Paul Merson: Why Chelsea will scrape past West Brom on Saturday

Paul Merson is tipping Chelsea to seal a 2-1 victory at Stoke City on Saturday evening

Paul Merson is backing Chelsea to snatch a 2-1 victory when they take on Stoke City in the Premier League on Saturday evening.

The Blues are facing the prospect of being without their manager Jose Mourinho for Saturday’s trip to the Britannia Stadium following the Portuguese coach’s latest run-in with the FA.

Mourinho watched his Chelsea side return to winning ways in the Champions League in midweek as the sealed a 2-1 win over Dynamo Kyiv at Stamford Bridge.

And the west London side will be desperate to get their Premier League bid back on track after their 3-1 loss to Liverpool last weekend.

Former Arsenal star Merson feels that the defending champions will have just enough to secure a win against the Potters, despite Mark Hughes’ men triumphing on penalties when the two sides met in the League Cup fourth round last month.

Merson told Sky Sports: “This is a weird game. What happens if Chelsea win 5-0 without Jose Mourinho in the stadium? That would raise some interesting questions. I expect Chelsea to win this one.

“It’s bound to be a hard game, like most games at the Britannia are, but you have to remember Stoke got rinsed by Watford two weeks ago. Chelsea have to score first though.”

Chelsea head into Saturday’s late kick-off in 15th place in the table.

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