It must be frustrating at times for Chelsea fans to sit through another abject performance from Fernando Torres while one of their own, in the shape of Romelu Lukaku, is earning rave reviews during his loan spell with West Brom this season.
The former Anderlecht front man saw his chances limited in his debut season for the Blues, making just 12 appearances in all competitions without finding the net, mostly coming from the bench, but he is thriving with regular first-team football at the Hawthorns.
The Belgian international has bagged 12 league goals for Steve Clarke’s men, and three in his last two outings, but was unavailable for the Baggies’ narrow 1-0 defeat against his parent club at Stamford Bridge last weekend due to the terms of his loan deal.
Clarke spoke recently about the possibility of Lukaku returning to the Black Country next season should Chelsea decide to farm him out once again, but the Scot would surely face stiff competition from a host of top clubs across Europe for his signature.
The Baggies boss will almost certainly bring the powerful forward back into the side for this weekend’s visit of Swansea City, who sit one place above the Midlands club on goal difference in eighth and saw off their hosts 3-1 earlier in the season.
That was the Welsh club’s third successive victory against West Brom since they gained promotion to the Premier League in 2011, and they’ll know all about the dangers of Lukaku, who grabbed a consolation for his side on the stroke of half-time.
However, West Brom have been priced as favourites to gain revenge over their visitors with all three points at 13/10, with the draw at 11/5, while Michael Laudrup’s side can be backed at 21/10 to record back-to-back league wins.
The Swans showed no signs of a Capital One Cup hangover as they followed up their success in the competition with a 1-0 win at home to Newcastle United on Saturday thanks to a late Luke Moore strike and they’ll head to the Hawthorns with confidence sky high.
That said, they have struggled on the road since the turn of the year, as they are without a win in their last four away trips and have posted just four wins on their travels all season, which in large part is due to the fact they have failed to score in nine of their 14 away matches.
Laudrup’s men have notched just 12 goals away from the Liberty Stadium this season – and five of those came in an opening-day demolition of bottom club QPR – and they come up against a side that has kept five clean sheets at home this campaign.
Only the two Manchester clubs have won more matches at home than the Baggies and with this in mind, a West Brom win to nil, as was the case in their recent 2-0 victory over Liverpool at Anfield, looks a very attractive bet 14/5.
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However, it should be noted that West Brom tend to be more dangerous in the second half, as 24 of their 38 goals have arrived after the break.
And with a tight encounter expected at the Hawthorns, backing the draw at half-time and a home win at full-time at 19/4 could prove fruitful.
In the goalscoring market, Lukaku is 5/1 to open proceedings or a safer 7/4 to score at any time and given the form he was in prior to the Chelsea defeat, he’s certainly worth considering to find the net at some stage on Saturday afternoon.
It’s been a highly successful first season in charge for both managers, particularly in the case of Clarke in his first managerial appointment, and expect his side to leapfrog the Swans in the table with a narrow victory on home soil.