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Predicted Chelsea lineup against Norwich City: Bertrand Traoré's big chance

Clive Rose/Getty Images

We'll start with the assumption that Chelsea should be winning this game.  Easily.

This is a bold assumption to make given how the rest of the season has gone, though Chelsea are now unbeaten in eleven straight Premier League matches and we've conceded just one goal in the five away league games since Mourinho's sacking (and that one goal was a direct result of a silly error).  With Norwich boasting the league's worst defense in terms of goals conceded, we should be looking to feast, especially if, as expected, Bertrand Traoré gets the start up front.

The young striker who lit up the Eredivisie last season has three goals in his last three (substitute) appearances.  All three goals were the 5th in 5-1 wins.  And while I wouldn't expect that scoreline tomorrow, Traoré's eye for goal should serve us just as well from the start of the game.  Costa would thus get a well deserved rest after 12 straight starts, while Alexandre Pato's improving fitness could give him a spot on the bench and perhaps even a debut for Chelsea.

The assumption of winning should also prevent silliness such as playing both Mikel and Matic in midfield, with the latter probably getting a start for the first time in four games.  Whether he's partnered with the indispensable Cesc Fàbregas or new contract-man Ruben Loftus-Cheek is anyone's guess, though let's stay optimistic and pretend that when Hiddink says that RLC will get his chances soon, he actually means right now.

Should Fàbregas also get the day off, we could see last season's usual trio of Hazard-Oscar-Willian reunited in attack.  While I do expect Kenedy to start as well, I think he'll be slotted in at left back just as he was in the second half against Southampton and just as Mourinho played him to good effect against Norwich City in the reverse fixture earlier this season at Stamford Bridge.  Young Baba Rahman does seem like persona non grata for the moment, so unless we're willing to give Matt Miazga a debut and restore César Azpilicueta to his left back role (and Ivanović to his customary right back spot), I think we'll be seeing Kenedy, left back once again.

Having said all that, this sure seems like more rotation than Hiddink would normally be comfortable with, so maybe we'll look less drastically different tomorrow.  Though I definitely expect Traoré to start, if nothing else.

Courtois | Kenedy, Ivanović, Cahill, Azpilicueta | Matić, Loftus-Cheek | Hazard, Oscar, Willian | Traoré

In the community voting, the WAGNH faithful keeps the faith in Baba.  In fact, the preferred lineup seems to be the same exact one that we've used in three straight games, minus the injured Pedro.  However, everything Hiddink has said since Saturday's win would seem to indicate that we're in for a bit more rotation than just Oscar coming in as an enforced change.  I guess we'll find out soon enough.

Courtois | Baba, Ivanović, Cahill, Azpilicueta | Mikel, Fàbregas | Hazard, Oscar, Willian | Costa

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