Chelsea v West Brom Odds : Back convincing win for Blues as Steve Clarke returns to Bridge

Steve Clarke will face his mentor Jose Mourinho for the first time when West Bromw make the trip down to London to face Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.

Clarke was Mourinho’s assistant for three seasons during the Portuguese’s manager first spell in English football but has since made the transition to manager, successfully guiding WBA to 8th place in the Premier League in his first season as boss.



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According to Clarke’s own assistant, Keith Downing, the former Scottish international is no longer in the shadow of Mourinho.

“Steve doesn’t throw Mourinho in your face,” said Downing. “There is a structure and organisation he’s got from him, yes, and ideas too.

“But Steve had to implement things here after Roy Hodgson and he’s done that.

“No disrespect, but he doesn’t have the players here that he had at Liverpool or Chelsea, so you adjust accordingly. He doesn’t come in every day and say ‘Mourinho did this’ or ‘Mourinho did that’. He’s his own man.

“I don’t think it matters too much for Steve. They were work colleagues but there is no ‘trying to get one over Jose’.

“I think Steve will treat it as another game and prepare the best we can as we do every week.

“We’ll watch videos and plot a course to see if we can get a result.”

West Brom have recovered from a slow start to the season and currently sit 11th in the table after winning two, drawing draw and losing just one of their last five games, a run that includes a famous win at Old Trafford.

The Midlanders might have a strong recent home record against Chelsea after wins in each of the last two seasons however they have lost all seven games they have played at Stamford Bridge.

The Blues and Mourinho will keen to keep that record going especially after losing ground in the title race following last weekend’s 2-0 loss to Newcastle.

The club bounced back from that defeat with a much changed side beating Schalke 3-0.

Demba Ba was amongst the scorer’s midweek and the Senegal forward will be hoping for an extended run in the side with Fernando Torres out injured.

Eden Hazard will also feature after missing the clash with the Germans while long term absentee Marco Van Ginkel remains on the sidelines.

West Brom meanwhile will be without Billy Jones (hamstring), Ben Foster (foot) and Zoltan Gera (knee) while Scott Sinclair and Nicholas Anelka are doubts.

Trevor Keane is an Irish based sports writer and the author of Gaffers, 50 years of Irish Managers and Running through Walls, the Dave Langan Story.