Chelsea are in growing need of a good result, not just for competitive but for sentimental reasons as well, with dissatisfaction rapidly spreading among the fanbase after what’s looking like another ... questionable ... transfer window. A nice goal-haul against Norwich would go some ways towards making us all feel a bit better about the rest of the season ahead, as weird and inconsequential as that may be.
First and foremost however we have to figure out how to break this three-match goal-scoring drought. Antonio Conte has already confirmed that Batshuayi will start, in what could possibly he his final appearance for Chelsea this season before heading out loan.
“Michy Batshuayi is a Chelsea player and he is in our squad and tomorrow he has to play. He is having this possibility to show that he deserves to play for Chelsea. In the future, I don’t know what happens, also because the final decision is for the club, not for me.”
Conte also confirmed a “deserved” start for young Ethan Ampadu, but apparently Callum Hudson-Odoi is not yet deserving.
“A young player has to deserve this chance, not only because he is a young player or not only because he is a player from our Academy. I want to be very clear and for this reason, Ethan Ampadu showed he deserved this chance and probably he will play tomorrow. And players must show me that when I gave this opportunity, I did not make a mistake.”
“[Hudson-Odoi] is a player with good potential and I think he needs another step before having this opportunity to play a game with us, but for sure he is a very interesting player for us and we have to continue to work with him to try to improve him, and have another step to be ready to face this type of game.”
-Antonio Conte; source: Chelsea FC
With Barkley ineligible due to not finalizing his transfer until after the Friday midday deadline for the original third match against Norwich City, and both Cesc Fabregas and Gary Cahill injured (both hamstrings, both supposedly minor), Conte will have to shuffle his pack once again and hope we find better cohesion than a fortnight ago at Carrow Road.
Caballero | Rudiger, David Luiz, Azpilicueta | Kenedy, Drinkwater, Ampadu, Zappacosta | Pedro, Batshuayi, Willian
The WAGNH community’s preference is along similar lines, but with Barkley shoehorned in at central midfield because at the time we didn’t know that he would be ineligible. Next up would be Ampadu or Kante, both on 38%.
Caballero (70%) | Rudiger (79%), David Luiz (80%), Azpilicueta (65%) | Kenedy (58%), Drinkwater (71%), Barkley (64%), Zappacosta (73%) | Pedro (47%), Batshuayi (52%), Willian (57%)