West Brom vs Chelsea as it happened: Michy Batshuayi's late goal clinches Premier League title

Live Blog

Re-live the Premier League clash at the Hawthorns

Chelsea will be crowned Premier League champions if they beat West Bromwich Albion at the Hawthorns, with Antonio Conte on the verge of winning the title in his debut season.

Live Updates

Welcome to The Independent's live coverage of West Bromwich Albion vs Chelsea, on the night when Antonio Conte's side can lift the Premier League title.
 
Tottenham's slip-up at West Ham United last week meant their rivals from west London were handed the chance to pick up two wins and with them, their third league championship in two years.
 
Monday night's routine victory has set Chelsea on their way, but they will need to be wary of Tony Pulis' West Bromwich, who are coming to the end of one of their best seasons in recent memory.
 
Stay with us for team news, build-up and updates from 7.00pm onwards...
The Brazilian defender explains the truth behind his departure from Stamford Bridge whilst under the vigilant eye of Jose Mourinho. The trip to Paris Saint-Germain was short-lived, with the 30-year-old returning to Chelsea under the management of Antonio Conte after just one season. Here is what really happened with Mourinho: 
 
With the opportunity to win the first half of their double tonight, the pressure is certainly on the Chelsea side at The Hawthorns. However, the former club of Antonio Conte have voiced their interest in the return of their manager - but here's what is really going on with the successful Italian boss:
 

Antonio Conte wants Chelsea to show him his 'real value'

The IndependentAntonio Conte is on the brink of winning the Premier League title and will leverage his achievements to get a new improved contract out of Chelsea this summer. Conte knows that Internazionale want to tempt him back to Italy this summer with a substantial pay rise, news that has been raging in Italy all week. When asked about Inter at his press conference on Thursday, Conte did not explicitly rule it out, just reiterated that his focus is on the present, and the fact that he has two years left on his contract at Stamford Bridge.
The Baggies have confirmed they are eyeing a move Charlie Taylor after Leeds fined the defender two weeks' wages for refusing to play. The left-back pulled out of the Leeds squad for the final game of the Championship season last weekend and boss Garry Monk said afterwards the club would adopt "a strong stance". 
 

Team news: 

Can The Baggies do the unthinkable?
 
Let’s face it, the majority of the focus tonight will be on the Blues are their potential to make Premier League history with a victorious display at The Hawthorns. However, if the home side can keep hold of their respectable eighth position in the Premier League table then they will make history themselves. The Baggies will level their best-ever finish in the Premier League, which is a tremendous accomplishment by Tony Pulis and his men.
 
Nonetheless, let's stay realistic - the odds certainly do stack in the visitors favour, especially when considering West Brom's underwhelming form on home turf. The home side enter this clash with the worst record in the division since the start of April - only managing two points from six fixtures.
 
 
 
 
With the prospect of securing their fifth Premier League title in 13 years, the pressure is certainly on Antonio Conte’s men tonight. Chelsea stand as the highest scorers in the division with 75 goals – 20 of which come from Diego Costa. The Spaniard has scored in three of his last five against The Baggies, which is a record which will daunt the opposing defenders. 
 
N'Golo Kante has returned to the squad for tonight's fixture, but he will begin the fixture on the sideline. The FWA Player of the Year is set to achieve greatness if Chelsea secure the Premier League title tonight, as this will be the second time in two years for Kante, with two different clubs. Not bad, eh?
 
 
 
 
Chelsea's only defeat in the last eight league fixtures against West Brom ended 3-0 at The Hawthorns in May 2015. However, they had already won the league at this point - so it is a different story tonight. 
 
Kick off at 20:00. 
 
Stay tuned for minute-by-minute coverage of the action as it happens. 
The 19-year-old midfielder is set to start for The Baggies tonight.
 
The Englishman signed his professional contract with West Brom in June 2016 and he has proved himself to be a promising prospect ever since. He made his Premier League debut against Middlesbrough in August 2016, where he featured for 76 minutes. 
 
Keep your eyes peeled for this talent tonight.  
 
