After a two-year absence from the top flight, West Bromwich Albion are back in the Premier League. The Baggies have not had a great return to the EPL though, losing both of their first two games by three goals. That has led to them being one of the biggest underdogs of the weekend against Chelsea. The Blues are looking to make up ground after last week’s loss to defending champions Liverpool, and anything other than three points against the Baggies would be considered a disappointment.
Don't miss the English Premier League action from The Hawthorns in West Bromwich at 12:30 p.m. ET on Saturday, September 26, 2020. Catch every moment of the match live on NBC.
English Premier League Betting Odds at BookMaker.eu
West Bromwich Albion +685
Over/Under 2.5 and 3
West Brom finished second behind Leeds United in the Championship last year. They didn’t spend like their Championship brethren over the summer though, shelling out just over $25 million on new players. That led to the oddsmakers making the Baggies one of the favorites to be relegated per the EPL betting odds, and that’s looking likely through two weeks.
In their first game back, the Baggies lost 3-0 to Leicester City. The Foxes controlled the run of play, but they didn’t break through until the second half and netted two of their three goals off penalties. A Kieran Gibbs red card at the end of the first half ruined their chances of getting a result against Everton at Goodison Park, but they showed tenacity in a 5-2 loss. They were trailing 2-1 and down a player, but Matheus Pereira notched a goal to briefly level the game.
Chelsea had no problem getting past the other Albion team (Brighton) in their opener. The Blues saw Timo Werner make an impact immediately although he didn’t get on the score sheet in a 3-1 win over the Seagulls.
The Blues ended up suffering a 2-0 defeat at the hands of Liverpool last week. Chelsea played the Reds evenly in the first half, but Andreas Christensen was given a straight red card for tackling Sadio Mane without even trying to play the ball just before the break. Mane ended up scoring two goals in the first ten minutes of the second half, and Liverpool played most of the rest of the match in Chelsea’s end while up a player.
Kieran Gibbs will miss this match after being sent off last week for West Brom. Kenneth Zobore and Ahmed Hegazi are both injured and won’t play on Saturday, and Hal Robson-Kanu is considered doubtful. There is a chance that Kamil Grosicki can recover from a back injury in time to play though.
Christensen was able to serve his one-match suspension in the Carabao Cup on Wednesday, so he will be eligible for selection this weekend. Marco van Ginkel is a long-term injury, while Billy Gilmour and Hakim Ziyech are both expected to miss a couple more weeks. Christian Pulisic has been dealing with a thigh issue that has kept him out, and it looks like he will miss this match too.
Player to Watch
Roman Abramovich broke the bank to bring Kepa to Chelsea, but he may be questioning that investment. The highest-paid goalkeeper in the world made an awful mistake that led to Liverpool’s second goal last week, and he has not looked sharp thus far in 2020. A clean sheet here would give Kepa some confidence, but another mistake might lead to Chelsea questioning whether to move on.
Free Soccer Betting Pick
The Blues have a significant talent advantage, and they showed some life in their loss to Liverpool.
English Premier League Odds: Chelsea 2, West Brom 1
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