Premier League Preview: Chelsea v West Brom

West Bromwich Albion’s gutsy effort against Manchester United will give them heart for their trip south to face ChelseaChelsea v West Brom on Saturday.

The Premier League clash at Stamford Bridge is the tea-time kickoff (local time) and the eyes of the country will be on both sides in what shapes as an exciting match.

Roy Hodgson worked miracles with West Brom after he took over last season, leading the club to an 11th-placed finish, and given an off-season with his players, looks to have the defence better organised.

He has added to his strikeforce with seven-million-pound signing Shane Long opening his account at his new club in the 2-1 home defeat against the reigning champions and improved his defence with the signing of goalkeeper Ben Foster.

They deserved a point against Manchester United and were only beaten thanks to a late Steven Reid own goal, meaning they will head to Chelsea with confidence.

They can take further stock from Petr Cech’s knee injury sustained at training on Thursday, ruling him out for four weeks and forcing new manager Andres Villas-Boas to turn to understudies Ross Turnbull or Hilario.

But the Blues will still be favourites for the match and Villas-Boas will be keen to see his side get off to a winning start in front of the club’s home fans.

Belgian teenage star Romelu Lukaku officially joined Chelsea on Thursday and he could make his debut, otherwise it is likely to be a similar starting line-up to the one that could only manage a point in a 0-0 draw at Stoke City on Sunday.

Chelsea looked slow and lacking a player with that cutting edge going forward, and as a result stepped up their interest in Tottenham’s Luka Modric.

Villas-Boas clearly wants to make Spaniard Fernando Torres his main man in attack this season and he is likely to start at the head of a 4-3-3 formation.

Torres should get a chance to net what would be just his second Premier League goal for Chelsea, but he and his team-mates will have to take the chances they get and be wary of a West Brom side containing Long, Somen Tchoyi and Chris Brunt, who all offer a threat going forward.

David Luiz (knee) is in doubt for the match but could return while Michael Essien, who also has a knee injury, is out for some time, while West Brom will be sweating on the fitness of last season’s top scorer, Nigerian Peter Odemwingie, who is hoping to have recovered from an ankle injury.

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