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Preview: Chelsea vs. Norwich City - prediction, team news, lineups
22/10/2021 14:25:07

Top meets bottom in Saturday's Premier League battle at Stamford Bridge, as Chelsea and Norwich City prepare to lock horns in the English capital (12:30PM, 23 Oct).

The Blues marched to a 1-0 win over Brentford in gameweek eight, while Norwich claimed their second point of the season against Brighton & Hove Albion.

We say: Chelsea 2-0 Norwich City

Even without Lukaku and Werner leading the charge, Chelsea have attacking quality in abundance on the bench to help them break the Canaries' resistance.

Farke can certainly take the positives from his side's last two performances, but attacking woes continue to bedevil them, and they are unlikely to travel back from the capital with anything to show for it.

Match preview

The Premier League's Big Six are quickly finding out how dogged and determined Brentford can be in front of their own fans, and it was no different against Chelsea, but Thomas Tuchel's side ultimately prevailed 1-0 in the West London derby.

Ben Chilwell's peach of a strike after 45 minutes was all that could separate the two sides on the day, and the Blues followed that up with a dominant Champions League performance versus Malmo, as Jorginho netted two penalties alongside goals from Kai Havertz and Andreas Christensen in a 4-0 win.

While Chelsea do not sit atop the pile in their Champions League group, they do lead the way in the Premier League with 19 points taken from a possible 24 and also in the knowledge that at least one of Manchester United or Liverpool will drop points on Sunday.

Sixteen goals scored - at an average of two per game - is not the most prolific record in the top flight, but a mere three conceded at the other end of the pitch typifies the new-found defensive resilience under Tuchel, whose side have also amassed nine goals at home in the league so far this term.

Any hopes of keeping pace with Manchester City on the goalscoring front may have been dashed with injuries to Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner in midweek, but with the chasing pack ready to close in, nothing but a dominant win will do for Chelsea over the hapless Canaries.

While Norwich's wait for an elusive first win of the new Premier League season continues, the Canaries have posted two respectable results in recent weeks, playing out back-to-back goalless draws with Burnley and Brighton & Hove Albion in recent weeks.

Last weekend's stalemate with the Seagulls certainly caught the eye given Brighton's stellar start to the new season, but even though back-to-back clean sheets can certainly be seen as a positive, that has done little to help their standing in the table.

Indeed, two points taken from a possible 24 represents the worst tally so far as Norwich remain rooted to the bottom of the table - four points adrift of safety - while they have also chalked up a mere two goals during their abysmal start to life back in the big time.

The Canaries have now gone four top-flight games without a goal since Teemu Pukki's effort against Watford, and they are yet to find the back of the net away from home this term, while their last top-flight win on the road came all the way back in November 2019.

However, Chelsea had to rely on an Olivier Giroud winner to see them to a 1-0 success over Norwich in their most recent Stamford Bridge battle, but it has been 27 years since the Blues lost to the Canaries in any competition - a streak which is highly unlikely to end here.

Team News

As mentioned, Chelsea lost both Lukaku and Werner to injury during the Champions League win over Malmo, with the former suffering a twisted ankle while Werner picked up a hamstring strain.

Neither man is expected to make the cut this weekend, so Kai Havertz could therefore lead the line with support from Mason Mount and Hakim Ziyech as Christian Pulisic remains a major doubt.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek could also force his way back into the midfield over N'Golo Kante, while Malang Sarr and Trevoh Chalobah should also be in contention to return to the backline given the hectic schedule.

Meanwhile, Norwich will be without Billy Gilmour as he misses out against his parent club, but the Chelsea loanee has been linked with a January return to Stamford Bridge anyway.

The Canaries will hope to have Todd Cantwell (Achilles) and Przemyslaw Placheta (fitness) back in the fold, but Sam Byram and Christoph Zimmermann remain absent for the time being.

It would be a surprise to see Farke make any alterations from the side that held Brighton to a 0-0 draw last time out, with Pukki and Josh Sargent continuing their partnership up top.

Chelsea possible starting lineup:

Mendy; Azpilicueta, Chalobah, Christensen; James, Jorginho, Loftus-Cheek, Chilwell; Ziyech, Mount; Havertz

Norwich City possible starting lineup:

Krul; Hanley, Kabak, Gibson; Aarons, Lees-Melou, McLean, Normann, Giannoulis; Pukki, Sargent

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