Preview: Chelsea v West Brom

Chelsea will aim to solidify their position at the top of the Premier League standings when they host an in-form West Brom side on Sunday.

Premier League
Date: 11 December 2016
Match Day 15
Kick-off: 20H00 HKT

Venue: Stamford Bridge
Referee: M. Dean
Assistants: S. Long, H. Lennard
Fourth official: L. Mason

Head-to-head summary:

Chelsea          20       14    3      3
West Brom        20       3     3      14

Previous encounter:

Chelsea 2-2 West Brom 13/01/16 (Premier League)

Chelsea goalscorers: Cesar Azpilicueta (20′), Gareth McAuley (og 73′)

West Brom goalscorers: Craig Gardner (33′), James McClean (86′)


Players to watch:


Chelsea’s Diego Costa tops the Premier League’s scoring charts with 11 goals, alongside Arsenal’s Alexis Sanchez, and remains the biggest threat to any opponent, while the creative instincts of an in-form Eden Hazard is always problematic for defences around the league.


The Baggies have shared goals around the team so far this season, but in terms of assists right winger Matt Phillips has stood out, creating five goals for his team, while scoring a further three.


Team form and manager quotes:


The Blues have been in sensational form of late, winning eight consecutive Premier League games, scoring 22 goals and conceding only three.


Their most recent result was a 3-1 victory over title rivals Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium last weekend, which put them three points clear at the top of the standings.


Conte has been delighted with the way his team has performed, but guarded against complacency during his pre-match press conference, stating: “In this league every game is very tough and we must put everything into winning. I’m pleased to win eight in a row but this is in the past.”


Meanwhile, West Brom have found some momentum over the last few weeks, winning three of their last four league games and drawing the other.


Their last outing saw them ease past Watford 3-1 at home. The unbeaten run has shot the Baggies up the standings from 16th position to seventh in one month.


Heading into the clash with Chelsea, West Brom boss Tony Pulis told a press conference: “They’re on a great run of form. They’ve not even been starting with Willian and he’s one of my favourite players.”


Team news:


Chelsea remain unable to call upon captain John Terry, while Oscar is sidelined through illness. Nemanja Matic is, however, available after returning to training on Tuesday.


West Brom are still without the services of goalkeeper Boaz Myhill, who is recovering from an ankle injury, while Gareth McAuley and James Morrison will be assessed closer to kick-off after missing training.