Chelsea welcome West Brom to Stamford Bridge after the international break on Saturday, April 3rd by 12:30pm. Thomas Tuchel yet to release his full squad to face West Brom on Saturday afternoon.
The rest of April brings six further matches, one of them at the Bridge, three elsewhere in the capital, including Man City in the FA Cup, but starting with a quarter-final rendezvous against Porto on Wednesday.
Chelsea have now reached the last four of one or more competitions in 25 of the last 31 seasons, and know what it takes for hopefuls to become winners.
Only Manchester City (with 21) have now let in fewer league goals this season than Chelsea’s 25, and Thomas Tuchel is the first coach to secure clean sheets in his first five home league games since the Premier League began.
Already responsible for a club-record start in the dugout of 14 games unbeaten, the Bavarian could steer his Blues side to an eighth successive clean sheet in all competitions, a first in Chelsea’s history.
The Throstles and their wily coach Sam Allardyce, meanwhile, are aware they have to start winning soon if they are to emulate their ‘great escape’ forebears of 2004/05. But they have not won at the Bridge since 1978 – our oldest unbeaten league run against current top-flight clubs.
Chelsea Team News
Thomas Tuchel’s first concern following club football’s last pause of the season will be the freshness and fitness of his returning internationals. N’Golo Kante and Callum Hudson-Odoi were among those who came back early to sun-drenched Cobham with injuries. All hands will be required on deck as the Londoners navigate the potentially glorious last quarter of the season.
Chelsea are the only club to have been scheduled twice for the early Saturday kick-off straight after an international break this campaign, but are unbeaten in four matches in the time slot to date. This will be West Brom’s first game for three weeks.
When we left off two weeks ago, almost 11-and-a-half hours had passed in all competitions since a Chelsea goalkeeper had conceded a goal, Hakim Ziyech was showing great form with goals in successive cup competitions, including his first at the Bridge, and Ben Chilwell had a hand in both goals against Sheffield United.
Tuchel will be relieved to see Thiago Silva back in training this week along with Tammy Abraham, both having been out since February. Abraham’s last-gasp equaliser in the reverse fixture at the Hawthorns, which ended 3-3, felt like a winner after the Blues had trailed the Baggies 0-3 inside half an hour.
The turnaround also reflected both teams’ habits this seasons: West Brom have scored fewer second-half goals and conceded more than any other Premier League side this season.
Conversely, no side has conceded fewer goals after the break than Chelsea (10), while 27 of the Blues’ 44 league strikes have come during the second 45.
This fixture falls at Easter, a weekend over which Chelsea have not won since April 2015, when Stoke were seen off 2-1 at the Bridge. Eden Hazard put away a penalty and set up Loic Remy’s winner, but the game is most usually mentioned for Charlie Adam’s 65-yard lob over Thibaut Courtois.
Premier League fixtures TV Channel
Chelsea v West Brom 12.30pm (BT Sport)
Leeds v Sheffield United 3pm (Amazon Prime Video)
Leicester v Man City 5.30pm (Sky Sports)
Arsenal v Liverpool 8pm (Sky Sports)
Southampton v Burnley 12pm (Sky Sports)
Newcastle v Tottenham 2.05pm (Sky Sports)
Aston Villa v Fulham 4.30pm (Sky Sports)
Man Utd v Brighton 7.30pm (BT Sport)
Everton v Crystal Palace 6pm (Sky Sports)
Wolves v West Ham 8.15pm (Sky Sports)