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Aug 24, 2019 at 12.30pm UK
NorwichNorwich City
Cantwell (6'), Pukki (30')
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Abraham (3', 68'), Mount (17')

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Preview: Norwich City vs. Chelsea - predictions, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Norwich City vs. Chelsea - predictions, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Saturday's Premier League game between Norwich City and Chelsea, including predictions, team news and head-to-head records.

Norwich City will look to build on their first win of the new Premier League season against Newcastle United last weekend when they host Frank Lampard's Chelsea in Saturday's early kickoff.

The Blues remain winless under their former star midfielder after being held to a 1-1 draw at home to Leicester City last Sunday.

Norwich City

Daniel Farke became the first Norwich manager to win his first home game in the Premier League since Mike Walker back in 1992 last weekend as his side beat Newcastle 3-1 at Carrow Road.

Finnish striker Teemu Pukki continued his excellent form from the Championship last season, where he scored 29 goals, to fire in a hat-trick against Steve Bruce's hapless Magpies.

It wasn't just the goals that were impressive about the former Celtic frontman's performance though, it was his all-round contribution. Although not the fastest striker in the division, he showed good footballing intelligence to continually hang off the shoulder of the last man and make the right runs at the right time.

Keeping him fit and firing on all cylinders will be essential as the Canaries look to avoid an instant return to the Championship, as will be fostering the relationship between Pukki and wide midfielder Todd Cantwell.

One trait that Farke's side do seem to have carried over from the lower division is a tendency to sometimes be too easy to break down defensively.

Despite their generally toothless display at Carrow Road, Newcastle did fashion a number of good chances, with both Emil Krafth and Joelinton particularly guilty of wasting close-range opportunities.

Those sorts of mistakes and chances will be capitalised on by the league's better sides like they were by Liverpool in the opening game of the new Premier League season.

Also worrying for the Norfolk club was the sight of young Northern Irish full-back Jamal Lewis hobbling off at the end of last Saturday's game with cramp. An almost ever-present last season, he is important to the way Farke likes his side to play and would be a big loss against the Blues.

Recent form: LW


Chelsea once again started brightly last weekend against Leicester, only to fade away in the second half and take just a point from Lampard's first home game as manager.

Although the former Derby County boss is still winless as Blues manager, last Sunday's fixture once again had enough bright sparks to suggest that the 41-year-old will have a successful tenure at the club where he made more than 600 appearances.

Particularly impressive in that game was young midfielder Mason Mount, who opened the scoring in the seventh minute with his first senior Chelsea goal.

The 20-year-old showed good movement in the final third, fashioning a number of chances for himself and his teammates, while also showing the maturity and determination to track back when required.

Also impressive in that game was Olivier Giroud, who led the line well and dovetailed superbly with Mount, Pedro and Christian Pulisic in the first half before being replaced just after the hour mark by Tammy Abraham.

After making that substitution, the inexperience at the top of the pitch for Chelsea began to tell, as the Foxes worked their way back into the game and equalised on 67 minutes through Nigerian midfielder Wilfred Ndidi.

Part of Lampard's side's dip in performance can be attributed to the youth that the manager has put his faith in, but also their midweek trip to Istanbul to face Liverpool in the European Super Cup.

With a full week's rest, the Blues should be much stronger, although they will be without the services of Davide Zappacosta, who has joined Roma on loan until January.

Recent Premier League form: LD
Recent form (all competitions): LLD

Team News

After the win over Newcastle, Farke is expected to a name a similar side for Chelsea's visit on Saturday.

The only doubt for the Canaries is left-back Lewis, who went off with thigh cramps last weekend - he will probably be replaced by summer signing Sam Byram.

Timm Klose, Ibrahim Amadou and Adam Idah are working their way back to full fitness, which offers Norwich more options defensively, but the club are still without the services of Onel Hernandez, Christoph Zimmermann and Josip Drmic.

The effectiveness of their front four against Leicester should see Lampard also name a similar side, with Giroud once again set to lead the line.

Willian came off the bench last weekend as he continues his return from injury but he is unlikely to dislodge Pulisic or Pedro from the first XI.

Norwich City possible starting lineup:
Krul; Aarons, Hanley, Godfrey, Byram; Trybull, Leitner; Cantwell, Stiepermann, Buendia; Pukki

Chelsea possible starting lineup:
Kepa; Azpilicueta, Zouma, Christensen, Emerson; Jorginho, Kante; Pedro, Mount, Pulisic; Giroud

Head To Head

Saturday's fixture will be the 52nd meeting between the two sides, with Chelsea currently leading the way on 21 wins compared to Norwich's 14.

The last time these sides met was in the FA Cup in January 2018, when the Blues eventually overcame the then-Championship side on penalties after both the original tie and the replay had ended in a draw.

The Canaries have to look all the way back to December 1994 for their last win over the West London club, when a brace from Ashley Ward and a goal from Jamie Cureton guided them to a 3-0 home win.

We say: Norwich City 1-3 Chelsea

Although results haven't really gone Chelsea's way as yet, their creativity and quality in the final third should pay dividends against an entertaining but somewhat defensively limited Norwich side.

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