Analysis

FLIP’s Picks In-Play: West Brom vs Chelsea

Written by Sam Hopkinson

West Brom and Chelsea will both be looking to kick start their season in this game after only collecting one point from their first 2 fixtures, including similar comprehensive 3 nil defeats to Man City.

Here are our top picks if you’re struggling to choose your team for a Fantasy League In Play challenge:

DEFENCE

César Azpilicueta

Chelsea’s favoured left back will be wanting to make sure that the Blues keep a clean sheet after what became a harrowing defeat at the hands of Man City. Over the first two games of the season Azpilicueta has averaged two tackles and three interceptions, which ought to be able hold West Brom at bay. The Baggies have struggled to create and score goals so far, which means Azpilicueta should be able to join more of Chelsea’s attacks. The Spaniard will be wanting to really kick-start his season (like most of his teammates) and we expect a telling contribution from him this match. Chelsea will be hurting from their last three fixtures and will be eager to deal out some damage.

MIDFIELD

James Morrison

West Brom’s blunt start to the season would be looking even worse were it not for the fine play of midfielder James Morrison. The 29 year old Scotsman has put in two good performances so far, and if the Baggies are going to overturn the Blues they will need him to really put in a shift. His passing has been solid but unspectacular, an average completion success of 82.7% but few chances created. With question marks over Saido Berahino’s future, Morrison will need to learn how to play well with new forwards Lambert and Rondon. Although Tony Pulis’ teams are generally infamous for long ball tactics, in Morrison the Baggies have a talented and versatile lynchpin that could be utilised more. He only scored twice last season and he will want to improve that stat.

FORWARD

Eden Hazard

It might seem like a bit of an obvious pick, but Eden Hazard is Chelsea’s superstar and can turn a game on its head all by himself. He is heavily relied upon by his manager to act as a conduit for counter attacks and possession based probing. Hazard is also the only Blues player who can be relied on in attack at the moment, with Diego Costa’s hamstring troubles putting question marks over his ability to start every game. Hazard scored a mighty 14 league goals last season, and if Chelsea are going to retain the title then he will need to repeat that feat. It remains to be seen how well he can link up with Pedro, the underrated wide man from Barcelona—odds are that the Spaniard won’t start the game.

HONOURABLE MENTION

Boaz Myhill

Our honourable pick for this match goes to the Baggies’ goalkeeper, Boaz Myhill. His team may not be scoring, but he’s kept them in games by making an average of almost five saves every 90 minutes. He will want to keep that fine run going against an out-of-sorts Chelsea team that have yet to return from their holidays. If Mourinho can’t get the Blues firing properly, Myhill should be able to keep a clean sheet for a second week running.

About the author

Sam Hopkinson

Sam has attended matches everywhere from Cambodia to Canada, and is a persistent Spurs fan. If he didn't have football, he'd probably turn to a life of crime just to get that exhilarating fix. Superstitious enough to believe that picking a player for his fantasy team spells doom for the poor sod.