Premier League preview: Norwich v Chelsea
By Football News
Chelsea will be hoping to continue their recent run of good form when they travel to Norwich on Boxing Day.
The Blues responded to their shock 1-0 loss to Corinthians in the Club World Cup Final with a 5-1 thumping of Leeds in the Capital One Cup last week before blasting eight goals past a hapless Aston Villa at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.
Chris Houghton's side, meanwhile, have enjoyed an encouraging first half of the season which sees them tenth on the Premier League table after 18 games.
But a 2-1 loss to West Bromwich Albion on Saturday ended their 11-game undefeated run in the Premier League, with their last loss before that result ironically coming at the hands of Chelsea who beat them 4-1 at Stamford Bridge in October.
The Canaries will be particularly wary of Chelsea's excess of talent in the attacking third with midfielders Oscar, Eden Hazard, Juan Mata and Victor Moses all in red hot form.
Even embattled striker Fernando Torres is in good touch, with the Spaniard scoring against both Leeds and Villa.
Whoever Rafael Benitez chooses to start with on Thursday, Norwich, who have conceded 27 goals so far this year, will be hard pressed to keep them at bay.
Despite Chelsea's potent attack and their ability to find goals from all areas of the pitch which saw seven different players hit the back of the net against Aston Villa, Norwich will be confident they can get a result against the reigning European champions.
The Carrow Road side have already defeated Arsenal, Manchester United and Tottenham this year and despite their previous loss to the Blues their form against the league's top sides should at the very least make the Blue's wary.
The Canaries are not without attacking talents of their own with former Leeds United winger Robert Snodgrass enjoying a rich vein of form.
The Scot has scored three goals in the past month with his free-kick effort against West Brom on the weekend underlining his talent with the dead-ball.
Defender Sebastien Bassong is also no stranger to scoring recently, with the 26-year-old defender getting three goals in the past month and is proving to be particularly effective from set pieces.
However, Chelsea's scintillating display against Aston Villa will see them head into the match as deserved favourites and while an upset is not out of the question anything less than all three points will leave a sour taste in Chelsea supporter's mouths and heap the pressure back on manager Rafael Benitez.