Norwich City - Chelsea Preview: Canaries looking to end 18-year wait for victory over Blues
Chris Hughton's men suffered defeat for the first time in 11 games and will hope to avenge a 4-1 loss earlier in the season against the rampant west London club
By Ewan Roberts
Martin, Turner, Bassong, Garrido
Snodgrass, Tettey, Johnson, Pilkington
Azpilicueta, Cahill, Ivanovic, Cole
Moses, Mata, Hazard
Talismanic striker Grant Holt (hamstring) missed Norwich’s defeat against West Brom, but manager Chris Hughton hopes to have him available for Wednesday’s game.
Steven Whittaker (thigh) was withdrawn before the hour mark against the Baggies, so Russell Martin is likely to fill in at right-back.
Norwich are also without Andrew Surman (knee) and John Ruddy (thigh), with Mark Bunn continuing in goal in the latter’s absence. Ryan Bennett (knee) and Harry Kane (ankle) are both doubtful.
Rafa Benitez’s squad is largely injury-free, though he will likely reshuffle his starting XI to combat a busy festive programme.
Liverpool-bound striker Daniel Sturridge (hamstring) is a doubt, but John Obi Mikel has returned from a three-match suspension though may be benched in favour of the impressive David Luiz.
John Terry and Oriol Romeu (both knee) remain sidelined, while Ryan Betrand picked up a knock against Leeds in the Capital One Cup and is therefore a doubt for the Boxing Day clash.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Norwich lost their first match in 11 games against West Brom on Saturday, ending their longest sequence without defeat in the top-flight since March 1987.
- Only the two Manchester clubs, United (11) and City (10), have scored more goal from set-pieces than Norwich (9).
- Grant Holt has committed 44 fouls this season, the joint most in the league, while only one player, Everton’s Nikica Jelavic (29), has been caught offside more times than Holt (24).
- The Canaries have scored three goals from direct free-kicks, the joint-most in the league alongside Chelsea.
- Norwich have not beaten the Blues since 10 December 1994; in the five meetings between the two sides since then, the Blues have averaged 2.8 goals per game.
- Chelsea’s 8-0 victory over Aston Villa on Sunday, which equalled their highest ever league win, was only their second victory in their last nine league games.
- The west London club became the first side to have seven different scorers in one match in the Premier League era when they hammered the Villans. Chelsea are 11/1 to win 3-0 with William Hill.
- Branislav Ivanovic (pictured right) is the Premier League’s topscoring defender, with four goals this season (making him the Blues’ joint-third highest scorer in the league).
- Chelsea have received more yellow cards for diving (4) than any other team in the Premier League.
- The Blues have scored from the penalty spot five times this season, the most in the league, while Norwich are yet to be awarded a spot-kick.
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Top 3 Predictions
Norwich City 1-3 Chelsea FC
- 14.14 %
Norwich City 0-3 Chelsea FC
- 12.07 %
Norwich City 0-8 Chelsea FC
- 10.56 %
|England - Premier League (EPL)||26 Dec 2012||Norwich City 0 - Chelsea FC 1|
|England - Premier League (EPL)||6 Oct 2012||Chelsea FC 4 - Norwich City 1|
|England - Premier League (EPL)||21 Jan 2012||Norwich City 0 - Chelsea FC 0|
|England - Premier League (EPL)||27 Aug 2011||Chelsea FC 3 - Norwich City 1|
|19 May 2013||Manchester City 2 - Norwich City 3||EPL|
|12 May 2013||Norwich City 4 - West Bromwich Albion 0||EPL|
|4 May 2013||Norwich City 1 - Aston Villa 2||EPL|
|27 Apr 2013||Stoke City 1 - Norwich City 0||EPL|
|20 Apr 2013||Norwich City 2 - Reading 1||EPL|
|12||John Obi Mikel||Midfielder|
Times In GMT
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed