Norwich City vs. Chelsea Preview

Barclays Premier League

Football
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Published: 15/01/2012

Norwich City vs. Chelsea provides the live lunchtime action in the Barclays Premier League on January 21 as Andre Villas Boas continues his recovery mission in the Blues hot seat.

Chelsea showed true mettle to sink a resurgent Sunderland side on their last outing at Stamford Bridge although their overall performance still left a lot to be desired in comparison to the likes of Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United who all hold a decent lead over them in the race for the title.

And Premier League glory is now likely to be a step too far for Chelsea who will be primarily focused on securing a Champions League berth.

They can consolidate their stance in the top four with another win at Norwich but it will be a tricky task against Paul Lambert’s men who have more than held their own throughout the first half of the season.

Whilst not fully excelling at Carrow Road and taking as many points as they could have, the Canaries have still demonstrated enough to show that they can be a force and cause even give the best club’s in the league a hard time.

They will be buoyed by a tremendous 1-2 success away at West Brom and can take some degree of momentum forward to prove a match for the unpredictable visitors.

Chelsea have been solid on the road, conceding only nine goals so far, however they have not put teams to bed like true Premier League contenders should.

With Didier Drogba away on African Nations Cup duty with the Ivory Coast, Villas Boas must rely on an out of sorts Fernando Torres to supply the goods and he will once again lead the line in search of goals and a return to form.

On paper, Chelsea really should still be too good for Norwich and their midfield is still one of the best in the league when fully fit.

Ramires is highly underrated, whilst Frank Lampard still has bags of class when playing for his club despite the years catching up on him.

Juan Mata has proved to be a bit of a jewel in AVB’s crown and at least one reason for the Chelsea faithful to be pleased – however it is scant consolation and compensation for a miserable campaign on the fringes of the main title joust which is taking place some eight or nine points above them.

Even if Chelsea cannot be fully trusted from a betting perspective, they are probably too good to turn down at around 4/6 and they have at least rediscovered their winning touch since the turn of the year.

Nevertheless, Norwich can definitely make their presence felt and should get on the score-sheet at the very least.

Even money for both teams to score is the pick for this affair which is likely to be end to end and high in tempo. Chelsea can still get back into contention but it really is a no lose situation for them from now here on in if they are to improve upon fourth position.


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