Do the Blues need to be patient?

The ninth matchday in the English Premier League has some interesting top matches in store this weekend. The clearest constellation in terms of the standings, however, can be found in the capital. In the west of London, more precisely at Stamford Bridge, it comes to the duel of the leader against the bottom of the table. Chelsea receives Norwich. Odds of maximum 1.20 for a home win underline the Blues’ overwhelming role as favourites.

Coach Thomas Tuchel is not completely free of worries at the moment. The reason for this is the injuries to both striker Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner, both of whom will not be available on Saturday lunchtime. In addition, the visitors have shown an upward trend of late and have even scored twice in a row. Can the Canaries pull off a surprise coup?

If we look at the statistics, then it is not necessarily to be assumed that a prediction on a point win for the bottom team between Chelsea and Norwich will pay off. For one thing, German coach Daniel Farke’s side are winless in 16 Premier League away games, and for another, the last time a bottom-placed team in England’s top flight managed to beat the league leaders was in 2011.

Chelsea – Statistics & current form

Sportingly, Wednesday night’s Champions League home game against Malmo went absolutely to plan. Christensen and Jorginho had shot out a commanding 2:0 lead in the first half, which was extended to 4:0 after the break by Havertz and again Jorginho. After the bitter 1-0 defeat at Juventus on matchday two, the defending champions returned to winning ways and are now back in second place in Group H. However, the Blues also had to concede two goals.

However, the Blues had to cope with two serious setbacks: Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner, both of whom had been on the pitch from the start, had to be substituted with injuries before half-time. Although coach Tuchel has since given the all-clear and announced that his two strikers will only miss a few days, they are not an option for the upcoming home game against Norwich.

Who will step into the breach for Lukaku and Werner?

Sometimes exactly this results in betting opportunities that we would not have had on our radar under “normal circumstances”. For example, in the Chelsea vs. Norwich clash, it seems anything but hopeless that a bet on the home side not leading after 45 minutes will go through. Although the Blues have won four of their last five league games, they have only scored three of their ten goals before the break. In general, the 2021 Champions League winners are more convincing defensively than offensively.

Without Lukaku, Werner and Pulisic, who is still unavailable, the hopes in attack rest on Havertz, Mount and Loftus-Cheek. In terms of penetrating power, tempo, effectiveness and coolness, a loss of quality cannot be ignored.

Since the home match against the bottom team will kick off only 48 hours after the Champions League match against Malmö and the next League Cup match is already on the agenda on Tuesday, slight concentration problems may be expected. So it’s quite possible that the Tuchel team will only take control of the game in the second half. We definitely don’t believe in a landslide victory this weekend. The main thing will be to avoid dropping unnecessary points in the race for the English championship. Regardless of how the victory comes about and how high it ultimately turns out to be

Predicted Chelsea line-up:
Mendy – Rudiger, Christensen, Chalobah – Alonso, Jorginho, Kovacic, James – Mount, Loftus-Cheek – Havertz

Last matches played by Chelsea:

Champions League Grp. H
10/20 2021 – Chelsea London 4 – 0 Malmö FF

Premier League
10/16 2021 – Brentford 0 – 1 Chelsea London

10/02 2021 – Chelsea London 3 – 1 Southampton

Champions League Grp. H
09/29 2021 – Juventus Turin 1 – 0 Chelsea London

Premier League
09/25 2021 – Chelsea London 0 – 1 Manchester City

Norwich – Statistics & current form

At promoted Norwich City, they are already content with the smallest of successes these days and weeks. Admittedly, one can feel quite sorry for the Canaries. The last victory in the English top flight dates back to January 2020, followed by relegation to the Championship, immediate re-promotion and another false start to the next Premier League adventure.

In 2021/22, Daniel Farke’s team has only two points after eight matchdays. No team has scored fewer goals than the Canaries so far this season. Only two goals have been scored so far by the bottom team.

Defensive stability has increased

Nevertheless, there is currently reason for hope, as the promoted team has earned a point from each of its last two games. Both at Burnley FC and at home against the surprisingly strong Brighton the score was 0-0 after 90 minutes. If keeper Krul keeps his box clean again, it would be the first time since 2012 (!) that the 20th in the Premier League managed three clean sheets in a row.

In general, the goal-scoring record must be viewed in a more differentiated way: Only six of the 16 goals conceded were in the first half. In the first eight matchdays, the Canaries were only behind at the break three times, including against Liverpool (0:1) and Manchester City (0:2). So the Farke eleven is certainly capable of at least keeping the first half even at Stamford Bridge. Between Chelsea and Norwich, the odds on the X2 until the break promise attractive value in any case.

The top priority for the bottom team will logically be to keep the score as close to zero as possible. Whether the underdogs believe in scoring a goal of their own, however, is open to doubt, especially as they have scored only four goals in their past 16 winless away games in the Premier League. The Canaries are yet to score away from home this season. Zimmermann and Gilmour will certainly be missing. There are question marks over Placheta, Byram and Cantwell’s appearances.

Predicted Norwich line-up:
Krul – Gibson, Hanley, Kabak – Giannoulis, McLean, Normann, Lees-Melou, Aarons – Pukki, Sargent

Last matches played by Norwich:

Premier League
10/16 2021 – Norwich 0 – 0 Brighton

10/02 2021 – Burnley 0 – 0 Norwich

09/25 2021 – Everton 2 – 0 Norwich

Carabao Cup
09/21 2021 – Norwich 0 – 3 Liverpool FC

Premier League
09/18 2021 – Norwich 1 – 3 Watford

Chelsea – Norwich Direct Comparison / H2H Balance

The direct comparison is also clearly in favour of the home side, who have won ten of their last twelve Premier League games against Norwich (two draws). It is almost 27 years since the Blues last lost to the Canaries in the top flight. The visitors are also hampered by the fact that they have lost all of their last ten league games in the capital.

However, there is a glimmer of hope: the last four head-to-head meetings between these teams in the Premier League have all ended with Chelsea FC leading by no more than one goal. Only in two of the last five encounters did the Blues already lead at half-time…

Chelsea – Norwich Tip

When the top of the Premier League meets the bottom, there can only be one winner. At least that has been the case in eleven of the last twelve matches in which this constellation has prevailed. On Saturday lunchtime, too, we have no doubt whatsoever that after 90 minutes between Chelsea and Norwich, the betting odds on the home win will pay off. However, the road there could be a little rockier than some are currently expecting.

This is not least due to the fact that Lukaku and Werner, the two attackers who usually score the most goals, are both out injured. Added to this is the short recovery period after the success in the top flight against Malmö, as well as the fact that the Tuchel team has only scored six goals in the first 45 minutes in eight games so far this season.

Combined with the new defensive stability at the bottom of the table, who have played 0-0 twice in a row recently and have conceded just three first-half goals in their past six matches, we wouldn’t be surprised if a double chance X2 bet goes through in the Chelsea vs Norwich clash.

The Blues’ short-staffed attack will have problems against the deep Canaries defence.

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