Two sides at opposite ends of the form table meet at Carrow Road this midweek, as Norwich look for their first win since January against a Chelsea team still unbeaten under Guus Hiddink.
Norwich held firm for 89 minutes against leaders Leicester on Saturday before succumbing to a late Leonardo Ulloa goal, extending their winless run to seven matches, in which time they have picked up just one point.
Having looked relatively safe in mid-table after back-to-back wins over the festive period, the Canaries’ alarming slump sees them now kept out the drop zone only on goal difference with 11 games left to play.
Their leaky defence is not helping the situation; they have conceded 10 goals in their last three home games and 51 in the season overall. Unless they can find a way to start keeping clean sheets, Alex Neil’s side could be set for an immediate return to the Championship.
Chelsea’s 2-1 win at Southampton on Saturday stretched their undefeated run since Guus Hiddink’s arrival to ten games and took them to within touching distance of the top half, and just two points behind Liverpool.
The weekend’s win saw the Ductchman’s men bring up back-to-back league wins for the first time all season, a remarkable fact bearing in mind how dominant they were last time out. With key players now firing, Chelsea have now picked up some of the aura and fear factor which was taken away before Christmas.
The Blues have a good record against the Canaries in recent meetings, having won seven and drawn two of the last nine fixtures between the two sides, conceding just two goals across those games.
Norwich are sweating on the fitness of Sebastien Bassong and Wes Hoolahan after the duo picked up injuries at the weekend, whilst Patrick Bamford is ineligible to face his parent club. Steven Naismith scored a hat-trick against Chelsea in September as an Everton player and has scored six goals in seven matches against the Blues overall.
Pedro and John Terry are both missing with hamstring injuries for the visitors, who could introduce Alexandre Pato for his debut in English football.
League Position: Norwich – 17th (24 pts); Chelsea – 11th (38 pts)
Last Meeting: Chelsea 1-0 Norwich (November 21, 2015)
Form: Norwich – LLLLDL; Chelsea – DWDDWW
Key Men: Norwich – Steven Naismith; Chelsea – Cesc Fabregas
Shoot Says: Norwich 0-2 Chelsea