After following up a disappointing performance against bitter rivals Liverpool with a convincing 6-0 thrashing of Championship side Barnsley in the Carabao Cup, Frank Lampard is set to hand league debuts to Ben Chilwell, Thiago Silva and possibly recently-signed Edouard Mendy as he prepares his side to face West Bromwich Albion in Matchweek 3 of the Premier League season.
Albion haven’t exactly made a fast start to the season with a 5-2 drubbing at Goodison Park following a 3-0 drubbing at home to Leicester on opening day. Earlier this week, West Brom crashed out of the Carabao Cup after losing 4-5 on penalties to Brentford (2-2 AET). Serious questions are being asked this early into the season about the mentality and quality that the Albion dressing room possesses. However, it’d be quite the turnaround if they could pull off an upset against a resurgent Chelsea side boosted by a number of quality, high-profile signings.
The eight goals Albion have conceded so far this term is the most of any Premier League side, and the most they have ever shipped in the first two games of a league campaign. Facing the likes of Timo Werner and Kai Havertz this weekend is the last thing Bilic would have wanted with his side already rooted to the foot of the division.
Bilic will be locking horns with his former teammate in Frank Lampard, whom he predicts will enjoy a successful, trophy-laden managerial spell at Chelsea. The 52-year old Croat was charged by the FA after admitting to improper conduct with official Mike Dean following the latter’s sending off Kieran Gibbs for pushing Everton’s new signing James Rodriguez in the face. West Brom haven’t been able to replicate the form that led to a 2nd-place finish in the Championship last season and three league defeats in a row could lead to serious pressure on Slaven Bilic.
Hal Robson-Kanu(‘tightness’, doubtful),
Ruled Out: Kamil Grosicki (minor knock), Ahmed Hegazi (hamstring), Kenneth Zohore (calf)
Kieran Gibbs will be unavailable for selection following his dismissal against Everton and his place at left-back is set to be taken by Conor Townsend.
Slaven Bilic admits that the Chelsea fixture this weekend may come too soon for defender Branislav Ivanovic, after his hour run-out against Brentford in the Carabao Cup on Tuesday. Despite lacking match-fitness, the Serbian full-back has not been ruled out from making his league debut against his former employers.