YOUSSOUF Mulumbu is hoping to win his fitness race to face former boss Roberto Di Matteo at The Hawthorns on Saturday (ko 3pm).
The Baggies midfielder was forced to pull out of midweek international duty with DR Congo due to a tight hamstring he felt first in last Saturday’s 2-1 win at Wigan.
But he has fond memories of his time under Di Matteo and is eager to play against his Chelsea side as he returns to Albion for the first time as a manager.
“I hope I will be fit,” said Mulumbu.
“After Wigan I felt something in my hamstring and we didn’t want to take any risks with me going to the international and coming back tired or with an injury.
“It happened during the Wigan game but the gaffer had made all of his changes so I had to stay on.”
And, on tackling his old mentor, he added: “Robbie has done very well.
“He is still quite young but he drove the Chelsea team on.
“So all my praise goes to him, but I’m looking to beat him.
“I won’t be looking to shake any hands or be kind to people, I will be looking to get three points and maybe go fourth in the league.
“He has a strong team but let’s see what happens on Saturday. I’m quite confident.
“I’ve got a good relationship with Di Matteo off the pitch.
“I still speak with him and we keep in touch.
"He was a great coach for me because he played in my position and I owe him a lot.”