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Club News

In Focus: Chelsea

5 January 2018

Norwich City play host to Premier League champions Chelsea on Saturday, January 6 in the Emirates FA Cup third round (5:30pm).

With the Blues coming into the game off the back of a pulsating 2-2 draw at Arsenal on Wednesday, we take an in-depth look at Antonio Conte's side. 

Star Players
Where to start? Eden Hazard returned from an underwhelming 2015-16 campaign to reassume his place as one of the most creative talents in world footbal last season.

The 26-year-old attacker suffered a prolonged dip in form which was symbolic of Chelsea's overall malaise two seasons ago, but in 2016-17 struck 17 times in all competitions as Chelsea romped to the Premier League title.

Hazard has largely maintained that level this time around while also, typically, laying on plenty of goals for others with his relentless invention.

Among those players to have benefitted from that is Marcos Alonso, an arguably unlikely scorer of six top-flight goals already this term.

Alonso's surging runs from wing-back enscapsulate the fluidity of Chelsea's system under Antonio Conte, with Cesar Azpilicueta proving himself as a constant creative hub on the opposite side of the pitch.

The Spanish defender has six assists to his name so far this season, with many of those coming as part of a thriving combination with compatriot Alvaro Morata.

Last Time Out
Midweek saw a high-octane Premier League clash between Chelsea at their fellow London heavyweights Arsenal at The Emirates Stadium.

The two sides shared an incredible 33 chances across the night, with outstanding goalkeeping displays from Petr Cech and Thibaut Courtois a central theme.

It was their respective performances which ensured the first goal didn't come until after the hour-mark, when Jack Wilshere lashed home ferociously to put the hosts in front.

That lead would only last four minutes however, with Eden Hazard converting from the spot after he was adjudged to have been fouled by Hector Bellerin.

With six minutes left to play, Marcos Alonso flicked home David Zappacosta's cross to strike what appeared to be a decisive blow in the contest.

However, Bellerin's sublime half-volley in injury-time earned a share of the spoils - albeit courtesy of Zappacosta's rasping drive in the dying seconds crashing off the crossbar.

Previous Meeting
Norwich City last met Chelsea in March of the 2015-16 Premier season, where the Blues edged their way to a 2-1 triumph at Carrow Road.

The visitors made a rapid start, striking within 40 seconds when full-back Kenedy netted to register the fastest goal of the season.

Diego Costa doubled the advantage on the stroke of half-time in contentious fashion, bursting from an offside position before placing beyond John Ruddy.

Alex Neil's Canaries responded well after the break, and went close when Cameron Jerome struck the woodwork.

Nathan Redmond pulled one back as the hosts began to threaten more regularly, but were ultimately defeated by a Chelsea side who looked revitalised under former returning manager Guus Hiddink.

Squad List
Goalkeepers: Thibaut Courtois, Eduardo, Willy Caballero.

Defenders: Marcos Alonso, Cesar Azpilicueta, Gary Cahill, Andreas Christensen, Jake Clark-Salter, David Luiz, Victor Moses, Baba Rahman, Antonio Rudiger, Davide Zappacosta.

Midfielders: Ethan Ampadu, Tiemoue Bakayoko, Danny Drinkwater, Cesc Fabregas, Eden Hazard, N'Golo Kante, Kenedy, Charly Musonda Jr, Pedro, Kyle Scott, Willian.

Forwards: Michy Batshuayi, Alvaro Morata.

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