Norwich City vs. Chelsea: Preview, Team News, Projected Blues Starting XI

Rowanne WesthenryFeatured ColumnistDecember 24, 2012

Chelsea skipper John Terry will miss the Boxing Day clash as he continues his recovery from a knee injury.
Chelsea skipper John Terry will miss the Boxing Day clash as he continues his recovery from a knee injury.Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

This festive season will see Chelsea travel to Norwich City for their Boxing Day fixture. The Canaries will be looking to avenge their 4-1 defeat at Stamford Bridge, while the Blues will want to repeat the performance which saw them demolish Aston Villa 8-0 in their last match.

Norwich have recorded five important wins at Carrow Road this season, including beating both Manchester United and Arsenal 1-0. However, Chelsea have recently refound the form that saw them being courted as early title favourites, and Norwich will have to be at the top of their game to give their fans three points as a late Christmas present.

Grant Holt will make a welcome return for the home side, who are likely to field a strong team in a 4-2-3-1 formation. Chelsea will need to mark him closely, as he scored at Stamford Bridge. The other danger men for the East Anglian side include Hoolahan, Garrido and Pilkington.

Chelsea will be without John Terry, whose knee injury is taking longer than expected to heal, and Daniel Sturridge who looks to be on his way to Liverpool when the transfer window opens. After scoring two goals in just over half an hour against Aston Villa, it would be a surprise if Ramires doesn't get a place in the starting 11. Here is my predicted Chelsea starting 11, in a 4-2-3-1:

Petr Cech; Branislav Ivanovic, Gary Cahill, David Luiz, Ashley Cole; Ramires, Frank Lampard; Victor Moses, Juan Mata, Eden Hazard; Fernando Torres.

As they showed in their most recent league fixture, Chelsea carry goal threats across the park, with seven different player scoring against Villa, including one of their central defenders. If the Blues come out of this game with anything less than a win, they will most certainly be disappointed.