
Jonathan Moss is the man with the whistle. It's been a low-profile season for him so far bar that sending off of Sadio Mane at the Etihad Stadium and with less than three bookings a game in 2017/18, one shouldn't expect too many bookings here.

Recommended Bets
1pt Back Chelsea to win to nil @ 2.50
1pt Back Tiemoue Bakayoko to be shown a card @ 7/2


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