The players begin to march out onto the pitch at The Hawthorns. Just five minutes until kick-off now.
KICK OFF
 
The Baggies start to get the action under way. Game on!
1 MIN
 
Fletcher sends an early ball into the path of Rondon, who headed a powerful effort towards the target. Courtois manages to react and he parries the ball out of play for a corner kick. 
4 MINS
 
A Chelsea attack led by Moses comes to an early end following a clever interception by McAuley.
5 MINS
 
Fabregas finds Pedro with a tantalising ball over the top of the West Brom defence, but the Spaniard appears unable to control the delivery and the opposition regain possession. 
7 MINS
 
Dawson pulls Hazard to the ground, giving Chelsea a free kick from a wide angle. 
8 MINS
 
Fabregas sends the set piece towards the back post, but it just creeps away from the lunging foot of Cahill.
10 MINS
 
The ball is fed to Pedro on the edge of the area, but his attempted shot flies way over the woodwork. Not even close.
12 MINS
 
Pedro skips past his man effortlessly and attempts to send a ball across the face of goal, but it hits Brunt and goes out for a corner kick.
13 MINS
 
McClean bursts forward with a counter attacking, following a Chelsea corner. He has Rondon to his right, but his attempt pass to put his teammate through is way off target. 
 
The visitors regain possession.
15 MINS
 
Fletcher chops down Azpilicueta on the edge of the area with a sliding challenge. Conte's men have a free kick in a dangerous area.

What time does it start?

The match kicks off at 8.00pm on Friday 12 May.

Where can I watch it?

It will be televised live on Sky Sports 1, with coverage starting at 7.00pm.

Preview

A Chelsea win at the Hawthorns will clinch the Premier League title for the second time in three years in Antonio Conte’s debut season as manager. The Italian will be desperate to wrap things up as early as possible so all of his players’ focus in the closing weeks goes toward the FA Cup final at the end of May against Arsenal.

Tony Pulis has guided his West Bromwich Albion side to an impressive 8th place, a position which they could draw closer to confirming as their own as fellow Midland side Leicester face a tough trip to Manchester City on Saturday lunchtime. The Baggies’ form has been dreadful of late, and their main incentive will be to prevent the visitors from winning the title on their ground; no easy feat considering Chelsea’s run.

The Blues capitalised on Tottenham’s slip-up at West Ham to move seven points clear at the top by beating Middlesbrough 3-0, but will be keen to leave nothing to chance with knowledge of how unpredictable this league can be. Stand-in captain Gary Cahill has confessed that the players will need to keep their concentration ahead of this game, which is ‘never comfortable’; particularly as his side have won just one of their last five visits to West Brom.

Despite Cesc Fabregas’ sublime performance against Middlesbrough last time out, he could be sidelined if N’Golo Kante, who is set to win the title in successive years with two different clubs, is declared fit after a thigh injury. For the hosts, Matt Phillips has been ruled out with a hamstring problem but Tony Pulis is hopeful that he will be able to call on striker Hal Robson Kanu.

If there is one thing for which Tony Pulis sides have become notorious, it is their ability to make things difficult for their opponents and their best chance of preventing Chelsea from achieving their objective is to do just that. The likes of Costa, Hazard and Pedro will be going for broke and West Bromwich Albion will need a resolute defensive performance to keep them out and avoid the humiliation of having a side seal the title on their patch.

It’s a big game for…

Eden Hazard. He is Chelsea’s best player and after an anonymous season last year, he has been in fine form with 15 goals and 5 assists to help drive his team’s title challenge this time around. Just one more match-winning moment from the Belgian winger would be enough to clinch them the Premier League trophy and he is more than capable of doing exactly that.

hazard.jpg
Eden Hazard has enjoyed a fine season with Chelsea (Getty)

Best stat…

None of the 21 Premier League meetings between these two sides have ever ended goalless. On Chelsea’s last two visits to the Hawthorns, they have had a player sent off: John Terry last season, and Cesc Fabregas the year before.

Remember when…

Chelsea registered 15 consecutive league wins against West Brom between 1984 and 2011. Over that run, they scored 39 goals, compared to the 5 scored by West Brom.

Player to watch...

Ben Foster. He received a nomination for the FWA player of the season award, which may be slightly over the top, but in Foster, West Brom do have a solid goalkeeper. He will have his work cut out trying to keep Eden Hazard and co at bay, but he can be a tough man to beat and could make things tough for the champions-elect.

Past three meetings…

Chelsea 1 West Bromwich Albion 0
Premier League, December 2016

Chelsea 2 West Bromwich Albion 2
Premier League, January 2016

West Bromwich Albion 2 Chelsea 3
Premier League, August 2015

tony-pulis.jpg
Tony Pulis will be hoping to delay Chelsea's title party (Getty)

Form

West Bromwich Albion: LLLLD

Chelsea: LWWWW

Odds

West Bromwich Albion to win: 17/2

Chelsea to win: 7/20

Draw: 4/1