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Watch Live: West Bromwich Albion vs. Chelsea (Lineups and Discussion)


Chelsea’s Belgian midfielder Eden Hazard runs with the ball during the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and Aston Villa at Stamford Bridge in London on August 21, 2013. Chelsea won the game 2-1. AFP PHOTO/OLLY GREENWOOD RESTRICTIONS: RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or “live” services. Online in-match use limited to 45 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications (Photo credit should read OLLY GREENWOOD/AFP/Getty Images)

AFP/Getty Images

For the first time this season, Eden Hazard and Chelsea will enter a match leading the Premier League when they visit West Bromwich Albion, with the Baggies hoping to claw out of the relegation zone with an upset at The Hawthorns (kickoff 3:00 p.m. ET, with a live stream available via NBC Sports Live Extra).

To do that, Pepe Mel’s side will have to hand Chelsea their first league defeat since Dec. 7’s visit to Stoke City. Since, Jose Mourinho’s Blues have taken 26 of a possible 30 points, a streak that vaulted them over Arsenal and Manchester City after Saturday’s 3-0 win over Newcastle.

As in most Chelsea games, the star of the match was Eden Hazard. The 23-year-old Belgian scored three times, bringing his season total to 12 - good for fourth in the Premier League. Combined with Oscar and Willian, Hazard leads the best attacking midfield in England.


Having given up nine goals in four games under Mel, the Baggies don’t seem capable of slowing them down, their winless run under the newly hired Mel seeing West Brom slide into the drop for the first time since September. With six goals since the former Betis boss was hired, Albion has proven capable going forward, but after giving up three to a previously goal-starved Crystal Palace, the Baggies continue their search for solutions at the back.

Ahead of today’s match, Mel also has doubts up front. Nicolas Anelka and Stephane Sessegnon are both unavailable, with defender Jonas Olsson joining the attacking duo on the sidelines.

For Chelsea, John Terry is expected miss his is second straight match, while Fernando Torres should return.


West Bromwich Albion: Foster; Reid, McAuley, Dawson, Ridgewell; Amalfitano, Yacob, Morrison, Brunt; Bifouma, Berahino

Subs: Myhill, Lugano, Dorrans, Vydra, Anichebe, Gera, Mulumbu

Chelsea: Cech; Ivanovic, Cahill, Luiz, Azpilicueta; Ramires, Matic; Willian, Oscar, Hazard; Eto’o

Subs: Schwarzer, Cole, Lampard, Mikel, Schurrle, Salah, Torres