West Brom v Chelsea: No clean sheets at the Hawthorns

There should be plenty of goals when West Brom take on Chelsea this Saturday evening as Paul Robinson picks out his best bets on the Betfair Exchange.

West Brom v Chelsea
Saturday 26 September, 17:30
Live on Sky Sports

Reality check for the Baggies

It's been a difficult start to life in the Premier League for West Brom, as after losing 0-3 at home to Leicester, they then conceded five goals at Goodison Park, in a 5-2 defeat against Everton. Two more goals were scored against them by Brentford in the Carabao Cup during the week (they lost on penalties), and things don't get any easier this weekend.

Slaven Bilić's side welcome Chelsea to the Hawthorns on Saturday evening. Tightening up at the back has to be the number one priority for the manager, but he will be without Kieran Gibbs, following his red card against Everton.

A 3-4-3 formation - which becomes a 3-5-1 without the ball - is likely, and Hal Robson-Kanu will be pushing for a starting role, following his brace in midweek (they were both from the spot though).

Blues still trying to find the right formula

Frank Lampard has already come in for plenty of criticism so far this season, and when you spend big money, it comes with the territory. They beat Brighton in their season opener - but still looked ropey at the back - and they were then thoroughly outplayed by Liverpool.

Lampard can point to the fact that they were reduced to 10 men with the score at 0-0, but even in the first half, the Reds did look the more dangerous team. Kai Havertz was the disappointment of that game, but he netted a confidence boosting hat-trick against Barnsley on Wednesday.

There should be a debut for new £22m goalkeeper, Edouard Mendy, who arrived from Rennes this week. The move will take Kepa out of the firing line, who again was at fault for another goal against Liverpool last Sunday.

Visitors to win a thriller

Chelsea are the firm favourites on the Betfair Exchange, with their price trading at around the 1.41 mark. The draw is next in at 5.30. with a West Brom victory the outsider of the party at 9.60.

I will admit it from the off, none of those prices appeal to me. I can't see anything other than an away win, but 1.41 is not a price that I want to play at.

I do have a selection though, and that is Chelsea to win with both teams scoring. The odds on that are much more attractive at 3.20, and there are valid reasons to think it should be shorter in the betting.

The defensive problems of the Blues have been largely put down to Kepa, and while he was a problem, he wasn't the only one. Lampard hasn't got the balance of his team right yet, and they are certainly much better at going forward than they are at defending.

Despite their struggles, West Brom found the net twice at Everton last weekend, and they scored twice again in the Cup on Tuesday.

Goals on the menu at the Hawthorns

Given my above selection, I am in full agreement with the betting on the Over/Under 2.5 Market. The former is the 1.70 favourite, with the Under at 2.40.

All four of West Brom's competitive matches this term have ended with three goals or more - two of which saw Over 3.5 backers collect.

Chelsea have played one less game, but they too have had two matches end with the ball in the net on at least four occasions, and given that defending doesn't appear to be either team's strong-suit, I am keen to back Over 3.5 goals at 2.62 on the Betfair Exchange.

Key Opta Stat

Chelsea have just kept one clean sheet in their 20 Premier League away games under manager Frank Lampard, winning 2-0 at Spurs in December 2019. The Blues' last league clean sheet outside of London came in May 2019 (0-0 vs Leicester).

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