Chelsea should record their first three-pointer at The Hawthorns
You’ve got to hand it to Roman Abramovich, the man is not afraid to put his hand in his pocket! Of course, it helps when those pockets are deeper than the ocean on which sits his private yacht.
Jose Mourinho may also have his critics but he can spot an opportunity when it arises which is why Pedro is now wearing the blue of Chelsea rather than the red of Manchester United.
Pedro is not a conventional signing for a Premier League club. Still at the heights of his powers, he is a rarity as a player who has chosen to leave Barcelona even though he was still wanted by the Catalan giants. United have been after him for weeks after it became plain that he wanted a move to England but something was putting him off a switch to Old Trafford, which is why Mourinho stepped in even though they are hardly short of wingers at Stamford Bridge. And the spending may not stop there if Everton can be persuaded to part company with England defender John Stones.
Stones might have been lined up as the successor to John Terry. The veteran centre-back was substituted at half-time in last week’s defeat at Manchester City, fuelling speculation that his time as a first-team fixture in west London may be coming to an end.
The Baggies were well beaten by Manchester City in their opening match and were lucky to get a point at Watford last week. Tony Pulis may need all of his experience to keep the Midlanders’ heads above water this season and he may soon be looking for a replacement for star striker Saido Berahino, a Spurs’ transfer target.
Albion’s summer signings were largely underwhelming and they could be playing catch-up early on thanks to a tricky early set of fixtures, though they did beat an out-of-sorts Chelsea 3-0 at the Hawthorns in May just after they’d clinched the Premier League title.
A repeat of that score and result may be unlikely this weekend, however. The Blues can’t afford to lose any further ground on the early leaders and it’s just a matter of time before Mourinho decides on his strongest starting XI. He’ll also have Thibaut Courtois back in goal after suspension.
We have Chelsea at 5/8 to make a return to winning ways and the visitors are 7/2 to win by two in our Winning Margins market.
The match kicks off at 1.30pm on Sunday, August 23rd at The Hawthorns