Recently Slumping Chelsea
In normal times, fantasy managers would be salivating at the prospect of Chelsea hosting West Bromwich Albion, loading up on Blues, and putting the captain’s armband on Eden Hazard, Pedro, César Azpillicueta or Marcos Alonso.
These, however, are unusual days. After going unbeaten for eight games (five wins, three draws), the Blues have lost two straight, conceding a staggering total of seven goals to Bournemouth and Watford while scoring only once. Rumors abound regarding the possible departure of manager Antonio Conte. Marcos Alonso is doubtful with fatigue. Álvaro Morata is out with a back injury. Tiemoué Bakayoko is suspended for a red card (two yellows, so only the one game). The defending Premier League champions sit in fifth place and will remain there with a loss or draw. They can only move up to fourth with a victory.
West Brom’s Long-Term Misery
West Brom, of course, is in complete collapse, rooted to the foot of the table. After opening the season with two victories, Albion has but a single win in the past 24 games. A victory or draw would only narrow the gap to 19th place Stoke. Its 21 goals are more than only Swansea. Its 37 goals allowed, however, are actually fewer than nine other teams, so that end brings a greater measure of hope.
Former Chelsea and Liverpool starlet Daniel Sturridge started for the first time in an Albion kit last weekend as Alan Pardew pushed Jay Rodriguez to the bench. The squad still came out on the wrong end of the crucial “six-pointer”, a 3-2 loss to Southampton. We all know that Sturridge would love to score against his old team, but in his two appearances for Albion thus far, the sniper has managed only three shots, none on target. Meanwhile, Rodriguez faces an FA investigation of using a racist slur during the mid-January Brighton match, so could possibly incur a serious suspension.
How do you expect today’s game to come out? Can Chelsea turn around its poor form, or will West Brom be able to get things going after its horrible season so far? Whom do you have playing for your fantasy teams to finish up the weekend? And who’s on your barn-door watch list? Join in the chat below!