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Chelsea vs. West Bromwich Albion: Team news, TV & streaming information, preview

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It started on the back of your left hand.  Nothing urgent.  Nothing serious.  A quick scratch and it was gone.

It was back soon after.  You knew it would be.  You knew it wouldn't be that easy.  It itched harder.  You scratched harder.

Stubborn little thing.  Both hands now.  Ever tried scratching the back of your hands simultaneously?  Frustrating.  Annoying.  Futile.

On the neck next.  You didn't even care about the hands anymore.  You daren't go near a razor.  Help!

Tap tap tap.  Tap.  On the glass.  Tap tap.  Is this thing on?

You press power and the screen flickers into life the way LEDs shouldn't flicker because they're not vacuum tubes.  What is going on around here!?  You do not find what you're looking for.

It's almost unbearable.  You claw at your own neck to make it stop.  The screen flickers still.  Why is this happening to you!  Why are your divine divinities punishing you so?  You've been a faithful, devoted fan all these years.  Is this a test?  Are you being tested?

Tap tap tap.  Tap!  On the glass.

You embrace numbness.  You give in.  Take it all!

The screen bursts into life.  Bright.  Oh so bright!  The Premier League is back.  Chelsea football is back!

Phew, that was close...

Date / Time: Saturday, November 22, 2014, 15:00 GMT; 10am EST; 8:30pm IST

Venue: Stamford Bridge, SW6

Referee: The man for whom Mike Riley will get to apologize should a call go in Chelsea's favor will be Lee Mason.  Yes, he may look like a used car salesman, but Lee Mason is in fact a Premier League referee.  This will be his 20th Chelsea match; we've only lost three times in the previous 19, though all three have come in his last five matches in charge (QPR at home, Newcastle and Palace away last season).  We last saw him against Leicester City in our home opener this season, a 2-0 win.

Forecast: 7,000,000% chance of rain.  So probably rain.  Great!

On TV: none (UK); NBCSN, mun2 (USA); Star Sports 4 (India)

Online: NBC Sports Live Extra, Deportes Telemundo En Vivo (USA); Star Sports (India)

Chelsea Team News: A bunch of happy shiny people laughing in Cobham with almost no injuries, no suspensions, and, so far, no losses on the season.  Only Nathan Ake's hamstrings aren't cooperating with the song.  The likes of Fabregas, Costa, Ramires, and Andre Schurrle could possibly be doubtful to some degree, but it sounds like all could be available to play if deemed necessary by Mourinho's gameplan.

As is usually the case for most of our games in the Premier League, this should be a win and probably a pretty easy one for Chelsea.  But it probably won't be.  Just one win from our last five against Albion - including two losses (and two sackings) and a lucky, last-minute draw -- can attest to Mourinho's warning that this will not be easy.

"I expect to win but I expect a very difficult match. I always expect to win, we go into every game thinking that but they have a good team."

-Jose Mourinho; source: Chelsea FC

WBA Team News: With one of the shortest injury lists in the Premier League, West Brom will only be missing Jonas Olsson and probably Sebastien Pocognoli.  And only the latter had been playing a key role (at left back) so far this season.

After a good start, Albion have won just one in six in all competitions and have collected just 5 points from their last 5 league games to fall to 13th place.  Recent England near-debutant Saido Berahino is the main dangerman for former Everton youth coach Alan Irvine's men, but we should also be well familiar by now with the potential threats posed the likes of Stephane Sessegnon, Youssouf Mulumbu, and even Chris Brunt.

Previously: This will be the 132nd meeting between the two sides, with Chelsea holding a 54-42 edge in wins.  But here's the last time we had fun against West Brom at the Bridge.  I see ya, RDM!