Chelsea enter the 3rd week of the Premier League season (christ, 3rd match already!?), as we travel up to Norwich for an early kick off time of 12:30pm on Saturday. There is already some slight pressure on Chelsea, who are yet to win a competitive fixture this season. There is no time to panic just yet though, as we’ll go into this match as firm favourites to get our first win under our belt.
Our Form: (- – – L-L-D)
There have been a lot of good and bad signs in our first three fixtures so far this season. Against Manchester United, we were unlucky, and looked pretty on the eye, but ultimately we were well beaten 4-0. We responded superbly against Liverpool in the European Super Cup final, but once again, it was penalties that cost us. Then, against Leicester this past week, we were fantastic for the opening half an hour, but it got a lot worse after the interval, and on another day, could have fell to a 3rd straight loss.
We are not yet going at full throttle, as some players need time to adjust (Mason Mount, Tammy Abraham, Christian Pulisic), to the Premier League standard. It’s also obvious we are missing Eden Hazard who was dragging us to victory by himself at times last season. We have seen a lot of promise, and if we start as we did against Leicester, but keep it up for the whole game, there is no doubt we should get our first win on Saturday.
Our Opponent’s Form: (- – – – L-W)
Norwich expectedly lost their opener to Liverpool on the opening day of the season in a 4-1 thrashing, but won a lot of neutral’s over with their brand of expansive football. In their second game, they had a winnable home match against Newcastle, and they dominated it from start to finish. Striker Teemu Pukki scored a hat-trick against the Magpies as they won 3-1. In total, the striker has scored 4 goals in two games, putting him in the lead on the top goal scorer charts.
Head to Head
Chelsea have no trouble disposing Norwich in recent years, whether it’s at the Bridge or at Carrow Road. We haven’t lost to them in 15 matches (dating back to 1994), with them only taking two Premier League points of us in that time. Away from home, we have beaten Norwich on our last two visits, and three of our last four. Our most recent Premier League meeting with Norwich was back in 2016, where we had won 2-1 away – Kennedy and Diego Costa getting the goals.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Antonio Rudiger are all key players out injured, but the latter is the most likely to return to the squad sooner rather than later. It’s unlikely, but he could win a fitness race to be available for selection this week. Elsewhere, we have no new injury news or any suspensions. We will likely play the same team against Leicester, with Lampard perhaps alternating between some midfielders and attackers.
Onel Hernandez and Josip Dimic will miss the game for the Canaries. Christoph Zimmermann is also likely to miss the game, but Ibrahim Amadou and Jamal Lewis are both back in training and could be involved on Saturday.
At the moment, I go into most games with a lack of confidence, and after Norwich impressed so much in recent weeks, we have to be cautious of taking this game lightly. It won’t be an easy match in a hostile atmosphere, as their fans will be well and truly pumped. However, I expect us to finally get our first win of the season, as our bad luck will surely run out soon.
I hope Tammy Abraham gets a start, and opens up his Premier League scoring account with us. Our last victory on this ground was a 2-1 hard-fought result, and I anticipate the same happening again. Come on you Blues!
Predicted Score Line: Norwich 1-2 Chelsea