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Chelsea FC vs West Bromwich Albion: Lineups and gamethread

A win today will see the blues spend at least 24 hours back in third place in the table, while a loss would leave them in danger of dropping out of the top four

Stu Forster

Today ought to be fun. Rafa Benitez spent the post-match press conference on Wednesday criticizing fans that spend a small fortune following the team away from home, and this morning he's likely to hear some criticism of his own from the vast majority of Stamford Bridge. West Brom have been a tough fixture for Chelsea of late, but today they will be without one of their best players this season.

Lost in all of that, Chelsea need three points very badly as they look to secure Champions League football again next season. We already know that the golden ticket of winning at Wembley in May won't be happening, so it's finish in the top four or get used to playing in Europa. With a win today, Chelsea will assure that they find themselves in the top four at the end of the weekend, with the other two teams in the hunt for that spot playing each other tomorrow.

Rafa did a nice job of resting his key players midweek, and has selected the following lineup for today:

Chelsea: Petr Cech, Cesar Azpilicueta, Branislav Ivanovic, David Luiz, Ashley Cole, Ramires, Frank Lampard, Eden Hazard, Juan Mata, Oscar, Demba Ba

Chelsea subs: Ross Turnbull, John Terry, Ryan Bertrand, John Obi Mikel, Gary Cahill, Fernando Torres, Victor Moses

West Brom: Foster, Reid, McAuley, Olsson, Ridgewell, Yacob, Mulumbu, Fortune, Morrison, Dorrans, Long

West Brom subs: Myhill, Jones, Tamas, Brown, Odemwingie, Thomas, Rosenberg

I suppose he's not going to be a popular guy today anyway, so continuing to bench John Terry and running Ramires out in the pivot yet again probably isn't going to do him any additional harm with the fans. At least he seems to be smart enough to realize that Fernando Torres is #2*.

*Yes, this was a poop joke

As always, keep things civil and enjoy the game. Don't link or direct to illegal streams, and try not to let the atmosphere at the stadium rub off on you too much today. Let's go Blues!

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