FA Cup [Preview]: Chelsea vs Norwich City

Chelsea play host to Norwich City in Wednesday night’s FA Cup third-round replay at Stamford Bridge. The Blues have gone goalless for three successive games for the first time in their history, and manager Antonio Conte will want a better showing versus the Canaries, though he is expected to rotate his players.

The west London giants have not quite replicated the form from the previous campaign, and they go into the midweek game on the back of two successive draws in the English top-flight. As a result, the Blues are positioned fourth in the standings, three points ahead of Tottenham Hotspur, who are likely to pose a threat to their Champions League spot.

In contrary, Daniel Farke’s side have built up an impressive streak since Boxing Day with three victories and one draw in the Championship. Due to this, they are within six points off Sheffield United, who are currently clinging onto the final playoff position.

Players to watch for:

Michy Batshuayi – Chelsea: The Belgium international has struggled for regular playing time once more with Antonio Conte sticking with Alvaro Morata upfront. Batshuayi has popped up with valuable winners for the Blues over the past 18 months, and he is likely to get the opportunity to impress his manager. The former Marseille man has failed to find the scoresheet since October and the midweek game could determine whether he could stay put at Stamford Bridge beyond the current transfer window. The striker is currently of loan interest to Spanish side Sevilla.

James Maddison – Norwich City: The Championship normally provides the platform for young players to progress into the top-flight, and Maddison is doing the right things at the moment. The 21-year-old is presently attracting interest from England’s elite, and it does not come as a surprise with eight goals and as many assists in his breakthrough season at Norwich (ESPN). The youngster, who features in the number 10 role, is technically precise with his passing and set-piece taking skills, and the likes of David Luiz may have a tough time handling the exuberance of youth, as some may say.

Prediction:

Chelsea 1-0 Norwich City

Image – Getty