Chelsea have just proved that off-the-pitch stuff remains off the pitch as Thomas Tuchel’s boys just look ready for any challenge despite huge questions around ownership being asked each passing day. Now they travel to Carrow Road to play their mid-week fixture against a Norwich City team who just looks lost in all senses.
WHERE AND WHEN?
Venue: Carrow Road.
Date: Thursday, 10th March 2022.
Time: 20:30 (BST).
Referee: Martin Atkinson.
Assistant referee: Constantine Hatzidakis, Nick Hopton.
Fourth official: Michael Salisbury.
VAR: Jarred Gillet.
Assistant VAR: Scott Ledger
Dean Smith will be unable to have the services of Idah, Omobamidele and Billy Gilmour, with the first two names being injured and the Scottish youngster ineligible to play against his parent club. There will also be doubts over Kabak starting the match.
Reece James is just not having luck in his favour as the Englishman just after his first Premier League start after long has again taken up a muscle injury and thus will be out for the match but fortunately for Chelsea, club captain, Azpilicueta is back in training and so is Marcus Alonso. Chilwell still remains a long-term absentee but photos of him practising individual drills were circulated over social media giving all Chelsea fans something to cheer about.
On paper, the match for Chelsea looks like an easy win considering the form both teams are in. A loss here for Dean’s side will mean their 5th straight loss in the Premier League minimizing the already so little looking chance for the Norwich side to avoid relegation this week. The reverse fixture in October was a show of supremacy by the London Blues who smashed past 7 goals to register a hefty win. But since then, times have changed for both the teams as Norwich have a new man in the dugout and Chelsea are no longer the table toppers. Chelsea are also without their wing-backs who were very crucial in the game with both bagging 2 of the 7 goals.
But, can the Canaries pull out an upset from the match? This looks very tough after watching the Blues dismantle Burnley in their last game but the home side can work on something to prevent the visitors from scoring the way Burnley contained them in the first half. Chelsea do have a Premier League game to be played in a very short span of time which will be followed by their Champions League tie against Lille. Thus, the Blues might witness rotation in the squad but a competitive one who can help them get all 3 points keeping the cushion for the third spot intact with in-form Arsenal side pushing every game week.
A lot of noise has started to be heard in the community after Chelsea’s very own boy being unable to perform in recent a patch of games. The Liverpool game in the Carabao Cup Final was just the exact advantage used by his critics to fire up the situation. Mason Mount this season has not yet picked up his best form and his performances have been overshadowed by excellent performances by Hakim Ziyech. Now the young Englishman has been under a fair amount of criticism and thus will have to prove to everyone why he is called one of the ‘Talents in the Making’.
The reverse fixture in October saw Mount, finally score his first goal of the season after a patch similar to today. Not only did he open his account he made it much better by scoring a hat-trick and also making a beautiful assist to Reece James. Mason will be very much focused to turn his fortunes yet again against the same opponents and adding his name to the goals tally might just give him the confidence he needs to get back in form.
Norwich (4-2-3-1): Krul; Aarons, Hanley, Zimmermann, Williams; Lees-Melou, Rupp; Sargent, Dowell, Rowe; Pukki.
Chelsea (3-4-2-1): Mendy; Rudiger, Silva, Chalobah; Saul, Kovacic, Jorginho, Ziyech; Pulisic, Havertz, Mount.