The Canaries are in a dismal run of form, having lost their last four league games. They are reeling at the bottom of the table and will need a miracle to escape relegation this season.
In contrast, Chelsea have been in good form in recent weeks and will be eyeing four league wins on the bounce in midweek. A win at Carrow Road will strengthen their grip on the third spot in the table.
Norwich City vs Chelsea – Team News
Norwich City boss Dean Smith has been handed a double-injury boost ahead of Chelsea’s visit with Ozan Kabak (shoulder) and Lukas Rupp (knock) fit and available. Andrew Omobamidele (back) and Adam Idah (knee) remain out, while Billy Gilmour is ineligible to face his parent club.
🟡 𝗠𝗔𝗧𝗖𝗛𝗗𝗔𝗬 🔵
— Norwich City FC (@NorwichCityFC) March 10, 2022
Tim Krul is expected to start in goal for the Canaries, with a back four of Max Aarons, Grant Hanley, Christoph Zimmermann, and Brandon Williams ahead of him in defence. In midfield, Lukas Rupp could fill Billy Gilmour’s void and partner Pierre Lees-Melou.
Kieran Dowell could get the nod ahead of Kenny McLean in the no.10 role to add creativity from midfield. Josh Sargent and Milot Rashica should retain their spots on the flanks, with Teemu Pukki set to spearhead Norwich City’s attack against Chelsea.
As for Chelsea, Reece James has muscular problems and is likely to miss Thursday’s game at Norwich City. Ben Chilwell, meanwhile, has been ruled out for the season following knee surgery. But there is positive news on the injury front, with Marcos Alonso (COVID-19), Callum Hudson-Odoi (Achilles) and Cesar Azpilicueta (knock) likely to be fit and available for selection.
Edouard Mendy is a certainty in goal for the Blues and will look to keep three clean sheets in a row in the Premier League. Protecting Mendy will be a back three of Antonio Rudiger, Andreas Christensen and Trevoh Chalobah, as Chelsea try to keep things tight in defence.
N’Golo Kante and Mateo Kovacic will anchor the midfield for the Pensioners as the duo aim to get control of the game from the first blow of the whistle. Reece James’ injury absence should see Callum Hudson-Odoi deputise at right wing-back, with Saul Niguez retaining his position on the other flank.
Hakim Ziyech is expected to get the nod ahead of Mason Mount as one of two no.10s, adding flair and imagination to the Chelsea attack alongside Christian Pulisic. Kai Havertz is in good form of late and bagged a brace in the Blues’ 4-0 win over Burnley, but Tuchel might rest the German ahead of some big games. This could open the door for Romelu Lukaku to lead the attack against a hapless Norwich side.
Norwich City vs Chelsea – Predicted Lineups
Norwich City Predicted Lineup (4-2-3-1): Tim Krul; Max Aarons, Grant Hanley, Christoph Zimmermann, Brandon Williams; Pierre Lees-Melou, Lukas Rupp; Josh Sargent, Kieran Dowell, Milot Rashica; Teemu Pukki
Chelsea Predicted Lineup (3-4-2-1): Edouard Mendy; Trevoh Chalobah, Andreas Christensen, Antonio Rudiger; Callum Hudson-Odoi, Mateo Kovacic, N’Golo Kante, Saul Niguez; Hakim Ziyech, Christian Pulisic; Romelu Lukaku
Norwich City vs Chelsea – Key Players
Norwich City—Josh Sargent
Josh Sargent has been one of Norwich City’s better players in an otherwise dismal campaign. The American may have blown hot and cold, but he possesses the skill-set to hurt a team in any condition. A lot of responsibility to create opportunities for Teemu Pukki will again be on his young shoulders on Thursday.
Hakim Ziyech has played a vital role in Chelsea’s recent good run of form, scoring against Brighton, Tottenham and Crystal Palace. The Moroccan playmaker has found back his mojo, and there can be no better game than Norwich City for him to continue his scoring touch in away games.
Prediction: Norwich City 0-3 Chelsea