West Brom vs. Chelsea: Key Matchups to Watch

Rachel Bascom@@Rachel_BascomContributor IIINovember 16, 2012

West Brom vs. Chelsea: Key Matchups to Watch

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    When Chelsea visit Steve Clarke's West Bromwich Albion on Saturday, the former Chelsea player and coach will be hoping to make their visit anything but welcome.

    The Scot has had an exceptional start to his tenure at the Hawthorns, and his team sit fifth in the Premier League, just four points behind Chelsea.

    Take into account West Brom's surprise victory from this fixture last season, and it all adds up to an intriguing matchup for Saturday's game.

    Both teams will be looking for a win, with West Brom hoping to move into the top four and Chelsea looking to brush off their recent run of bad form.

    The battle will be fought all over the pitch, so here are three of the key match-ups that could decide this match.

Fernando Torres vs. Gareth McAuley

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    Fernando Torres is bound to have an influence on this game, whether it is for Chelsea or West Brom.

    Despite a good start to the season, the Spaniard's goals have slowed down in recent matches. And if no one else can chip in with a goal, Torres' finishing could make all the difference.

    Gareth McAuley has formed a solid partnership with Jonas Olsson for West Brom, and it has been a key factor in their excellent few months.

    Both players will battle with Torres on Saturday, and their physical style of play is sure to give the striker a hard time.

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    Juan Mata vs. Claudio Yacob

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      Any one of Chelsea's three midfield maestros could have an impact on Saturday, but the most consistently brilliant is Juan Mata.

      If West Brom are to control Chelsea, they will have to control their attacking force, and in particular Mata.

      This makes Claudio Yacob's job all the more important. The defensive midfielder has been excellent this season, but he will have his work cut out against Mata, Hazard and Oscar.

      It is sure to be an exciting match-up.