Table topping Chelsea will look to extend their unbeaten run and maintain their lead at the top of the table when they face Norwich at Stamford Bridge.
A hard fought 2-1 win over Arsenal last weekend was followed up with a flattering 4-0 win over Norwegian side FC Nordsjaelland midweek and it would appear that Chelsea, under the guidance of Roberto Di Matteo, have discovered a nice blend of attractive football and physical presence needed to win games very early in the season.
Ramires and Mikel have formed the midfield duo when the physicality has been required while the impressive Eden Hazard, Juan Mata, Fernando Torres and Oscar have provided the flair up front. Torres, in particular, has been impressive so far with 5 goals in 11 games this season and the signs so far suggests that the former Liverpool man could be about to live up to his big price tag.
The return to regular goal scoring form will please Chelsea faithful as will he impressive work rate, evidenced against Arsenal last weekend while he burgeoning partnership with Hazard is also another reason for Di Matteo and Chelsea to be pleased with their work so far this season.
Norwich meanwhile is at the opposite end of the spectrum and table, third from bottom of the league and still to record a win. The goals for have been difficult to come across while 10 goals conceded against Fulham and Liverpool undo the good work Hughton had done in draws with QPR, Spurs and West Ham.
The Canaries enjoyed a successful season last year playing a 4-5-1 system under Paul Lambert however the signs so far this season is that they appear to be struggling with the new 4-4-2 system that Hughton has introduced at Carrow Road.
Daniel Sturridge is Chelsea’s only doubt ahead of the clash with the player still struggling with a hamstring injury while Frank Lampard who returned midweek after being left out of the side for the win over Arsenal, will be hoping to play against the Canaries.
Hughton will be worried about his side’s defensive frailties after conceding 5 goals last weekend to Liverpool and the former Newcastle manager will be hoping that injured duo Steven Whittaker and Sebastian Bassong can get back onto the field of play soon.
One to Watch:
Frank Lampard: With so much creativity around Stamford Bridge there are match winners aplenty however 34 year old Lampard remains one of the best of goal scoring midfielders in England despite being in the twilight of his career. The abilities of Hazard, Mata and Torres means that the Norwich defence will be in a torrid evening and it would no surprise to see one of the trio win a penalty for the home side and who better to slot it home than Mr Lampard.
Grant Holt: In a week when he has given out about Roy Hodgson’s selection policy Holt will be keen to back up his words. The 31 year old has been in and out of the team this season and has scored just one goal so far. Holt and Norwich need a good performance to get their season up and running.
Prediction: 4-0 Chelsea should be too strong for Norwich and expect Fernandes Torres to add to his three premier league goals this season.