It’s one of those games where anything but a lopsided win will feel like a disappointment, even in the No Easy Games™ Premier League.
But while we haven’t lost to Norwich City in the Premier League since 1994, before the 7-0 at the Bridge back in October, our previous six games against them included four wins by a single goal (1-0, 3-2, 2-1, 1-0) and two draws in one FA Cup tie, with the Blues advancing on penalty kicks in the replay.
That is to say, there are no easy games in the Premier League, even against a team who have lost five on the bounce in all competitions and have, as Tuchel put it, nothing to lose. Few things more dangerous than those with nothing to lose. Records and streaks are made to be broken after all. Plus, Thursdays are the worst.
It’s like betting big on the favorite. The upside is small but likely, the downside is massive but unlikely. Good thing I’m not a betting man. An early goal or six would be nice and very helpful.
Date / Time: Thursday, March 10, 2022, 19.30 GMT; 2:30pm EST; 1am IST (next day)
Stadium: Carrow Road, Norwich, England
Referee: Martin Atkinson (on pitch); Jarred Gillet (VAR)
On TV: none (UK); none (USA); none (India); SuperSport Premier League (NGA); elsewhere
Streaming: none (UK); Peacock (USA); Hotstar, JioTV (India); DStv Now (NGA)
Norwich City team news: With just 17 points from 27 played, Norwich have fewer points (per-game, or absolute) than any other team in the top-four divisions. With just 16 goals scored, they are the only team among those 92 to have fewer than 20. And only Burnley have fewer than their 4 wins.
None of which guarantee a Chelsea victory.
Striker Adam Idah has been ruled out for the season with a meniscus tear while defender Andrew Omobamidele continues to deal with a significant back injury. Unlike other teams in the lower reaches of the league, Norwich did not add any players in January, which is probably the financially prudent approach.
Chelsea team news: The big news (other than, you know, the club being up for sale) is that Reece James has now injured the hamstring on his other leg as well, and is expected to be out for four games (i.e. rest of the month). He was our Man of the Match on Saturday, in what was his first start in two months.
Everyone else (other than Ben Chilwell obviously) is expected to be available, including Marcos Alonso, who was suffering from Covid symptoms last week but has evidently made a pretty quick recovery.
Previously: Mason Mount grabbed a hat-trick in the 7-0 win. He has just four goals since, and none in 2022.