Friday, 14 November 2008

West Brom v Chelsea Premiership Preview: Can The Baggies End Blues 100% Away Record?

West Bromwich Albion play, Luiz Felipe Scolari’s Chelsea at the Hawthorns on Saturday in the Premier League.

Baggies manager Tony Mowbray will be hoping his Midlands side can halt the run of five Premiership games without a win, which has seen West Brom only collect a single point from 15 available in a 2-2 draw with Blackburn Rovers at the beginning of the month. This has seen the Baggies slip to the bottom of the Premier League, with Mowbray likely to be happy to get anything out of the visit of Premiership pacesetters Chelsea.

Scolari might be on the top of the Premier League with Chelsea at the moment, but caught a rude awakening in English football when Championship side Burnley knocked the Blues out of the Carling Cup on penalties at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday. However, Chelsea have a 100% record away from home this season, scoring 16 and only conceding once in reply and will see a struggling West Brom as the ideal opposition to get back to winning ways.

Mowbray is unable to call on defender Leon Barnett (knee), Kim Do-Heon (knee) or long-term absentee Neil Clement, but should have Abdoulaye Meite available again after a calf muscle strain for the visit of Chelsea.

The Blues are still without long-term absentee Michael Essien (knee), while Ricardo Carvalho (thigh), Juliano Belletti (ankle) and Joe Cole (foot) are also ruled out of the trip to the Hawthorns. Ashley Cole could be in contention if the England International can shake off a calf muscle strain in time to face the Baggies. Scolari has striker Didier Drogba available, but might decide to keep faith with Nicolas Anelka upfront in light of the coin-throwing incident involving Drogba against Burnley on Wednesday.

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