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Premier League

  • 27 August 2011
  • • 15:00
  • • Stamford Bridge, London
  • Referee: M. Jones
  • • Attendance: 41765
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Chelsea - Norwich City Preview: Canaries hope to put woeful record at Stamford Bridge behind them to continue current strong away form

Andre Villas-Boas' squad bolstered by new signings as they attempt to banish memory of lacklustre display to West Brom by extending impressive run against their visitors at home


PROBABLE LINEUPS
CHELSEA

Hilario
Ivanovic, Luiz, Terry, Cole
Ramires, Mikel, Lampard
Anelka, Torres, Malouda
NORWICH
 
Ruddy
R. Martin, Whitbread, De Laet, Tierney
Pilkington, Crofts, Johnson, Surman
Holt, Morison

New signing Juan Mata could be drafted in with Fernando Torres perhaps preferred to Didier Drogba if this is the case. Florent Malouda is likely to be restored after his productive cameo against West Brom, with the ineffectual Salomon Kalou the most likely casualty. At the back, Alex's slip-up proved costly against the Baggies, so David Luiz may be drafted in straight away after recovering from his injury, with the robust Branislav Ivanovic set to recapture his slot at right-back.

It's likely that the majority of the players who featured in the 4-0 tonking by MK Dons will be relegated to the bench for this one, though the likes of Russell Martin and Andrew Surman will be hoping to survive a cull. Paul Lambert will want the physical threat of both Grant Holt and Steve Morison up front in order to pose some problems to John Terry, with the combative Andrew Crofts also in to help rattle some cages.


DID YOU KNOW?
  • Norwich have failed to register in five of the last seven games against Chelsea.
  • Of all the teams in the Premier League, Norwich have utilised their squad the most, playing a total of 19 players in their two games so far.
  • In their last eight home games Chelsea have picked up 22 points, dropping just two.
  • Norwich’s away record isn’t too bad either though, having lost only one of their previous nine away games in league competition.
  • Grant Holt has proved himself a handful so far in his maiden Premier League campaign, being the most fouled player in the division, winning 11 free kicks.
  • Chelsea’s goal-scoring record in the month of August is the most impressive of all the Premier League clubs, with the Blues netting 1.9 goals on average per game.
  • The last two times Norwich have visited Stamford Bridge, they’ve run out 4-0 losers.

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Last Five Matches
Odds
Team News
Available Squads
48Henrique HilárioGoalkeeper
3Ashley ColeDefender
26John TerryDefender
2Branislav IvanovicDefender
3José BosingwaDefender
8Frank LampardMidfielder
12John Obi MikelMidfielder
7RamiresMidfielder
15Florent MaloudaMidfielder
9Fernando TorresStriker
11Didier DrogbaStriker
21Ross TurnbullGoalkeeper
20Paulo FerreiraDefender
33AlexDefender
51Josh McEachranMidfielder
21Nicolas AnelkaStriker
17Romelu LukakuStriker
8Juan MataStriker
1John RuddyGoalkeeper
6Zak WhitbreadDefender
44Ritchie De LaetDefender
20Leon BarnettDefender
16Kyle NaughtonDefender
14Wesley HoolahanMidfielder
4Bradley JohnsonMidfielder
-Andrew CroftsMidfielder
23Marc TierneyDefender
16Christopher MartinStriker
29Grant HoltStriker
13Declan RuddGoalkeeper
2Russell MartinDefender
17Elliott BennettMidfielder
12Anthony PilkingtonMidfielder
25David FoxMidfielder
20Steve MorisonStriker
10K. JacksonMidfielder
Players to Watch
Frank Lampard
Frank Lampard
Position: Midfielder
Squad Number: 8
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0

Lampard may see this game as the prime opportunity to kick-start his rather lacklustre season. So far the midfielder has been a shadow of his former self but both Villas-Boas and Chelsea need to get him ticking.

The way in which Norwich will approach the match will afford Lampard the chance to get on the ball and influence things from an advanced role and it could be the first time we see him on the scoresheet this season.

Anthony Pilkington
Anthony Pilkington
Position: Midfielder
Squad Number: 12
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0

The ex-Manchester United trainee has had a vibrant start to his Norwich City career and may have cemented his place in the starting lineup after a decent performance against Stoke.

Opportunities to really get at either full-back will realistically be difficult to come by and hard to execute, so Pilkington may find himself coming inside to have much effect on the game but nevertheless, his range of passing in the final third will be key to Norwich’s hope of registering on the scoresheet.

Prediction

Norwich will come to Stamford Bridge and try to play decent football rather than shut up shop, so I think there will be goals in this one.

Chelsea have waited for something to click into place and the arrival of Juan Mata, as well as the vitality brought around by the return of David Luiz and Branislav Ivanovic, should be enough to get them playing. They will overpower their visitors.

Editor's Prediction

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