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    Joe Jones
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    Twitter: twitter JoeJones1862

    Premier League Preview: Can Chelsea get back to winning ways against West Bromwich Albion?

    Chelsea are once again in Monday action and Antonio Conte's position as manager is even more perilous, the Blues having heavily lost their last two games against seemingly beatable opposition and speculation mounting over the tenability of his tenure.

    Tonight they face the Premier League's bottom side, West Bromwich Albion, at Stamford Bridge. If ever a game was winnable for a team of reigning champions it would be this, but with all the issues at Chelsea, it may not be so clear cut.

    How will this game pan out? Football Manics takes a closer look with this preview.


    Chelsea's title defence this season hasn't quite gone to plan but, with Manchester City's utter dominance, it looks like every title challenger's quest for the ultimate trophy hasn't exactly gone to plan.

    But over the last couple of weeks, things have taken a turn for the worse, the Blues losing 3-0 at home against Bournemouth before being defeated 4-1 at Watford, the kind of two-game turnaround which would be criticised in a relegation fighter, never mind a reigning champion.

    Unless Chelsea get a comprehensive result against the Baggies, it could be said that Antonio Conte's position will be untenable, given the run of games that follows - Hull City in the FA Cup on Friday, Barcelona the following Tuesday, then Manchester United and then Manchester City in the league.

    West Brom fans would probably consider Chelsea's "plight" as the footballing equivalent of a first-world problem, mind - they have collected one win from their past 24 Premier League games, and record of three league wins this season is the worst in England's top four tiers.

    Things looked to be on the up with victory over Brighton and a draw against Everton but defeats against Man City (understandable) and Southampton (not so much) have dampened the mood.

    Head to head

    Chelsea have lost just one of their last 10 Premier League games against West Brom, winning six and drawing three.

    The Blues have won all three Premier League meetings against West Brom under Antonio Conte without conceding a single goal.

    Albion are winless in 13 top-flight away matches at Stamford Bridge since a 3-1 victory in September 1978 - Cyrille Regis scoring on that day for the visitors - subsequently losing 11 and drawing two.

    West Brom's last win at Chelsea was a 1-0 League Cup victory in 1983.

    Team news

    Chelsea will be without suspended midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko as he serves a one-game ban following his dismissal at Watford.

    Striker Olivier Giroud could make his first start since moving from Arsenal, but centre-back Andreas Christensen (hamstring) faces a late fitness test and forward Alvaro Morata (back) remains sidelined.

    Antonio Conte says he doesn't know when striker Alvara Morata will return from a back injury.

    Jay Rodriguez is available for selection for West Brom's trip to Chelsea on Monday despite being charged by the FA following his clash with Gaetan Bong.

    The striker will still be picked by boss Alan Pardew despite being charged with alleged racial abuse of the Brighton defender, vehemently denied by the England man.

    Jonny Evans (back), Kieran Gibbs (hamstring), Grzegorz Krychowiak (leg) are available but Jake Livermore (hamstring) James Morrison (Achilles) and Nacer Chadli (hip) are out.


    You can't help but feel that this game has a sense of morbid fascination about it for the neutral - will this be the last time we see Antonio Conte as Chelsea manager? Surely a manager who can't lead the reigning champions to victory over the league's bottom side cannot be trusted to face Barcelona, Man United and Man City? But I think the Italian will get a reprieve here with a fairly straightforward victory.

    Score prediction: 2-0

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