CHELSEA v Norwich: Preview

Venue: Stamford Bridge
Date: Sunday, 4 May
Kick-off: 16.00 BST

Well, Mourinho promised us nothing this season and after our midweek defeat to Atletico in the Champions League and City’s win against Everton yesterday, it seems that nothing is exactly what we’ll be getting.
There’s still points to play for though and we need at least one more to guarantee a top three finish, so with Norwich desperate to claw points together now we can’t afford to take this game lightly.

Going into this afternoon’s game, Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho says “I expect they are going to play a final. They have two games to decide where they are next season. Are they in the Championship? Are they in the Premier League? Are they playing against Chelsea, against Arsenal, against Manchester United? Are they playing at Anfield? Are they playing at the Emirates? Are they playing midweek matches in the Championship? It’s going to be very, very, very difficult.
I have to motivate my players with the responsibility of finishing in the top three, which is very important for us to give us a better pre-season. If you play a play-off your pre-season is completely different; it changes a lot. I have to motivate my players with the fact that the fans deserve us to win at home. I also want to motivate them with the fact we must feel responsibility to be fair and to be correct with every other team that is also playing for relegation. I don’t think Cardiff, Fulham, Sunderland, the teams that are also there, I can imagine they are not waiting for Chelsea to have a bad performance and to lose the game against Norwich.”

Norwich manager Neil Adams meanwhile, says
I have very good memories (of Stamford Bridge). The last time I was there as a coach was the Youth Cup final and we were successful. If there are any coincidences or traces of luck then hopefully that will happen. It is exactly the same, everyone outside of Norfolk doesn’t give us a chance on Sunday. Chelsea are going for the title and we are in the bottom three and it doesn’t take a genius to work out who the neutral will be fancying to win the game. It was exactly the same with the Youth Cup final, nobody really gave us a chance against a big and expensively-assembled Chelsea side but it is very similar to now, if you get the players right and get them believing they can go there and cause an upset they can.”
Whilst on the opposing manager, Adams says “Jose is one of the best there is, one of the best there has ever been. It will be a huge privilege to stand in the dugout next to someone of that calibre but for 90 minutes I’m not concerned about what is happening in the technical area, I’m interested in what is going to be on the pitch. He has gone from being a tactical genius to being questioned. I don’t know how you can question Jose Mourinho for what he has won and achieved in the game but that is the nature of it. If you get a negative result and the finger will be pointed and you will have to answer questions, that applies to everybody.”

For Chelsea, there’s fitness concerns for John Terry (ankle), Eden Hazard (calf), Samuel Eto’o (knee) and Oscar (hip). Petr Cech (shoulder) remains out injured, while Ramires has to stay on the naughty step. Frank Lampard, John Obi Mikel, Nemanja Matic and Mohamed Salah are available again.
For Norwich, Anthony Pilkington (hip) misses out although Joseph Yobo (calf) is back in contention.

CHELSEA (Possible line-up): Schwarzer; Ivanovic, Azpilicueta, Cahill, Terry; Matic, Lampard, Schurrle, Willian, Salah; Eto’o
NORWICH (Possible line-up): Ruddy; Whittaker, Olsson, Martin, Turner; Johnson, Snodgrass, Fer, Howson, Redmond; Hooper

Norwich 1-3 Chelsea (6th October 2013)

We’re unbeaten in our last seven Premier League games with Norwich and have won our last six meetings with them at Stamford Bridge in all competitions, scoring 21 goals and conceding just two but even with stats like that, can you ever really predict games at this stage in the season?


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