Former Bolton teammates Elmander and Cahill reunitedThere are a number of interesting links between some Norwich City players and their Chelsea counterparts to discover ahead of this weekend’s game.
JOHN Ruddy was in the same England team as Frank Lampard and Gary Cahill when he won his solitary cap for his country against Italy in August 2012, while veteran Canaries goalkeeper Carlo Nash provided back-up to Mark Schwarzer for Middlesbrough between 2003 and 2005.
Team Captain Sebastien Bassong has been an international teammate of Blues’ forward Samuel Eto’o with Cameroon since 2009, although there is a significant difference in their cap haul with Eto’o’s 112 appearances dwarfing Bassong’s 15.
One of his central defensive partners, Joseph Yobo, will line-up opposite fellow Nigeria international John Obi Mikel if both are selected at Stamford Bridge on Sunday. Yobo has been missing with a calf injury since the defeat to West Bromwich Albion at the beginning of April.
Bradley Johnson progressed through Arsenal’s Academy a few age-groups behind Chelsea and England left-back Ashley Cole, although while the latter was offered professional terms at the North London club, Johnson was forced to prove himself through the lower leagues before getting his chance in the Premier League with the Canaries.
Leroy Fer was blooming into a promising midfielder in Feyenoord’s first team at the same time as fellow Dutchman Nathan Ake was moving through their youth system at a rate that persuaded Chelsea to sign him in 2011. Ake went on to make his league debut for the Blues against Norwich City on Boxing Day last season.
Jonas Gutierrez and Demba Ba were clubmates at Newcastle United during the latter’s spell on Tyneside between June 2011 and January 2013. Gutierrez played 177 times for the Magpies before joining City on loan in the last transfer window.
You can expect a warm handshake between Johan Elmander and Cahill this weekend after they spent three seasons together at Bolton Wanderers between 2008 and 2011, reaching an FA Cup Semi-Final before Elmander transferred to his parent club Galatasaray.
There should also be pleasantries between Ricky van Wolfswinkel and Marco van Ginkel, with the Dutch internationals having honed their skills at the same Academy, that of Eredivisie side Vitesse.