We’re delighted to welcome former West Brom striker Kevin Phillips as our exclusive columnist. Each week he’ll be giving his views on the biggest talking points at The Hawthorns…
Kevin Phillips does not see West Brom getting much out of their clash with Chelsea at The Hawthorns on Saturday but still predicts the game to end as a draw.
Slaven Bilic has seen his side lose their opening two Premier League matches to Leicester and Everton while also conceding eight goals in the process.
Chelsea beat Brighton in their league opener before losing to Liverpool last weekend.
West Brom do not have the worst of records against the London club considering the gulf in quality between them over the years, with the Baggies losing seven of their last 13 meetings.
And Phillips has tipped the West Midlands club to continue frustrating Chelsea this weekend in their first clash since February 2018.
“As much as I would love the Baggies to get a result to get them up and running, but I just don’t see it,” Phillips told West Brom News.
“I watched Chelsea [beat Barnsley 6-0] and they looked fantastic. Barnsley caused them some trouble in the first 20-25 minutes but with the squad they’ve got, I can’t see anything but a Chelsea win, unfortunately.
“At best, I’m hoping they could nick a draw and catch them on an off day but from what I saw in the Carabao Cup, I feel it’s going to be very difficult.
“I’m going to be optimistic and I’m going to predict 1-1 – but it’s unlikely.”
We like Phillips’ optimism but there will not be many West Brom fans who are feeling the same ahead of kick-off at The Hawthorns on Saturday.
Bilic’s side have hit the self-destruct button in their two Premier League openers which have been games against teams who are not as good as Chelsea.
But Frank Lampard’s side has undergone a lot of change over the summer whereas the Baggies squad isn’t too dissimilar to the one that finished second in the Championship last season.
That could fall into Albion’s favour, as well as the tag of being massive underdogs.
In other West Brom news, Paul Merson has slammed the Baggies for signing this player.