After a 0-0 draw at Carrow Road, Chelsea and Norwich City play again at Stamford Bridge with an eye on the FA Cup fourth round.

By 90Min
January 17, 2018

Last year's losing finalists Chelsea will look to avoid a fifth straight draw in all competitions when they host Championship side Norwich City in their FA Cup third-round replay. 

The two sides played out a tense 0-0 at Carrow Road just under two weeks ago, and the Premier League champions will look to ensure safe passage to round four this time around.

Antonio Conte's men have since been held by Arsenal in the Carabao Cup and Leicester City at the weekend and will be desperate to prove a point after not scoring in any of their last three matches.

Classic Encounter

Image by Jordan Sen

Sixteen years ago almost to the day, the two sides met at Stamford Bridge for another third-round replay in the 2001-02 season. The first game at Carrow Road had finished goalless, but the Blues overpowered the second-tier side to make a round four date with London rivals West Ham.

Mario Stanic's header from a Graeme Le Saux corner opened the scoring after 12 minutes, and the west Londoners went into the break with a single-goal lead. Frank Lampard added a second just before the hour mark, tapping in a Stanic effort which Rob Green found too hot to handle.

The game is mostly remembered for a brilliant individual goal from Gianfranco Zola: netting Chelsea's third and providing an all-time great FA Cup strike. With Le Saux whipping the ball in from the left, Zola got clear at the near post and delicately flicked it home with a rabona which flew past Green.

The Italian's majestic intervention lit up Stamford Bridge and killed the game off as a contest before Mikael Forssell slid in one minute from time to compound Norwich's misery.

Key Battles

David Luiz will have his work cut out trying to contain Nelson Oliveira, with the imposing striker more than capable of causing the Chelsea defence problems on Wednesday night.

Willian will be looking to atone for his rare poor showing at Carrow Road a fortnight ago and cause the Canaries no end of problems, with Jamal Lewis in for a testing night in west London.

Team News

Antonio Conte would have liked to hand a Chelsea debut to Ross Barkley, who signed from Everton for £15m earlier in the month. The midfielder has yet to play this season, having suffered a hamstring injury in August. Due to a registration issue, Barkley is ineligible to play in this round.

Youngsters such as Ethan Ampadu and Kenedy will get a run-out in the cup, with fringe players such as Davide Zappacosta also likely to start on Wednesday night. Gary Cahill will be sidelined, having come off injured against Leicester on Saturday with a hamstring problem.

Daniel Farke has a largely full squad available to him for the trip to Stamford Bridge. Nelson Oliviera should start again, despite rumours linking him with a move to Derby this month. Tom Trybull could be out, with the midfielder missing the weekend win at Bristol City with a back problem.

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

Predicted Norwich Lineup: Gunn; Pinto, Hanley, Klose, Husband; Tettey, Vrancic, Lewis; Maddison, Oliveira, Murphy.


Despite the champions' sketchy form in 2018 so far, drawing all four of their games, it would be a catastrophic surprise were they not to book a fourth-round date with Newcastle.

For all Norwich's commitment and excellent application at Carrow Road, the likes of Eden Hazard and perhaps the debuting Barkley should prove too much for the plucky Championship side. Antonio Conte's men will get a much-needed first win of 2018 ahead of their Carabao Cup semi-final second leg against Arsenal next week.

Prediction: Chelsea 2-0 Norwich

You May Like