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1 March 2016

Canaries in midweek action against Premier League holders

ALEX Neil knows that a midweek victory over in-form Chelsea would be a major boost to Norwich City's survival hopes.

The Canaries have come close to ending their eight-match winless sequence before, losing two-goal leads against both Liverpool and West Ham United before being narrowly beaten late on against Leicester City at the weekend.

Guus Hiddink's Blues, who are unbeaten in the Premier League since the Dutchman took charge, visit Carrow Road on Tuesday evening (7.45pm).

Neil told Norwich City TV: "In recent weeks we've had games where we've been in control of them, but for one reason or another we've let a lead slip or found ourselves on the wrong end of the result.

"Obviously I'm hoping that it's going to change on Tuesday. If we can get something out of the game then it would be a huge bit of encouragement going into Saturday's match.

"When we played Arsenal and Everton at home recently, we gave a really good account of ourselves and there's no reason why this can't be the same."

Neil adopted a different system against the Foxes on Saturday, with Ryan Bennett, Russell Martin and Timm Klose utilised as central defenders in a 3-4-3 formation.

When asked whether it's feasible that he could go with the same approach against Chelsea, he kept his cards close to his chest.

"I've used it a few times but generally I think it's best suited when you're playing against a front two," said Neil.

"When the opposition play one up front, you end up with the three centre-backs occupying one striker which allows them to overload other areas.

"We've got to bear in mind how comfortable some of the players look in it, but also whether it is best suited to win other games."

On their opponents' form, Neil added: "I just think their players seem to be performing better. Why that is the case I'm not quite sure.

"They're going to come and try to open the pitch up and be really aggressive and attacking. It's about how we cope with that and then carry out own threat at the top end of the pitch as well."

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