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Preview: Chelsea vs. Norwich City - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Tuesday's Premier League clash between Chelsea and Norwich City, including team news and predicted lineups.

Chelsea will be looking to bounce back from Saturday's loss at Sheffield United when they welcome already-relegated Norwich City to Stamford Bridge on Tuesday night.

The Blues lost 3-0 to Chris Wilder's side at Bramall Lane, while Norwich's relegation was confirmed on Saturday when they suffered a 4-0 defeat at home to West Ham United.

Match preview

Sheffield United's David McGoldrick scores against Chelsea in the Premier League on July 11, 2020© Reuters

The race for the top four in the Premier League is threatening to go to the wire, with Chelsea, Leicester City and Manchester United battling for the two spots behind Liverpool and Manchester City.

Fifth could yet be enough to qualify for next season's Champions League due to Man City's European ban, but there is no question that the three teams mentioned will be determined to finish inside the top four.

Chelsea currently hold third, but Saturday's loss to the Blades mean that Leicester and Man United will both have the chance to go above them when they play their respective matches on Sunday and Monday.

As a result, Frank Lampard's side could be down in fifth by the time that they take to the field for this match and another poor result against Norwich might leave them vulnerable to the teams behind them.

Chelsea will fancy their chances of picking up a positive result, though, having won each of their last four Premier League games at Stamford Bridge, including victories over Manchester City and Watford since returning to the field following the league's postponement.

Norwich City boss Daniel Farke on June 24, 2020© Reuters

Norwich, meanwhile, will already be thinking about next season, having had their relegation back to the Championship confirmed on Saturday afternoon.

It was only a matter of time before the drop was confirmed, but there is no question that their supporters would have been incredibly disappointed with the manner of the defeat to West Ham, who ran riot at Carrow Road courtesy of four goals from Michail Antonio.

The Canaries have now lost each of their last eight games in all competitions, including seven in the Premier League, while they have managed just one goal in their six league games since the lockdown period.

Just five wins and 24 defeats from their 35 matches this season is an indication of their struggles in England's top flight, while they are comfortably the lowest scorers in the division with 26.

A trip to Stamford Bridge is not quite what the team would have wanted after a four-goal loss at home to West Ham, but the pressure is now arguably off Farke's side, which could give them a boost.

Chelsea Premier League form: WWLWWL
Chelsea form (all competitions): WWLWWL

Norwich Premier League form: LLLLLL
Norwich form (all competitions): LLLLLL

Team News

Chelsea midfielder N'Golo Kante pictured on July 4, 2020© Reuters

Chelsea will again be without the services of Billy Gilmour for this match due to a long-term knee injury, but N'Golo Kante and Fikayo Tomori are both in contention to make their returns.

Kante could ultimately be saved for the FA Cup semi-final against Man United on July 19, though, with Lampard unlikely to take any chances on the hamstring problem which has recently ruled the Frenchman out.

There are expected to be alternations from the clash with Sheffield United, meaning that Antonio Rudiger, Marcos Alonso and Olivier Giroud are all in contention to start.

Mateo Kovacic was on the bench against the Blades after overcoming a slight problem, meanwhile, and the Croatia international could return to the XI on Tuesday night.

As for Norwich, Grant Hanley, Christoph Zimmermann, Moritz Leitner and Sam Byram remain unavailable for selection, but the Canaries did not pick up any fresh problems against West Ham.

Todd Cantwell should return to the starting XI, having been named on the bench against the Hammers, while Kenny McLean is also in line to feature in the middle of the park.

Farke is not expected to make wholesale changes, though, meaning that Teemu Pukki, who scored the last of his 11 Premier League goals back in January, should lead the line.

Chelsea possible starting lineup:
Kepa; James, Christensen, Rudiger, Azpilicueta; Mount, Kovacic, Barkley; Pulisic, Giroud, Willian

Norwich possible starting lineup:
Krul; Aarons, Godfrey, Klose, Lewis; McLean, Tettey; Hernandez, Cantwell, Buendia; Pukki

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We say: Chelsea 3-0 Norwich

Chelsea will be determined to return to winning ways following the disappointment of Saturday's defeat at Bramall Lane, and it is difficult to back against the home side. Norwich have really struggled to compete in recent weeks, and we are expecting a routine home success for the Blues.


Who will win Tuesday's Premier League clash between Chelsea and Norwich City?

Norwich City
Norwich City
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Billy Gilmour in action for Chelsea on March 8, 2020
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