Prediction & odds for the game: Chelsea (1/6) v Norwich (12/1)
When: Tuesday, 14th July @ 8.15pm K.O
Where: Stamford Bridge
Chelsea will attempt to get their push for a place in next season’s UEFA Champions League back on track against Norwich City.
At times, Chelsea have looked unstoppable under Frank Lampard – but every so often, they seem to let themselves down and leave many questioning whether or not they’re capable of becoming an elite team in English football once again. Of course, we’re in the very early days of the former midfielder’s tenure, and there’s still plenty of time left for him and the squad to grow. If they’re serious about a top four finish, though, they really need to sort themselves out from a defensive standpoint.
The 2-1 win over Manchester City that handed the title to Liverpool served as undeniable proof that they can do some great things in this league. They went on to edge past Leicester in their FA Cup quarter-final, only to fall to West Ham in an unorthodox 3-2 loss. They hit back in style with big wins over Watford and Crystal Palace before an utterly embarrassing 3-0 humbling courtesy of Sheffield United.
The Canaries’ relegation back down to the Championship has been confirmed, and at this stage, it’s all about trying to restore some pride for Daniel Farke and his team. Many still believe that the club has a bright future despite slipping through the trap door, and given the football that they’re capable of playing, we’re inclined to agree. Still, that doesn’t change the fact that there’s a whole lot they can learn from a campaign that failed to live up to the potential it had after the first few months of the season.
There’s no way of getting around it: Norwich have been extremely poor as of late. Their 1-0 loss to Everton was followed up by FA Cup heartbreak against Manchester United, and then against Arsenal, they were schooled in a 4-0 battering from the Gunners. They narrowly lost to Brighton & Watford in the space of three days, and then against West Ham, they were put to the sword as the Hammers put the final nail in their Premier League coffin.
Norwich shouldn’t be afraid to just go for it in their next few games, especially when you consider how shaky the Blues have been at the back. However, we still don’t think they’ll be able to break out of the funk they’ve been in since the restart – probably because there’s no real reason for them to fight anymore. It’s hard to motivate yourself when the outcome has pretty much already been determined, and for that reason, we’re going to predict a comfortable Chelsea victory.
We don’t think it’ll be a blowout, but we do think there will be a rare Blues clean sheet on Tuesday night. Therefore, we’re backing the under 2.5 goals market.
Verdict: Back the home win at odds of 1/6 and the under 2.5 goals scored at odds of 11/5. (All odds are taken from bet365).[geosnippet id=3620]