The lunchtime kick-off on Saturday in the Premier League is Norwich against Chelsea (12:30pm, Carrow Road).
Norwich put a 4-1 defeat at Liverpool behind them on the opening day of the new season with a comfortable home win against Newcastle. On Saturday, they will face a stuttering Chelsea, who are still getting to grips with new manager Frank Lampard’s desired style of play.
The match is previewed by Will Reilly
Norwich v Chelsea, Sat 12:30pm, Premier League
This could be interesting. Norwich’s two Premier League matches this season have yielded nine goals and Chelsea’s six. Are we in line for a goal-fest from two sides that are good going forward but profligate at the back?
Norwich started brightly in their opening match against Liverpool but were then let down by poor defending, eventually losing 4-1. It’s a similar story with Chelsea: very good first-half performances against Man Utd and Leicester only to fall apart in the second period.
At least Norwich followed up their Anfield defeat with a comfortable 3-1 home win against Newcastle. Teemu Pikku scored a hat-trick in that match to go with the one he got against Liverpool. He’ll be eyeing up Chelsea’s defence with a degree of optimism.
Both teams have so far look good going forward, with Norwich revealing very good technical abilities under Daniel Farke.
Chelsea have looked extremely vulnerable on the counter-attack with vast chunks of the pitch inexplicably being left unprotected. Can Frank Lampard fix this problem quickly? That’s a key question.
It’s one win and one loss so far for the side that got promoted as Championship champions, so they have made a steady start. Confidence will be high following their 3-1 win over an, admittedly weak, Newcastle and, of course, they will have home advantage in an early kick-off.
In their last 18 home league games, Norwich have won 12 and lost just two, with one of those defeats coming in the FA Cup. They have scored three-or-more goals in ten of those 18 matches, including when they lost 4-3 at home to Derby, who were managed at the time by Frank Lampard. Chelsea fans may draw some much-needed hope from that.
One heavy loss and a home draw when they were lucky not to lose leaves Chelsea needing a win or, at the very least, a good defensive performance to restore some confidence and stability to the early part of new manager Frank Lampard’s reign.
If you are of a sensitive disposition, look away now. Chelsea’s away record recently in the Premier League does not make for good reading. They have won just two of their last eleven away fixtures and have have failed to score in seven of those games – don’t look back just yet – have conceded 23 goals.
According to news reports, the following injury updates apply.
Onel Hernández (knee) definitely misses out, while Josip Drmić (hamstring) is considered doubtful.
Defender Christoph Zimmermann (knee) also looks doubtful and Adam Idah and Timm Klose are both rated as 50-50 for the match
Ibrahim Amadou and Jamal Lewis are on the comeback trail and could well be in contention for a start.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek (Achilles) will be out until possibly November or the new year, depending on which report you read. Callum Hudson-Odoi (Achilles) is now back in training and should be available within the next month, all being well.
Marco van Ginkel is out with a long-term knee injury but Antonio Rüdiger (knee) is back in contention, which will be a welcome boost for Chelsea fans as he is probably the best central defender now at the club. Reece James (ankle) is still two or three weeks away from being available.
Norwich will start with confidence and, with home advantage, their speed of play, familiarity of system and personnel and clever coach will be ready pounce upon the deficiencies shown by Chelsea thus far, of which there have been quite a few.