Norwich City vs. Chelsea: Team News & Preview

Jamie McDonald

Can the Blues continue their rampant form? Can Fernando Torres continue scoring goals? Can David Luiz impress any further? And just why do they call it Boxing Day? I see no boxing whatsoever! Well, maybe unboxing. But that's the day before! Maybe they should just call it "Football" Day!

Happy happy joy joy. The holiday season is here, and as is the norm for the festive period, the matches in the Premier League are coming thick and fast. Having just completed a round of fixtures over Saturday and Sunday, all teams* in the league are set to play again on Boxing Day.

* well, except Arsenal and West Ham United. Unfair advantage or unfortunate circumstance with the potential tube strike? You be the judge.

Despite all the Christmas cheer, Boxing Day has been a rather somber occasion for Chelsea. The Blues have not posted a win in this fixture since 2008 and their last away victory was way back in a previous millennium. Tore Andre Flo's double downed Southampton at The Dell but the 2-1 scoreline belied Chelsea's domination.

Speaking of dominant, Chelsea are. Most certainly when playing crap non-Brazilian teams. Saturday's 8-0 victory, combined with Manchester United's stumbling in Wales has put the Premier League back on notice that the title fight may yet expand beyond a two-team affair. And wouldn't that just be a Festivus miracle?

That's right, positive thinking is back at Chelsea. Like love and holiday cheers, goals are once again all around - literally, in fact, as the seven different scorers of the Aston Villa Eight set a new Premier League record. As the snow falls, hope rises. Come on you Blues!

Norwich City: The Canaries' 10-match unbeaten run in the league was ended over the weekend by none other than on-loan Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku. It would only be fitting for the actual Chelsea team to continue this trend. A 4-1 Chelsea win earlier this season at Stamford Bridge should easily get complemented by a matching away victory.

Norwich will draw hope from the return of Grant Holt - the talismanic battering ram has scored in two of his three meetings with Chelsea. Defender Steven Whittaker is a fresh addition to the injury list however, joining the likes of Andrew Surman, Ryan Bennett, and John Ruddy. Apparently the SBN Norwich database has none of these players (note the lack of links), which should tell you all you need to know about just how good they may be.

Chelsea: While Terry was on the bench the last time Chelsea won away on Boxing Day, he won't even be able to do that tomorrow - the captain's knee is still not good enough for him to get a run-out. Ryan Bertrand continues to carry his small knock and will be a late fitness test once again.

There's better news in midfield, as John Obi Mikel returns from his suspension. His calm strength may be a welcome addition on a cold Wednesday night in East Anglia.

With Santa Fernando Torres handing out goals to all comers lately and the new manager's preferred attacking band of Eden Hazard - Juan Mata - Victor Moses slaying all middling opposition before them, hopefully we won't have to find a lump of goal in our Chelsea stocking tomorrow.

Date/Time: Wednesday, Dec.26, 15:00 GMT; 10:00 A.M. EST; 8:30 P.M. IST

Venue: Carrow Road, Norwich

TV Information: none (UK); Fox Soccer Plus (USA); none (India)

Online: FoxSoccer2Go

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