By Brian Sears
28 February 2013
So Rafa Benitez isn’t feeling the love from the Chelsea fans, who have made plain their disdain for their Spanish manager.
He doesn’t like being interim, or at least hates being called ‘interim’, and the animus aimed at him is damaging Chelsea’s chances of a top-four finish.
So he said on Wednesday evening in a ‘rant’ that most people agreed was actually a sensible articulation of the short-termism and poor choices made by a Russian plutocrat.
Benitez and Chelsea return to action this weekend with these distractions blurring their focus, so it is perhaps a good thing they face opponents, West Brom, who have been poor against them in Premier League matches.
How poor? None have been poorer among the current Premier League teams when facing Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.
As our graphic shows, Chelsea have a 100 per cent record against the Baggies in Premier League meetings, playing six and winning them all.
It is no surprise that West Brom also have a worse away record in the Premier League against Chelsea than against anyone else.
Chelsea least like facing Arsenal at the Bridge, having won only 48 per cent of points available in 21 meetings in the Premier League at home.
West Brom most like traveling to QPR, Sunderland, Norwich: places where they have won half or more of the points available.
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West Brom’s record in their six defeats has involved shipping 17 goals and scoring one:
26 Oct 2002 Chelsea 2 West Brom 0
15 Mar 2005 Chelsea 1 West Brom 0
24 Aug 2005 Chelsea 4 West Brom 0
26 Dec 2008 Chelsea 2 West Brom 0
14 Aug 2010 Chelsea 6 West Brom 0
20 Aug 2011 Chelsea 2 West Brom 1
West Brom have managed to gain some reward from every other current Premier League club except Swansea (in only two visits) and Reading (only one visit.)