Chelsea – Norwich (FA Cup)
After missing the goalless draw in the first leg of the EFL Cup against the Gunners and the Foxes, in the Premier League, the Blues return to play at Stamford Bridge to receive Norwich in the replay match of the 3rd round. Chelsea thrashed Stoke City in the final game of 2017 (5-0), snatching second place in the Premier League to Manchester United, but lost it again after drawing in the first London derby of 2018 against Arsenal (2 -2). The previous weekend, the current Premier League champion did not go over the draw against Norwich, adding two new goalless draws, this time at home, against Arsenal and Leicester.
The Blue team has been left out of the fight for the title to add 47 points in 23 days, 15 less than Manchester City Guardiola. In the first year of Antonio Conte on the bench, the team won its second Premier League in three years. Despite the good performance of the team last season, the Londoners kept the black tradition of the last two seasons, in which the champion starts the next season making a fool of himself.
The Blues did not have enough to lose the Community Shield precisely to the Gunners, but they fell at home to Burnley (2-3). However, the following day won at Wembley at Tottenham (1-2), with two goals from Spaniard Marcos Alonso, beginning an improvement confirmed with wins against Everton (2-0) and Leicester (1-2), at the league competition, and the Qarabag (6-0) in the debut in the Champions League. Victory in the Wanda Metropolitan (1-2) opened a streak of three punctures (0-1 against City, 2-1 in their visit to Crystal Palace, 3-3 against AS Roma), broken the following weekend with a huge comeback against Watford (4-2). Since then, the team won the next three games without conceding a single goal (0-1 at Bournemouth, 1-0 at home against Manchester United, and 0-4 against West Bromwich), before tying at Anfield (1- 1), suffer to win at Swansea (1-0, beat Newcastle (3-1), lose to West Ham (1-0), win in their visit to Huddersfield Town on weekdays (1-3), defeat the Southampton (1-0) and a goalless draw at Goodison Park (0-0) At Boxing Day, Chelsea beat Brighton 2-0 before closing a great 2017 with a little hand on Stamford Bridge the Potters.
Eleven Probable: Courtois – Azpilicueta, David Luiz, Cahill – Zappacosta, Kante, Bakayoko, Alonso – William, Hazard, Morata.
The Norwich occupies the 13th position in the Championship, adding 39 points in the first 27 days, with a balance of 10 wins, 7 draws and 10 losses. The team coached by Daniel Farke, after losing consecutively in Leeds (1-0) and at home, against Brentford (1-2), has three wins (0-2 in Birmingham, 2-1 against Milwall at home) , and in Bristol by 0-1 last weekend) and a draw in the visit to Burton Albion.
Of the 27 goals (one per game average) scored by the Canaries, between the Portuguese Nelson Oliveira (7 goals in 21 games), and the English James Maddison (7 goals in 25 matches) and Josh Murphy (4 goals in 22 matches) days) add 18.
Eleven Probable: Angus Gunn, Ivo Pinto, James Husband, Alexander Tettey, Christoph Zimmermann – Mario Vrancic, Nelson Oliveira, Marley Watkins, Wesley Hoolahan, Tom Trybull, Grant Hanley.
The balance in more recent duels favors the Blues, with 10 wins, 4 draws and only two defeats against the Canaries, which won for the last time at Stamford Bridge in October 1993. The forecast is that the Blues will keep their goal to zero and they will win the game.