London: Chelsea’s move to the top of the table has coincided with Eden Hazard’s purple patch, with the gifted Belgian scoring a hat-trick in Saturday’s 3-0 win over Newcastle United.
On Tuesday, they travel to face a West Bromwich Albion side fast being dragged into the relegation scrap, with their 1-3 loss to a revitalised Crystal Palace putting them in the 18th place. The Baggies face a daunting fixture list in the coming weeks, but manager Pepe Mel, yet to win in four matches since taking charge, was confident they would play their way out of trouble.
In Tuesday’s other matches, Cardiff host Aston Villa, Hull play Southampton and Norwich travel to West Ham.
Meanwhile, Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho stoked up his war of words with Manuel Pellegrini on Monday, questioning the Manchester City manager’s sums and calling on Yaya Toure to be suspended.
He said: “What I’d like to say is that the other day Pellegrini made some comments about the money we have spent. I think he’s a fantastic coach whom I respect a lot and on top of that he’s an engineer… It’s easy to understand that we are working with Financial Fair Play... There are no arguments against that.”
“But others aren’t doing the same. We are building a team for the next decade if possible and City have a team to win now because they don’t have a team for 10 years.”