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STAT PACK: Can Albion end Bridge hoodoo?

PUBLISHED

12:00 8th November 2013

Facts and figures for Saturday's trip to the Blues (ko 3pm)

ALBION have already proved this season they are capable of performing against the league's 'big teams', and face another tough test this weekend with a trip to Chelsea, but as WhoScored.com attest, there are reasons for optimism ahead of the game.

Steve Clarke's men travel to West London as one of the Barclays Premier League's in-form teams, having lost only once in their last seven outings. 

Included in that run are of course the brilliant, against-the-odds, 2-1 win at Old Trafford and a draw that could have so easily been a win at home to table-toppers Arsenal.

So a trip to Stamford Bridge is not as daunting as it might seem on paper.

The Baggies have only ever beaten Chelsea twice in the Barclays Premier League - but those victories have come in the last three meetings between the sides; a 1-0 win in March 2012 and a 2-1 win in November of the same year. 

And it was not as if Chelsea dominated and should have come away with more on either occasion.

Albion had more shots (34) over the two games while only allowing the Blues nine attempts on target. 

Shane Long was among the goals in the latter of those victories and he could well be in for another start after leading the line effectively in last week's 2-0 win over Crystal Palace.

What is more, the Baggies have only failed to score in one of their last eight matches in all competitions this season, and in only one of their last five meetings with this weekend's opponents. 

Chelsea themselves have an abundance of talent in creative, attacking positions, so Albion's steadfast defence will need to be on their toes again.

However, the defeat at Liverpool aside, goalkeepers Boaz Myhill and Ben Foster have conceded only six goals in nine top-flight matches this season, with Stoke, Palace, Sunderland and Everton all failing to find a way past a resolute Baggies backline. 

It might only be a minority that expect a positive result for Albion, but as the Old Trafford clash proved, Steve Clarke's men are good enough to take the game to anyone in the league. 

*WhoScored.com is a unique website and one of the fastest growing in the sports industry, specialising in the in-depth analysis of detailed football data. Provided with unique stats, they compile and create comprehensive analysis on the major European divisions, including live match stats and player ratings. Follow @WhoScoredand their editor-in-chief @alitweedale on Twitter.

All-time results record (League, FA Cup and League Cup)


PLDWDLFAGD
HOME
63
25
 16  
2210275

27 

AWAY6417163183126

-43 

NEUTRAL201115
-4 

TOTAL129423354186206

-20 


Interesting facts


The Baggies won 40, drew 33 and lost 42 of their meetings with the Blues prior to the inception of the Premier League in 1992.

Albion last triumphed at Stamford Bridge in the league when Ron Atkinson's side secured a 3-1 victory in September 1978, with Cyrille Regis, John Wile and Tony Brown on the scoresheet.

Jose Mourinho manages Chelsea at Stamford Bridge for the 100th time on Saturday.

The former Real Madrid boss 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.

Alongside Mourinho, Steve Clarke helped guide the club to two Barclays Premier League titles, an FA Cup win and two League Cup successes in three seasons.

As a player, the Hawthorns chief made 421 appearances in 11 years at Chelsea, winning the FA Cup in 1997, the League Cup in 1998 and, in his final game for the club later that season, the European Cup Winners' Cup.

Clarke was voted the Supporters' Player of Year for 1994 and also has a suite named in his honour at Stamford Bridge.

Former Blue Nicolas Anelka could also return to Stamford Bridge for the first time - having scored 59 goals in just under four years at Chelsea.

Only on one occasion have Chelsea lost back-to-back league games with Mourinho in charge. 

Last time out

HOME: Barclays Premier League, Saturday, November 17, 2012, Albion 2 (Long 10, Odemwingie 50) Chelsea 1 (Hazard 39)
AWAY: Barclays Premier League, Saturday, March 2, 2013, Chelsea 1 (Ba 28) Albion 0

Form guide (last six league matches)

ALBION: WWDDLW 
CHELSEA: WDWWWL

Last league match line-ups

ALBION (v Crystal Palace – home W 2-0): Myhill; Jones (Berahino 30), McAuley, Olsson, Ridgewell; Mulumbu, Morrison (Yacob 73); Amalfitano, Sessegnon (Vydra 85), Brunt (c); Long. Subs not used: L Daniels (gk); Rosenberg, Lugano, Popov.

CHELSEA (v Newcastle - away L 2-0): Cech; Ivanovic, David Luiz, Terry (c), Cole; Ramires, Lampard (Schurrle 69); Oscar, Mata (Willian 61), Hazard; Torres (Eto'o 61). Subs not used: Schwarzer (gk), Azpilicueta, Cahill, Mikel.

Last Champions League match line-up

CHELSEA (v Schalke - home W 3-0): Cech; Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry (c), Azpilicueta; Ramires, Mikel; Willian, Oscar (Lampard 81), Schurrle (De Bruyne 78); Eto'o (Ba 77). Subs not used: Schwarzer, Cole, D Luiz, Mata.

Chelsea team news

Fernando Torres is still unavailable for selection because of the muscular injury he picked up earlier in the week. Apart from the Spain international, and long-term absentee Marco van Ginkel, Chelsea have no fresh injury concerns ahead of the game.   

Ref watch

Andre Marriner will referee tomorrow's game. The West Midlands official last oversaw Albion in March's 3-1 Barclays Premier League defeat at West Ham. He has dished out 37 yellow and five red cards in 11 games this season. 


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