It’s guest blog time again, and here Peter Divey (aka Cobwatch) gives us his thoughts on what Saturday may bring…
Chelsea come calling next and Daniel Farke crosses swords with a manager who has no advantage in Premier League experience. And less wins.
Frank Lampard will be given time, a popular, legendary player, but there are expectations and standards to meet. Many Chelsea fans and websites are already describing the match as a must-win.
The gap to Liverpool and Arsenal is already five points. It must not become a widened and unbridgeable chasm with any more undue haste. A season of transition and rebuilding will only be tolerated so far. The transfer embargo is not seen as any limitation in a game against Norwich.
Most seem confident of a Chelsea win, as do the bookies. Norwich looked good in their last game, but it was Newcastle, not Norwich, who were doing their best imitation of a relegation certainty.
Chelsea started very brightly against Manchester United. The game was enjoyable because it was very open. End to end stuff with the midfield mostly notable by its absence. The final result was harsh on Chelsea. As the Norwich fans did after Anfield, Chelsea fans took away as many positives as possible after a heavy loss.
Chelsea were competitive in a Super Cup penalty kick loss to Liverpool before meeting Leicester. Again Chelsea started brightly before allowing Leicester to grow into the game. Chelsea were hanging on for the point at the end.
The Blues were tired, goes the thinking, fading because of the demands of that recent strenuous extra-time match. Against Norwich, Chelsea will be fresh with returnees from injury likely further bolstering the squad.
Chelsea fans are already discussing the simple plan that will ensure victory against Norwich. Mark Pukki into oblivion:
“He is the only threat that Norwich possesses”
“Chelsea should then easily win by a goal or two because the Norwich defence is poor and always liable to a few mistakes”
“They have already let in five”
Daniel Farke will be as curious as you and me to measure his side against Chelsea. Confidence will be high, and Carrow Road will again be a cauldron. More of the same will be the message.
The style of play will be no mystery to anyone, least of all Chelsea. Norwich will not set out to specifically counter any particular Chelsea strengths but will present the best of themselves and in so doing will try to bend Chelsea to respond to their threats.
Newcastle could not cope. Daniel Farke will anticipate further development and improvement from his Norwich side.
City are good enough to survive in the Premier League when on the ball already. Much of the coaching will have been about the big strides needed when off the ball. Primarily, but not solely, concentrating on defence.
One thing has bugged me for many years about Norwich. Poor use of the throw-in. Often no one moves and an outlet is quickly marked, and loss of possession occurs far too regularly.
Prediction time. Well, I have been rubbish so far. I went for 3-3 at Anfield. I know, over-excitement tinted with rose-coloured spectacles. Then it was 2-2 for Newcastle. Pleased I was wrong about that.
I know exactly what Norwich will bring, but it is unclear how we will match up against this slow-starting Chelsea side quality-wise. At their best, they look great, but they seem unable to keep it up.
So, I am going for a 3-2 win for Norwich. It will be a thriller as City come from behind. Come on, feel the noise!