Fresh off a monumental 2-0 win over Liverpool, Chelsea will look to keep their outside shot at the Premier League title alive when they host Norwich City on Sunday.
Losers of five matches in a row, the Canaries are desperate for a result as they seek to avoid the drop with just two matches left in the season, and a trip to Stamford Bridge is the last thing the team needed by now.
But with their backs against the wall, perhaps Norwich have it in them to do the impossible and, in the process, eliminate Jose Mourinho and his troops from the title race.
Date: Sunday, May 4
Time: 4 p.m. BST/11 a.m. ET
Venue: Stamford Bridge, London
Chelsea were able to overcome one of Europe's most in-form teams when they beat Liverpool on the previous matchday, but a semi-final exit at the Champions League semi-final stage and some banter between Mourinho and star winger Eden Hazard has the club in a bit of turmoil right now.
Per Het Laatste Nieuws' Kristof Terreur, Hazard stated his team weren't built to play football, and while that comment in itself didn't seem so harmful, his coach still wasn't too happy about it:
ESPN's Miguel Delaney shared Mourinho's response:
Mourinho has made it clear he regards the Belgian as integral to his team, and one can only assume this spat will be resolved internally before the end of the season.
Hazard has enjoyed an excellent season for the Blues, winning the PFA Young Player award, and one comment that could easily be misinterpreted shouldn't derail all of the hard work both the player and the coach have put in this season.
Having lost five matches in a row, Norwich have no one but themselves to blame for their current predicament, facing relegation as the team is tied on points with Sunderland, with the Cats sporting a better goal difference and holding a game in hand.
According to Pink'un's Paddy Davitt, Anthony Pilkington has been ruled out of the match with Chelsea, while Joseph Yobo's availability is still in doubt.
Chief Neil Adams was quoted, saying:
Mostly we have a fully-fit squad apart from just one or two. Anthony Pilkington has not trained with us this week but he is not far away. He will not travel because he hasn’t put in any sessions at all. We don’t know if that is him for the season. He has been out with the physios and hasn’t joined in the sessions with the lads this week.
In terms of the length of the injury we can’t say for the following weekend. He’s had it just over a week, getting on for two weeks now. He hurt a muscle in his hip flex area at the top of his leg when he was training and he said he just felt something so we sent him off for treatment and he’s back out there now with the physios.
Joseph Yobo trained most of the week but not today. There are one or two concerns about his calf and I don’t feel he is a million miles away but we have to make sure we are right with him. We will have a look again on Saturday morning. It is a case of taking advice from the physios. He has had a few scans on his calf and some treatment and he was able to train earlier in the week.
Chelsea's Ramires will be suspended for the rest of the season, while Petr Cech is not expected to play another minute before the end of the season.
Hazard made it back in time for the match against Atletico Madrid but seemed to be playing at less than 100 percent, and under normal circumstances, a chance to rest the Belgian against bottom-feeders Norwich would be welcomed.
In light of Mourinho's comments in response to Hazard, however, it will be interesting to see what the Portuguese manager does, as a decision to rest the Belgian international could easily be interpreted as punishment for his comments.
But with the season all but over, there seems to be little use in punishing the player now, as Mourinho would only risk alienating one of his biggest stars.
With or without Hazard, the Blues should have few problems taking care of business against a struggling Norwich team. While there are no such things as formalities in football, Chelsea simply have too much talent for the Canaries to handle.
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