West Brom v Chelsea: Defences to dominate with motivation levels low

West Brom v Chelsea
Monday May 18, KO 20:00
Live on Sky Sports 1

West Brom

The Baggies play their final home game of the season with their primary objective achieved. That, of course, is survival and all credit must go to Tony Pulis for turning things around since taking over on January 2. The former Stoke manager has won nine of 20 games in all competitions (six in the Premier League) to lead his team to mid-table safety.

Long term casualty Ben Foster is the only major player who can’t figure.


Jose Mourinho’s side wrapped up the league title with 1-0 home defeat of Crystal Palace in their penultimate fixture, but in truth it was won weeks before with a series of outlandish results needed if they were to throw it away. The Blues marked their first game since being crowned champions with a draw against Liverpool at Stamford Bridge, a game in which they had taken the lead.

Diego Costa may make an appearance but first teamers Oscar and Ramires are out.

Match Odds

Was that draw with Liverpool a sign that the Blues were beginning to slacken off? The market is not overly taken with their chances, rating them just a touch over even money to win where ordinarily I’d expect them to be more like [1.8]. The Baggies are [4.2] to bid farewell to The Hawthorns faithful for the 2014-15 season with a win while the draw trades at [3.55].

I certainly don’t see Chelsea losing but equally so am not sure I can recommend a back at their current price. And I would really want to see West Brom at [5.0] or better before getting stuck in there.

That leaves the draw – a result the Baggies have recorded 11 times – but I’m just not convinced by anything in the market that I am happy to recommend as a bet.

Over/Under 2.5 Goals

While we can only guess at motivation levels, we do know that both these teams can defend very well and that’s not the sort of thing that is forgotten overnight. Chelsea have kept a league high 17 clean sheets while West Brom have been impressive themselves with 14 shutouts for the campaign. The market makes unders [1.82] favourite but there’s enough meat on the bone to happily recommend it as a bet.

Sidemarket Selection – Clean Sheets

Might the Blues record clean sheet no.18? They are [2.58] to do so. At more than twice the price a home shutout can be backed at [4.5]. Back them both and you get a payout should either or both come in.

Recommended Bet
Back Under 2.5 Goals @ [1.82]

Joe Dyer’s Premier League P&L

Staked: 33.5 pts
Returned: 18.64 pts
P/L: -14.86 pts