Venue: Stamford Bridge
Date: Saturday, 6 October
Kick-off: 15.00 GMT
Headline news today – Chelsea are a football club and we actually play a bit too! I know, bit of a revelation isn’t it? Seeing as we rarely read anything resembling sports journalism that focuses on our game anymore, but after a decent result in the Champions League midweek, we’re back again to the Premier League and a home tie against Norwich in this afternoon’s game.
In their last game, Norwich took a bit of a battering at Carrow Road but whilst Stevie Me will be satisfied with Liverpool’s cup final last weekend (because they haven’t spent any money at all on the way to getting those 3 points), Norwich manager Chris Hughton wants better from his side this weekend.
By contrast, we go into today’s game in decent form, we’re top of the Premier League after last weekend’s convincing win at the Emirates and bagged a few goals in Europe midweek to put us top of our group in the Champions League. So, assuming our players can fit this one in between tweets, this is a game they should be looking to win comfortably.
Well, ahead of this game Roberto Di Matteo might have preferred to talk about the opposition or maybe our players’ availability but since all the press wanted was a response to further accusations that our players are ‘out of control’, Di Matteo says simply “I judge the players on what I see when they train and play, and I try and select a team that will hopefully be able to win against Norwich. That is my job.”
In the absence of tweets from his players, Chris Hughton has the luxury of discussing the game itself and says “The inspiration for the team should be walking out against quality international players. What a wonderful stage to go and apply your trade. I would be incredibly disappointed if there was one player who was not looking forward to that challenge. Whether it is this week, next week or next month we have got to play them. It will be a tough task, but it would be that whether we were on the back of a defeat or in the middle of a good run. It is a difficult place to go. You know that before you go there. You just have to set up the team correctly and give a good account of ourselves.”
For Chelsea, Daniel Sturridge (hamstring) remains our only absentee through injury. John Terry could get a recall after his rest midweek unless Di Matteo decides to put him and Ashley Cole on the FA’s naughty step this weekend.
For Norwich, Whittaker (ankle) and Kane (metatarsal) are absentees, whilst Bassong (hamstring) and Pilkington (back) could be in contention.
CHELSEA (from): Cech, Azpilicueta, Ivanovic, Terry, Cahill, Luiz, Cole, Bertrand, Mikel, Romeu, Lampard, Ramires, Mata, Hazard, Oscar, Moses, Marin, Piazon, Torres, Turnbull.
NORWICH (from): Ruddy, Barnett, Turner, Bassong, Garrido, Martin, Surman, Hoolahan, Johnson, Howson, Snodgrass, Jackson, Holt, Morison, Tettey, R Bennett, E Bennett, Tierney, Bunn, Pilkington.
Chelsea 3-1 Norwich (27th August 2011)
Norwich are struggling for their first win of the season, so they’d probably rather face anyone but us considering they’ve lost all of their last 5 trips to Stamford Bridge. They’ve conceded 13 goals in their first 6 games this campaign as well – ten of them coming in the two games against Fulham and Liverpool – so if we don’t get a comfortable win at home today we’ll probably want shooting. Keep that quiet though because there wouldn’t be a shortage of volunteers at the moment!