Premier League. Live on Sky Sports 1. Kick-off Sunday 1.30pm
It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that all is not well at the Bridge. Last week’s humbling by Manchester City, which included the public embarrassing of captain John Terry when he was hooked off the park at half-time by boss Mourinho, came after another very public show of petulance by Jose when he demoted his female doctor for having the audacity to treat one of his players when they were (actually) injured.
The last thing the Special One needs is a trip to the Hawthorns where his side were soundly beaten 3-0 on their previous visit. One point from two games has agitated the Blues boss and Roman Abramovic has appeased him somewhat with the addition of £21m Pedro from Barcelona, who could make his debut this afternoon. That may be enough to inject a bit of life into a Chelsea side who have looked lacklustre and devoid of ideas so far this season.
West Brom have made a very similar start to the Blues with one draw and a 3-0 defeat to Man City to show for their first two games. The Baggies left themselves wide open in the match against City when Tony Pulis attempted to accommodate Berahino and Ricky Lambert in his starting XI. It’s unlikely he’ll do that again so expect a much more compact West Brom this afternoon.
Watch out or German kid Serge Gnabry, on loan from Arsenal, who could start for West Brom. He impressed in an Arsenal shirt and could cause the Blues defence some problems with his direct style of play.
This will be a tough one for Chelsea but I can’t see them going three matches without a win at the start of the season. The Blues are 8/13 (Paddy Power) to take all three points, whilst West Brom are as big as 6/1 (Bet365). I wouldn’t be going daft backing Chelsea at such a short price but I do like the 12/5 on them to win by one-goal at Bet365.
To open the scoring on his debut Pedro is priced at 13/2 with William Hill. He has a record of just under 1 in 3 so keep an eye on team news to see if he starts. You could do worse than back JT to score first too. He’ll feel he has a point to prove this afternoon and a set-piece may be Chelsea’s best chance to break down what’s likely to be a stuffy West Brom side. At 25/1 he’s worth an each-way punt, if selected of course!