Norwich City vs Chelsea

0 - 1
(HT 0 - 1)

Mata 38'

Premier League Preview: Norwich City - Chelsea

By Ewan Roberts
Dec 25, 2012 10:10:00 AM
Chris Hughton's men suffered defeat for the first time in 11 games and will hope to avenge a 4-1 loss earlier in the season against the rampant west London club.


Martin, Turner, Bassong, Garrido
Snodgrass, Tettey, Johnson, Pilkington

Azpilicueta, Cahill, Ivanovic, Cole
Luiz, Ramires
Moses, Mata, Hazard

Talismanic striker Grant Holt (hamstring) missed Norwich’s defeat against West Brom, but manager Chris Hughton hopes to have him available for Wednesday’s game.

Steven Whittaker (thigh) was withdrawn before the hour mark against the Baggies, so Russell Martin is likely to fill in at right back.

Norwich is also without Andrew Surman (knee) and John Ruddy (thigh), with Mark Bunn continuing in goal in the latter’s absence. Ryan Bennett (knee) and Harry Kane (ankle) are both doubtful.

Rafa Benitez’s squad is largely injury free, though he will likely reshuffle his starting XI to combat a busy festive program.

Liverpool-bound striker Daniel Sturridge (hamstring) is a doubt, but John Obi Mikel has returned from a three-match suspension though may be benched in favor of the impressive David Luiz.

John Terry and Oriol Romeu (both knee) remain sidelined, while Ryan Betrand picked up a knock against Leeds in the Capital One Cup and is therefore a doubt for the Boxing Day clash.

  • Norwich lost its first match in eleven games against West Brom on Saturday, ending the club's longest sequence without defeat in the top-flight since March 1987.
  • Only the two Manchester clubs, United (11) and City (10), have scored more goal from set pieces than Norwich (9).
  • Grant Holt has committed 44 fouls this season, the joint most in the league, while only one player, Everton’s Nikica Jelavic (29), has been caught offside more times than Holt (24).
  • The Canaries have scored three goals from direct free kicks, the joint-most in the league alongside Chelsea.
  • Norwich hasn’t beaten the Blues since Dec. 10, 1994. In the five meetings between the two sides since then, the Blues have averaged 2.8 goals per game.
  • Chelsea’s 8-0 victory over Aston Villa on Sunday, which equaled the club's biggest ever league win, was only the team's second win in its last nine league games.
  • The west London club became the first side to have seven different scorers in one match in the Premier League era when it hammered the Villans.
  • Branislav Ivanovic (pictured right) is the Premier League’s top scoring defender, with four goals this season (making him the Blues’ joint-third highest scorer in the league).
  • Chelsea has received more yellow cards for diving (4) than any other team in the Premier League.
  • The Blues have scored from the penalty spot five times this season, the most in the league, while Norwich has yet to be awarded a spot kick.