Promoted West Bromwich Albion will be hoping to secure their first points of the season on Saturday when they welcome Chelsea to The Hawthorns.
The Baggies finished second in the Championship under Slaven Bilic last season, but have found their return to the top-flight challenging, with back-to-back defeats against Leicester City and Everton.
Chelsea have taken three points from their opening two games and they will fancy their chances of doubling that total when they travel to the midlands.
West Brom vs Chelsea predictions
After a summer of heavy spending, Chelsea will take time to realise their full potential. That was evident in the 2-0 home defeat by Liverpool last weekend that came between a 3-1 win at Brighton and the 6-0 EFL Cup victory at home to Barnsley in which Kai Havertz bagged a hat-trick. West Brom have already shipped eight goals in league defeats by Leicester City and Everton and Chelsea have the attacking players to inflict a third dose of the blues on them by recording a convincing win.
West Brom vs Chelsea betting tips
Odds correct at time of publishing and subject to change.>West Brom v Chelsea 1
No home comforts for Bilic
The West Brom manager will have been under no illusions about the step up to the Premier League, and his side’s first two matches have served as a reminder of the size of the task facing them.
A 3-0 home defeat by Leicester on the opening weekend was followed by a 5-2 thumping by Everton at Goodison Park. Kieran Gibbs failed to see out the first half, shown a red card for striking James Rodriguez, and Bilic lasted only a couple of minutes longer as he was sent to the stands at half-time for remonstrating with referee Mike Dean about that decision, for which he was later fined £8,000.
Gibbs will miss Saturday evening’s match, in which Chelsea will field some of their new signings, whose number includes playmaker Havertz, striker Timo Werner, winger Hakim Ziyech, defenders Ben Chilwell and Thiago Silva, and goalkeeper Edouard Mendy, at an outlay of more than £240m.
West Brom have also added to their promotion-winning squad, strengthening their attacking options with Callum Robinson, Grady Diangana and Matheus Pereira, while bringing in defender Cédric Kipré and goalkeeper David Button. Chelsea players past and present Branislav Ivanovic and Conor Gallagher have also joined the club, the latter on loan from the Blues.
The head-to-head record backs up Chelsea’s apparent advantage on paper. They have won five of the past six top-flight meetings, the last four without conceding a goal, and we expect them to extend the latter sequence to five on Saturday with another comfortable success.
Tip: Chelsea to win to nil @ 5/4 with bet365
Time for Timo to prove his worth
The arrivals of Werner, Havertz and Ziyech will give Chelsea a new look in attack and most pundits have predicted Chelsea will be a real force when the new signings bed in.
Although Havertz has not had much game time, he made the most of an appearance in the EFL Cup in midweek, collecting a hat-trick against Barnsley, and Werner has also impressed in his two starts.
With Albion conceding eight goals in two league matches and Chelsea winning 4-0 the last time this fixture was contested at The Hawthorns in November 2017, we believe the average of four goals hitting the West Brom net in those fixtures could be maintained. Chelsea have also scored 13 goals in their past six away league games, and 14 in the last six against West Brom.
Tip: Over 3.5 goals @ 13/8 with bet365
Momentum key for Havertz
Twenty-one-year-old Havertz has arrived in London with a big reputation after scoring 36 league goals in 118 league appearances for Bayer Leverkusen during a four-year spell in the Bundesliga.
By the age of 17 he was already Leverkusen’s youngest debutant and youngest goalscorer, and he could add to the records that tumbled for him in Germany as part of an exciting Chelsea line-up.
Havertz has now been involved in 26 goals in all competitions in 2020, scoring 18 and providing eight assists, and we believe he has what it takes to score against the Baggies.
Tip: Kai Havertz to score at any time @ 8/5 with bet365
West Brom vs Chelsea odds
West Brom are 8/1 for the win while Chelsea are the odds-on 4/11 favourites for the win. The draw can be backed at 15/4.>West Brom v Chelsea 2
Odds correct at the time of publication and are subject to change.
West Brom vs Chelsea: last five results
22 Sep LC West Brom 2 Brentford 2
19 Sep PL Everton 5 West Brom 2
16 Sep LC West Brom 3 Harrogate Town 0
13 Sep PL West Brom 0 Leicester 3
22 Jul CH West Brom 2 QPR 2
*Brentford won 5-4 on penalties
23 Sep LC Chelsea 6 Barnsley 0
20 Sep PL Chelsea 0 Liverpool 2
14 Sep PL Brighton 1 Chelsea 3
8 Aug CL Bayern Munich 4 Chelsea 1
1 Aug FAC Arsenal 2 Chelsea 1
LC League Cup
PL Premier League
CL Champions League
FAC FA Cup