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Betting preview: Chelsea - West Brom

Premier League champions Chelsea will be looking to return to winning ways when they welcome struggling West Bromwich Albion to Stamford Bridge on Monday night.

Antonio Conte's men have suffered back-to-back defeats in the last fortnight or so, losing 3-0 at home to Bournemouth before being thrashed 4-1 at Watford. Those setbacks have seen the Blues slip outside the top four and piled the pressure on Conte, whose departure now seems inevitable - either at the end of the season or, if the team's poor form continues, in the coming weeks. The defensive resolve which underpinned Chelsea's title triumph last time out has deserted them, while there is an increasingly strong reliance on star man Eden Hazard for inspiration in attack. Conte has publicly criticised the club hierarchy's recruitment, both in the summer and January, but it is now down to him to extract the best out of the players at his disposal and get over the line in the race to qualify for next season's edition of the Champions League.

West Brom's performances have improved since Alan Pardew took the reins at The Hawthorns at the end of November, but results have not always followed. Indeed, the Baggies have still won just three times in the top flight this season - and two of those came under former manager Tony Pulis way back in August - and Huddersfield's defeat of Bournemouth on Sunday means they are now seven points adrift of safety. West Brom desperately need points on the board as soon as possible, but Pardew will be looking at upcoming meetings with Huddersfield, Watford, Leicester, Bournemouth, Burnley and Swansea more than Monday's trip to the capital, where Chelsea will provide tough opposition regardless of their recent struggles.

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Chelsea could welcome back defensive duo Andreas Christensen (hamstring) and Marcos Alonso (muscular) and forward Pedro Rodriguez looks set to be involved after an ankle knock, but Ross Barkley and Alvaro Morata are still struggling with hamstring and back problems respectively, while Tiemoue Bakayoko will miss out due to suspension. Olivier Giroud is likely to be handed his first start in a Chelsea shirt through the middle, with either Pedro or Willian joining Hazard in the inside-forward support roles; in midfield, Cesc Fabregas will partner N'Golo Kante with Bakayoko and Barkley sidelined, while David Luiz will drop to the bench if Christensen is deemed ready to return.

Pardew, meanwhile, will be unable to call upon the services Hal Robson-Kanu (hamstring), James Morrison (Achilles) and Nacer Chadli (thigh), but Grzegorz Krychowiak (thigh), Jake Livermore (hamstring), Jonny Evans (back) and Kieran Gibbs (hamstring) could all be back in contention. The former Newcastle United and Crystal Palace head coach has employed a 4-4-2 formation in recent weeks and will probably stick with the same shape here, with Jay Rodriguez and Salomon Rondon set to resume their partnership at the top of the pitch.

Chelsea have had their problems of late, but they should get back on track against a team whose chances of survival have significantly decreased in the last few weeks. A home win with both teams to score is one wager worth considering, while the superb Hazard is the obvious choice to find the back of the net anytime.

England - Premier League Chelsea vs West Brom 12 February, 20:00 GMT 0

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