Coming off the back of a midweek bulldozing in Bucharest, Jose Mourinho and his men make the much shorter journey to East Anglia for the early Sunday kick off at Carrow Road.
2 wins in 6 games this season has plunged Norwich manager Chris Hughton’s future in to doubt in recent weeks. Currently lying 14th in the table, the Canaries boss will be desperate to take a scalp against one of the Premier League big boys to remind critics he is the still the man for the job.
Contrasting, Jose Mourinho has also had his share of critics this campaign. The Juan Mata saga, as well as dropping Premier League points against Manchester United, Everton and Tottenham Hotspur not to mention the late loss to FC Basel in Europe has left the ficklest of football fans questioning the Special Ones abilities and commitment to Chelsea.
Norwich played comfortably last time out in the 1-0 win against Stoke City, which showed signs of the team beginning to gel. Sebastian Bassong may return, as well as Javier Garrido and Nathan Redmond are also in contention. Delia Smith’s barmy army have taken only two points against the Blues’ since 1994 – one of which came in last season before lasts’ dreary 0-0 under Andre Villas Boas.
Fernando Torres, injured in Bucharest is also suspended after last weekends unsavoury red card against Tottenham Hotspur. Eden Hazard is also a doubt with an ankle problem, whilst it will be interesting to see if Kevin de Bruyne links up with the squad again after public criticism about his effort in training by Mourinho this week.
With Torres and Hazard missing out, and Norwich scoring only once in their last 4 hours of football – the bookies will be backing a low scoring game. Samuel Eto’o, who is expected to start in Torres’ place, has never scored for Chelsea.
Everton play Manchester City whilst Liverpool entertains Ian Holloway’s Crystal Palace on Saturday, before Arsenal play away to West Brom after the early kick off on Sunday. 4 points separates Chelsea from the summit as of Saturday morning.
Few will expect Norwich to come away with anything in this game, and hopefully it can push Chelsea on ahead of league games against Cardiff and Manchester City in October.
Peter Adams @easypeejy