Preview: West Brom v Chelsea

A win for Chelsea at West Bromwich Albion on Friday night will hand the Blues the Premier League title.

Premier League
Date: 12 May 2017
Match Day 36
Kick-off: 21H00 (GMT 2)
Venue: The Hawthorns
Referee: M. Oliver
Assistants: J. Collin, C. Hatzidakis
Fourth official: S. Attwell

Head-to-head summary: 

TEAM MATCHES WIN DRAW LOSS

West Brom 105 33 26 46 
Chelsea 105 46 26 33 

Previous encounter: 

Chelsea 1-0 West Brom 28/01/17 (FA Cup)

Chelsea goalscorer: Diego Costa (76')

Players to watch: 

One West Brom player who could cause Chelsea some real problems is striker Salomón Rondón. With eight Premier League goals for the season, he will provide a threat for the Blues defence with his physicality and direct style of play.

Chelsea have a plethora of stars to call upon, including Eden Hazard, Pedro and Willian, but expect Diego Costa to be the man amongst the goals on Friday night. With 20 goals already, Costa has long proved his goalscoring worth, and will be the man Chelsea look to, to dismantle their opponents, before claiming league honours.

Team form and manager quotes: 

West Brom have had a stellar season by their recent standards, and are on course for a top-half finish, as they currently occupy eighth place on the standings with 45 points. They may well have finished a lot higher though had the side not endured a testing May. The Baggies, who come into this match on the back of a 2-2 draw with Burnley, lost their previous four games, that followed a draw with Manchester United and a win over Arsenal.

Ahead of the game, Pulis said: "Firstly, I think you've got to give Chelsea, Antonio and the players great credit. They're in with a great chance of winning a double.

"They deserve to be where they are. They've been the most consistent team in the league this year and they come to our place with a chance of winning it.

"They deserve a helluva lot of credit but we have a responsibility to our supporters. We're still chasing a points tally that will keep us in eighth position so we have a lot to play for. We're looking forward to the game."

Three points is all that separates Chelsea from league glory, as they come into this tie in first place with a seven point lead over Tottenham on 84 points. Antonio Conte's side have eight wins from their last ten games, and last saw off Middlesbrough 3-0.

Howeever, the former Italy national team coach was keen to add that if the Blues secure the title, it will only the beginning of his journey in London.

The Italian told reporters in the pre-match press conference; "I have a contract with Chelsea for two more years.

"It is logical when you start work in a new club for the will to be to continue to work and try to improve your work in many years, and for sure this is my will. But now the most important thing is to reach our target.

"To arrive at this moment, with this great opportunity, we worked very hard for the whole season and now it's important to be ready and try to take this step and then to celebrate together."

Team news:

West Brom will be without Matt Phillips (hamstring) while Hal Robson-Kanu (hamstring) faces a late fitness test.

Jonny Evans (ankle) could play some part in this tie.

N'golo Kante is Chelsea's open absentee as he continues to recover from a thigh strain.

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