Battling Baggies to frustrate Blues

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Alan Pardew

West Brom can add to Chelsea boss Antonio Conte’s woes by grinding out a draw at Stamford Bridge on Monday.

The Baggies may be five points adrift at the foot of the Premier League table but they do not concede many goals and have one of the best defensive records in the bottom half of the table.

They have let in 37 goals in their first 26 matches, just one goal more than Arsenal have conceded and fewer than mid-table Leicester City (40) and Everton (46).

However, only Swansea City have found the net less often than Alan Pardew’s side, who suffered a dispiriting 3-2 loss to fellow strugglers Southampton at The Hawthorns last weekend.

Albion are 15/4 to draw Monday’s match with a goalless stalemate available at 11/1. Pardew’s side are 11/2 to keep a clean sheet at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea have only won one of their last five top-flight fixtures and have lost their last two to Bournemouth (3-0) and Watford (4-1).

That has increased the pressure on former Italy and Juventus boss Conte who seems increasingly likely to be elsewhere next season.

Chelsea thrashed West Brom 4-0 at The Hawthorns in November but they have been mediocre since the turn of the year and may already be thinking about their forthcoming Champions League fixtures against Barcelona.

They have won only one game in 90 minutes at Stamford Bridge since thrashing Stoke City 5-0 at the end of December while Eden Hazard, who scored twice against Albion three months ago, is 7/2 to score the first goal on Monday.

West Brom have only triumphed once in their last 10 meetings with Chelsea – in May 2015 when the Blues had already won the title – and have not won at Stamford Bridge in the league since 1978.

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