Rafa Benitez takes his Blues side to Carrow Road.
I’m sure many of you may wear a new item of clothing to whatever match you attend on Boxing Day after receiving it as a Christmas present; and if your team wins, that new apparel might be worn to the next game, as it brought a touch of good fortune for your team. Many of us have what seem to be crazy superstitions and rituals that we follow ahead of a match. Whether it be lucky socks, driving the same route to the ground, stopping at the same pub, eating the same pre-match meal or anything else.
A couple of weeks ago I received an email from a Norwich fan who had written on his blog about his own pre-match habit. It is slightly different from those listed above, in that he checks on the BBC Sport website to see which commentator has been assigned to cover the Canaries for Match of the Day.
Apparently if it is me then he is a happy chap. According to his wise words I have commentated on 15 Norwich matches over the past few years, and Norwich have lost only two of those. After checking this was indeed correct I emailed back and suggested in the nicest possible way that he might be clutching at straws; and to be fair, he readily agreed.
Chelsea recorded a 4-1 victory when these two sides met at Stamford Bridge back in early October. They start this match as favourites to do the double over the Norfolk side, particularly after the impressive way they swept aside Aston Villa at the weekend.
Norwich will be extra keen to return to winning ways after the defeat at West Brom ended their magnificent unbeaten run, and I can see this being a terrific match. Whether my new friend the Norwich blogger will still be my pal afterwards is another thing entirely!
SOURCE: BBC Sport
Kick-off 15.00 GMT
TV: Highlights, BBC ONE Match of the Day.
Norwich (Possible, 4-2-3-1): Bunn; Martin, Turner, Bassong, Garrido; Johnson, Tettey; Snodgrass, Hoolahan, Pilkington; Holt.
Out: Ruddy (thigh).
Tests: Holt (hamstring), R Bennett (knee), Surman (knee).
Chelsea (Possible, 4-2-3-1): Cech; Azpilicueta, Ivanovic, Cahill, Coles; Luiz, Mikel; Moses, Mata, Hazard; Torres.
Out: Romeu (knee),
Tests: Bertrand (unspecified), Terry (knee).
Referee: Jon Moss (Matches 9, R1 Y25).
Chelsea are unbeaten in their last eight matches against Norwich in all competitions.
Norwich’s only win in the last 11 meetings was a 3-0 home victory in the Premier League in December 1994 when Ashley Ward (two) and Jamie Cureton scored the goals.
In 35 league meetings between the sides, both clubs have won 12 matches each.
The Canaries have lost just one of their last five Boxing Day fixtures (W2 D2 L1).
Norwich’s 10-game unbeaten run came to an end away at West Brom. The Canaries have, though, won their last five home league games – all by single-goal margins. It equals their best-ever run of home form in the top flight.
In their 18 Premier League matches so far, Norwich have only scored more than one goal on four occasions.
Robert Snodgrass has scored more goals from direct free-kicks than any other Premier League player this term (three). He
has also scored (three) and assisted (two) in his last five league games.
Chelsea are unbeaten in their last seven Boxing Day matches (W3 D4 L0), but have drawn four of the last five.
Chelsea have only won six of their last 18 matches on Boxing Day (eight draws, four defeats), but are unbeaten in their last seven since a 4-2 defeat at Charlton in 2003.
The Blues have only won one of their last four away games in the Premier League.
Frank Lampard became Chelsea’s record top-flight league scorer at the weekend with 130 goals for the club, overtaking Bobby Tambling (129).
SOURCE: BBC Sport
Tickets still available for top football matches – Chelsea tickets