West Bromwich Albion v Chelsea 1.30PM 23-08-2015
Two teams that have taken only 1 point from their opening two games meet at the Hawthorns on Sunday for a game of interest more for the shenanigans that is the Jose Mourinho show than for any footballing reason.
After losing to Arsenal in the Community Shield and not being able to give out his usual backhanded compliments to Arsene Wenger in the post match interview, Chelsea have followed up with an underwhelming performance in their 2-2 draw with Swansea and then parked the bus wonkily against Man City resulting in a 3-0 defeat.
Against City, Chelsea's frailties were exposed and one thing you can't criticize Mourinho for is a lack of action in the face of adversity. Defensive stalwart John Terry was unceremoniously hauled off at half time and replaced with the pacier Zouma.
Ivanovic was also alarmingly turned inside out against Swansea and had a poor game against City.
Mourinho has signed Baba Rahman as competition for the left back slot and today's signing of Pedro strengthens the attack with Diego Costa suffering from injury every other week.
The Metro is reporting today that John Terry has been offered an escape route to Fenerbache.
West Bromwich have broken the club record transfer fee for Salomon Rondo and are fighting to keep striker Berahino out of the clutches of Tottenham. They will probably revert to playing one striker up front and they have won three and drawn one of their last four fixtures against the Blues.
Despite that excellent record I don't see Chelsea losing this game. Losing against a Manchester City team who are in full flow at the moment is no disgrace and it only served to highlight defensive deficiencies that are already being put right.
The draw against Swansea was inevitable after they had their keeper sent off and were reduced to ten men.
Costa, Hazard, Pedro, Fabregas, Ramires – these are players who have far too much quality not to win here and combined with the steely determination of their manager I'm backing Chelsea to win this game.