Rock-bottom and desperate to resurrect their form, West Bromwich Albion are due to face Chelsea at the Stamford Bridge on Monday. Perhaps Alan Pardew would not mind facing the wounded Lions, as Chelsea have suffered two losses on the trot (against Bournemouth and Watford), but Antonio Conte’s men cannot be taken lightly under any circumstances.
Pardew and his entourage do have a huge test ahead of them and here is how they might line-up against Chelsea in their 27th Premier League fixture.
Ben Foster has a massive role to play in the game against the reigning English champions. The 34-year-old has collected 7 clean sheets from 25 appearances and he would certainly be tested by the likes of Eden Hazard and Willian.
Jonny Evans is expected to make a return after his back injury and he is likely to partner Ahmed Hegazi at the heart of the backline of his side. They need to mark their opponents tightly and try to suffocate Chelsea’s attackers from blossoming in their attacking endeavours.
Kieran Gibbs has returned from his hamstring injury and is anticipated to get the nod from Pardew to start in the left-back slot. Craig Dawson will continue his role at right-back.
Gareth Barry should be pencilled in the middle of the park alongside Grzegorz Krychowiak, who is returning from his leg injury. They have fared well together and they would be keen to cushion the defensive line of their side.
Jake Livermore, James Morrison and Nacer Chadli are out of contention owing to their injury. So from the right side of the midfield, Matt Phillips is likely to start whereas from the other side, Chris Brunt would look forward to making his presence felt against one of the top sides in the country.
Finding the back of the net has been one of the major issues for the Throstles. They have scored just 21 goals so far this season in the league and if they are desirous to remain a Premier League side next season, they must score goals regularly from here.
Daniel Sturridge was arguably the main signing by Albion last month and he is expected to start up front. To accompany him, we expect Pardew to roll out Jay Rodriguez. Although both of them have had unappealing seasons so far, they should go in all guns blazing and try to make the most of the loopholes that exist in Chelsea’s defence.