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This Wednesday night, under the floodlights of Carrow Road, a resilient Norwich City will be pitted against a rising and a rejuvenated Chelsea. While on the paper, it looks like an easy fixture for Chelsea we have to keep in mind two things. Firstly, it’s a game in the Premier League, where a team battling for survival is as tough as the team challenging for the title and secondly, with a really crucial champions league match against Paris St.Germain looming large, Guus Hiddink has a lot to ponder on whom to select with Kennedy, Ruben Loftus-Cheek all in the mix, raring to get an opportunity and deliver.
*Chelsea have quite openly announced that they will be resting their key striker Diego Costa for either of the next two Premier League fixtures coming up that is either against Norwich or Stoke City.
*Striker Alexandre Pato, signed in the January Transfer Window is finally available for selection after regaining fitness and he is assured of a debut as well. He may come on as a substitute in the second half against Norwich.
* Captain John Terry has regained his fitness as well although his hamstring looks vulnerable. He is available for selection should he pass a fitness test but Hiddink placing him in the eleven looks unlikely because Ivanovic and Cahill have formed a formidable pair at the back so far.
Strongest possible Chelsea Eleven that can easily beat Norwich:-
Formation : 4-2-3-1
Goal Keeper: Thibaut Courtois
Goal Keeper Curtois is an indispensable part of this Chelsea team and quite rightly so. Thibaut is probably one of the best young keepers emerging in this world and once again he’ll look to prove as to why he’s one of the best when he takes his place between the poles at Carrow Road.
* Caesar Azpilicueta, a familiar Right Back now will retain his place in the Chelsea eleven and he’ll look to provide attacking forays as well as defensive support for Chelsea.
* Centre-backs are going to be Cahill and Ivanovic and this is highly likely because Ivanovic is one of the best physical defenders in the league and Cahill is calculative as it is and both of them together have formed a formidable partnership so far in the absence of Terry and they’ll look to keep a clean sheet away.
* Baba Rahman was distraught after playing a part that led to Southampton’s goal and in the second half, his replacement Kennedy impressed and I feel Kennedy will get the nod to finally start for Chelsea after a long time and Baba might be rested.
Midfield and Wingers:
* Cesc Fabregas and Nemanja Matic are expected to start with Mikel probably getting a deserving rest and Ruben Loftus-Cheek may come on in the second half.
*Eden Hazard is showing glimpses of his old and he along with Willian and Pedro are expected to start again but although this is not really clear because even Oscar might get the nod to impress with either of Hazard or Willian getting rested.
This is the most unclear part of the Chelsea team. Diego Costa is set to be rested but either of him or Bertrand Traore will start against Norwich City with Pato coming on to make his debut as a substitute in the second half.
Full predicted XI: Courtois, Azpilicueta, Cahill, Ivanovic, Kennedy, Fabregas, Matic, Willian, Hazard, Pedro, Diego