Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has been handed a double injury boost ahead of the the Blues’ visit to the Hawthorns on Saturday. Eden Hazard, who was initially a doubt for the clash, is now reportedly fit and able to start against West Brom this weekend.
The Belgian had complained of a niggle while on international duty. He played 85 minutes of Belgium’s 3-3 draw with Mexico but missed the 1-0 defeat of Japan three days’ later. The Metro however believe Roberto Martinez and his management team chose to leave Hazard out of the Japan clash for precautionary reasons.
And in more good news for Chelsea, West Brom, who have lost five of their last 11 Premier League matches, will be forced to go into the match without their key man, James Morrison. The former England youth international underwent surgery on his right heel and is ruled out of Saturday’s match.
This has been confirmed by West Brom’s director of performance, who has been quoted by the Baggies’ official website as saying:
“We wanted to give it a couple of weeks to see it would settle,”
“Though he made some progress we thought the time was right to get him ready for the Christmas period.
“His Achilles has been grumbling and the international break provided us with the opportunity to address the issue.
“The procedure was done by a Dutch surgeon in Portugal last Thursday and we are pleased with the results.
“James will now be working hard to ensure he is back to full fitness as soon as possible.”
This is good news for Chelsea. With West Brom not doing particularly well at the moment, Chelsea should easily take the maximum three points on offer on Saturday. However, this is not to say Chelsea should underestimate the Baggies as they have shown in the past how dangerous they can be.
Chelsea simply cannot afford to drop any more points if they want to defend their title. With City already nine points above Chelsea at the top of the Premier League, losing more points could end their title challenge.