Frank Lampard takes his wards to Norwich in Saturday’s early kickoff match with the Chelsea manager still in search of his first league win since taking over from Maurizio Sarri.
It has not been the fairytale homecoming that Blues fans would have been dreaming of with the Europa League winners still in possession of just a point after two matches. On Match Day 1, Chelsea were demolished 4-0 at Old Trafford in Lampard’s Premier League debut as a manager.
While sketches of improvement were noticeable during the Super Cup final defeat to Liverpool, Chelsea thereafter delivered a lackluster performance at Stamford Bridge last weekend and were lucky to see the game end in a 1-1 draw.
The Pensioners travel to Norwich to face a side high on confidence and super motivated to go for the maximum points. The newly promoted side were torn apart by a rampant Liverpool attack in their Premier League curtain raiser and only an improved second half performance limited the damage to a 4-1 loss.
The Canaries, inspired by a Teemu Pukki sensational hat trick, recovered brilliantly from that opening day disaster to flog Newcastle 3-1 and register their first points of the season. It is for them the perfect time to face a stuttering top 6 opponent.
But Can the Blues cage the Canaries?
The hunt for a first win and the maximum three points as Chelsea manager continues for Lampard but getting it at Carrow Road might prove difficult.
The Blues have been woeful on foreign soils. Away from home, Chelsea have failed to win each of their last 5 matches. Things get even worse when limited to Premier League fixtures, where they have won 2, drawn 2, and lost 6 of their last 10 away days.
Chelsea have gone 4 Premier League away matches without a win (W0 D2 L2), failing to score in three of those games. The Blues last endured a longer away winless streak during a 7 game run between September and December 2015 under Jose Mourinho (6) and Guus Hiddink (1).
Norwich, on the other hand, are unbeaten at home in competitive action since January, winning 8 of their 11 matches at Carrow Road since.
Norwich are looking to win three consecutive Premier League home games for the first time since December 2012 (when they put together a run of 5).
Possible Chelsea Line up: 4-2-3-1
Kepa; Azpilicueta, Zouma, Christensen, Emerson; Jorginho, Kante; Willian, Barkley, Pulisic; Abraham.
Man to Watch
With 4 goals in his first two matches, Teemu Pukki sits atop the Premier League’s goal scorer’s chart.
The Finnish striker was the top scorer in the Championship last term and he now boasts of 9 goals in his last 9 competitive games for Norwich.
Pukki terrorised the Newcastle defence to no end and there’s no reason he can’t do the same to a fragile looking Chelsea back line on Saturday either.
Norwich possess an exciting attacking weapon in their fold and once unleashed may much more in store than what Chelsea defenders can tame.
Certainly there is always the IDD goal or two in this Chelsea team. A both team to score tip look solid.
However, considering the confidence boost the home team built last weekend and Chelsea’s poor showing so far, there’s a strong chance that the match may favour the Canaries, making a Norwich Double Chance tip sound like fantastic value for money.