PRE-MATCH BRIEFING: CHELSEA V WEST BROMWICH ALBION - PART ONE
Having reacted well in European competition to last weekend's defeat, the task now is to match that in the league. Club historian Rick Glanvill and club statistician Paul Dutton welcome a West Midlands challenge...
In the last club action for a fortnight Chelsea face a West Brom side against whom we have a 100 per cent home record in the Premier League. No team has a better record on their own patch than Chelsea's five wins in five this season. Less impressive away form is the reason the Blues are looking to avoid successive Premier League defeats for the first time since May 2012.
Back then we lost at home to Newcastle and away to Liverpool. The Magpies' first goal on Saturday lunchtime was the first we have conceded this season in the league from a set-piece.
After such a setback it was reassuring to remain Arsenal's closest challengers. However, just one point separates second from seventh. It is crucial all three are taken this weekend - our neighbours Fulham are hardly in the best form for an upset at Anfield and Spurs host the Magpies.
Wednesday's 3-0 win over Schalke was another brick in the rebuilding of a fortress at Stamford Bridge. Returning manager Jose Mourinho is unbeaten in all his 80 home domestic games in open play.
The Special One has a 75.8 per cent win record in his 99 home matches in all competitions up to now, comprising 75 wins, 22 draws and two defeats - against Barcelona in 2005 and Basel this season.
Chelsea can qualify for next year's Round of 16 by avoiding defeat in the next Champions League match at Basel on 26 November. The Schalke result was the first 3-0 in which all goals were scored by strikers since 3 December 2011 at St James' Park when Didier Drogba, Salomon Kalou and Daniel Sturridge took Newcastle apart.
Up until 19 October no centre-forward had netted for the Blues in the Premier League or Champions League. Now six of our last eight in those competitions have come from strikers.
In last night's any other business section former Blue Gus Poyet's Sunderland beat Southampton, setting up a quarter-final trip to the north-east on Tuesday 17 December. That will be our first meeting with the Mackems in this competition since the semi-final debacle of 1985.
Chelsea's fine record against the Baggies in London contrasts with the two consecutive defeats by them at the Hawthorns, the most recent of which helped secure them an eighth place finish last season. Of course, on-loan Chelsea youngster Romelu Lukaku played a big role in that too.
All at Chelsea will extend a warm welcome to Blues champions Steve Clarke and Nicolas Anelka and youth team graduate Scott Sinclair. This will be the first time Clarke has faced Mourinho across the technical area since he was his assistant from 2004 to 2007.
After leaving the Bridge in 2008 Clarke was assistant at West Ham and Liverpool before striking out on his own at West Brom in 2012.
There are three televised matches in succession on Sunday starting at midday and culminating in leaders Arsenal's trip to Manchester. The Gunners have left Old Trafford with all three points just twice since 1998.
Barclays Premier League fixtures
Aston Villa v Cardiff 3pm
Chelsea v West Brom 3pm
Crystal Palace v Everton 3pm
Liverpool v Fulham 3pm
Southampton v Hull 3pm
Norwich v West Ham 5.30pm - Sky Sports
Tottenham v Newcastle 12.00pm - Sky Sports
Sunderland v Manchester City 2.05pm Sky Sports
Manchester United v Arsenal 4.10pm - Sky Sports
Swansea v Stoke 4.10pm
|Barclays Premier League top six|
In the Barclays Premier League, we have won 37 points from the last 39 available at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea have not dropped any points from winning positions this season.
We have won all five league games when we have scored the opening goal.
Chelsea have won 12 and drawn two of our last 14 home Premier League games since QPR won at Stamford Bridge on 2 January.
|Last six results|
|Oct 19||Cardiff (h)||W 4-1|
|Oct 22||Schalke (Champions League a)||W 3-0|
|Oct 27||Manchester City (h)||W 2-1|
|Oct 29||Arsenal (Capital One Cup a)||W 2-0|
|Nov 2||Newcastle (a)||L 0-2|
|Nov 6||Schalke (Champions League h)||W 3-0|
League games since
A home win: 0
A home draw: 6
A home defeat: 14
|Chelsea's next three games|
|Sat 23 Nov||West Ham away||5.30pm|
|Tue 26 Nov||Basel (Champions League) away||7.45pm|
|Sun 1 Dec||Southampton home||4.10pm|
Michael Essien's next appearance will be his 250th for the club.
1 League championship, in 1920
5 FA Cups, last in 1968
1 League Cup, in 1966
2 FA Charity/Community Shields (1 shared), last in 1954
Premier League - Eighth
FA Cup - Third round
Capital One Cup - Third round
The Baggies have won six points from a possible 15 away from home this season. Their one win was at Old Trafford against Man Utd, three draws at Everton, Fulham and Stoke and a defeat in their last away game to Liverpool.
The Liverpool defeat was their only one in their last seven in the league.
Seven of West Brom's 10 Premier League goals have been scored in the second half.
West Brom, in Premier League games, have not gone on to win any of the four games their opponents scored first and have not lost any of the four matches when they opened the scoring.
Manager Steve Clarke
Days in charge: 502
|Albion's Last 10 Year League History|
|2003/04||86||2nd||League Division One||2|
Since 2002 West Brom have moved seven times between the top two divisions.
|Last six results|
|Sep 25||Arsenal (League Cup h) lost on pens aet||D 1-1|
|Sep 28||Manchester United (a)||W 2-1|
|Oct 6||Arsenal (h)||D 1-1|
|Oct 19||Stoke (a)||D 0-0|
|Oct 26||Liverpool (a)||L 1-4|
|Nov 2||Crystal Palace (h)||W 2-0|
Premier League scorers (10)
Amalfitano 2, Berahino 2, McAuley 2, Morrison 1 (pen), Ridgewell 1, Sessegnon 1, Yacob 1.
League games since
An away win: 2
An away draw: 1
An away defeat: 0
WEST BROM'S MAJOR SUMMER MOVES AND AUTUMN LOANS
Ins Nicolas Anelka (free, Shanghai Shenhua), Goran Popov (Dynamo Kiev, loan), Diego Lugano (Paris Saint Germain, free), Matej Vydra (Udinese, loan), Scott Sinclair (Man City, loan), Morgan Amalfitano (Marseille, loan), Lee Camp (Norwich, free), Stephane Sessegnon (Sunderland, undisclosed), Victor Anichebe (Everton, £6m)
Outs Marc Antoine-Fortune (Wigan, free), Gonzalo Jara (Nottingham Forest, free), Jerome Thomas (Crystal Palace, free), Peter Odemwingie (Cardiff, £2.25m), Lee Camp (Bournemouth, loan)
NB Zoltan Gera left on 30 June at the end of his contract but re-signed later.
THE MAN IN THE MIDDLE
Andre Marriner has replaced original appointment Lee Probert. Marriner is making his second visit to the Bridge having been the official in September against Fulham.
There are no suspensions.
- Visit again tomorrow for part two of the Briefing.
- Join Jason Cundy and Ben Andrews from 2pm on Saturday live in the Chelsea TV studio, as they bring you the latest team news and exclusive player interviews ahead of the game. FREE TO VIEW: Sky customers can tune into channel 421 to watch the exclusive pre-match show for free!