Norwich City - Chelsea Preview: Blues hope to extend unbeaten streak while Canaries resist relegation

The Blues will travel to Carrow Ridge Road on Tuesday with high hopes of earning yet another three points while the home side will desperately attempt to stay above the bottom three.

Norwich City - Chelsea Preview: Blues hope to extend unbeaten streak while Canaries resist relegation
Image credit: VAVEL (Jonny Walsh)

Norwich City will host Chelsea on Tuesday, and they will need a sound performance to stop the Blues, who are unbeaten in the Premier League since Guus Hiddink took the reins in December.

Match facts

Norwich are barely above water in the Premier League currently, sitting above the relegation zone on goal difference alone. In their past seven fixtures, they are winless, having only managed to pick up one point. Additionally, they have conceded more goals than any other Premier League side, and a loss by two goals or more on Tuesday could see them fall into dangerous waters.

The Canaries were able to find some positives in their recent loss to current table-toppers Leicester City, however. Despite their defensive woes, they managed to hold Leicester to a draw for most of the match before Leonardo Ulloa clinched it for the Foxes. If they perform like that more often, they could possibly avoid relegation.

Chelsea, on the other hand, have been experiencing a spectacular run of form since Hiddink's takeover. They came back from behind to beat Southampton at St. Mary's on Saturday, keeping them unbeaten in their last 10 league matches and earning them their first back-to-back win of the season. Diego Costa, Cesc Fabregas, Eden Hazard, and Branislav Ivanovic, all criticised in the first half of the season for poor form, are now resembling their old selves under the new manager.

Branislav Ivanovic netted the header that won Chelsea the game on Saturday. (John Sibley: Reuters)
Branislav Ivanovic netted the header that won Chelsea the game on Saturday. (John Sibley: Reuters)

A win at Carrow Ridge Road would see the Blues reach the top half of the table, further buoying their confidence. A top four win still seems unattainable, but the Blues are slowing inching their way back up there regardless.

Chelsea

Pedro will miss the match due to a hamstring injury picked up in the first few minutes of Chelsea's clash with Southampton. John Terry, Radamel Falcao, and Kurt Zouma are still out due to injury.

Nemanja Matic could spend the match on the bench again on Tuesday, having fallen behind John Obi Mikel in the pecking order in west London. In addition, Abdul Rahman Baba, who was punished for allowing Southampton to open the scoring over the weekend by being taken off at the half, may again be replaced by Kenedy, who was praised by the manager after his second half performance.

Alexandre Pato, who has been training to reach match fitness, could make his first Chelsea debut after joining the Blues on loan in January.

Norwich

Andre Wisdom will sit out the game with a knee injury, while loanee Patrick Bamford will be ineligible to face the Blues as well. Manager Alex Neil may also be without Sebastian Bassong and Wes Hoolahan, who were absent from the defeat to Leicester, pending whether or not they pass late fitness tests.

Steven Naismith, who has scored six goals in seven appearances against Chelsea, will likely start for the Canaries.