By 90Min
January 05, 2018

Reigning Premier League champions Chelsea will look to ensure safe passage into the fourth round of the FA Cup when they travel to Championship side Norwich City on Saturday evening.

Antonio Conte went all the way to the final in his first season - losing to Arsenal in May - and will be looking to go one better this time around. 

The seven-time winners haven't won the trophy since 2012, and will see the cup as a good opportunity to win something this season, with the defence of their Premier League title all but over.

Classic Encounter

En route to Chelsea's first title in 50 years back in 2004-05, the two sides met at Stamford Bridge just before Christmas, with the hosts sitting three points clear at the top of the table. The result was a fairly routine 4-0 win for the soon-to-be champions; mainly remembered for two sensational strikes from Arjen Robben and Frank Lampard.

The visitors started the game well enough, with a young David Bentley and Darren Huckerby causing problems for the resolute Blues, but were undone when Damien Duff latched on to a loose ball to put the home side in front.

Frank Lampard rifled a second into the top corner from all of 25 yards to double the advantage and set the 17th-placed Canaries on the way to a heavy defeat.

Then came Robben's brilliant intervention, with the Dutchman starting a move where Frank Lampard crosses into Tiago, and the Portuguese midfielder delicately laid the ball off to the winger, who thundered a volley past Robert Green from the edge of the box. 

It was a sublime team goal, with the effort featuring on most Goal of the Season lists for that year. Didier Drogba powered home a fourth late on, with the Ivorian scoring the seventh goal of his maiden season in England. 

Ben Radford/GettyImages

The comfortable victory put the Blues six clear at the summit, never releasing that grip on the way to a record 95 points; a record which still stands today. Norwich struggled for the rest of the season and ended up being relegated to the second tier on the final day.

Key Battles

David Luiz will have his work cut out trying to contain Cameron Jerome, with the imposing striker more than capable of causing the Chelsea defence problems on Saturday.

Nathan Stirk/GettyImages

Ivo Pinto will face the undoubted quality of Pedro on the Norwich right flank, with the Portuguese aiming to shut out the tricky Spaniard. Michy Batshuayi will have to overcome Grant Hanley and Timm Klose, with both Canaries centre-half possessing a physical advantage over the young Belgian.

Team News

Daniel Farke has a largely clean bill of health ahead of the weekend's game, with Cameron Jerome in contention to start against the Premier League champions. Louis Thompson however, remains out with a long-term tendon injury.

With the game falling in the middle of a league and cup double header against Arsenal, Antonio Conte will look to rest several first-team players, including the likes of Eden Hazard and N'Golo Kante.

Ethan Ampadu has impressed in the Carabao Cup this season and should be given another opportunity on Saturday. Fringe players such as Davide Zappacosta, Kenedy and Danny Drinkwater will get a run-out in the cup. Charly Musonda is near the end of his recovery from injury and could feature at some point.

Predicted Norwich Lineup: Gunn; Pinto, Hanley, Klose, Lewis; Tettey, Trybull; Pritchard, Wildschut, Murphy; Jerome.

Predicted Chelsea Lineup: Caballero; Rudiger, Luiz, Cahill; Zappacosta, Ampadu, Drinkwater, Kenedy; Willian, Batshuayi, Pedro.


Despite a probable full rotation of the Chelsea team, the west Londoners should have far too much for the Championship mid-table side, being in good form and primed for another tilt at the FA Cup.

Norwich will not roll over, but it will be a matter of time before they surrender to the world-class quality in Chelsea's squad, on the way to a routine victory.

Prediction: Norwich 0-3 Chelsea

You May Like

Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)