Chelsea’s Premier League title defence has been in shambles following the Blues utterly dismal performances this season and although they look on course to secure qualification out of their Champions League group, Jose Mourinho’s men are already out of the League Cup following a penalty shoot-out defeat to Stoke City.
But it appears the dark days may soon be over as some of the club’s underperforming stars showed glimpses of their past forms during the league defeat to Stoke prior to the international break. Eden Hazard, especially, looked a picture of last year’s PFA Player of the Year.
Now, the Blues will be expected to eke out a win over Norwich when the Canaries visit Stamford Bridge on Saturday. Here is how Chelsea are likely to line up:
Goalkeeper – Asmir Begovic
Thibaut Courtois has only played three league matches for Chelsea so far this season due to a knee injury, which has left Mourinho with no choice than to field Begovic in goal. Courtois has reportedly returned to training for the Blues, but Begovic is certain to resume duties against Norwich tomorrow.
Right-Back – Branislav Ivanovic
Ivanovic recently returned to action from a hamstring injury as the defender featured for Serbia during their 4-1 friendly defeat to Czech in the international break. The Serb is now expected to return for Chelsea, albeit he has been the Blues’ weakest link in defence so far this term. And it is hoped Ivanovic will return to his form of last season for Chelsea.
Central Defenders – John Terry and Gary Cahill
Chelsea captain seem to be finding his previous form as he was superb both against Dynamo Kyiv and Stoke. His experience and leadership will be needed against Norwich and is likely to start. Gary Cahill should partner the retired England international, as young Kurt Zouma could not be ready for the game following the recent terror attacks in France..
Left-Back – Cesar Azpilicueta
Azpilicueta has been Chelsea’s best defender this season. His form, consistency and defensive abilities should make him start ahead of Baba Rahman on Saturday.
Central Midfielders – Nemanja Matic/Ramires
Like many other Chelsea stars, Matic has suffered a drastic dip in form this season, but his presence in the Blues’ midfield will be highly needed to secure the three points against Norwich. Also, it would make sense to pitch Ramires alongside Matic due to the Brazilian’s work rate and utmost dedication.
Right-Wing – Willian
Willian has been Chelsea’s stand-out player so far this season and the Brazilian’s name should be the first on the list. The pacey winger was also immense for Brazil during the recent international game.
Attacking Midfielder – Cesc Fabregas
Although he has also suffered a dip in form this season, Fabregas’ performance for Spain during the 2-70 victory against England seems to be a pointer that the midfield is back to form and ready to help Chelsea.
Left-Wing – Eden Hazard
Hazard’s dip in form has been one of the Blues’ huge disappointments so far this term. But things are looking better for the player as he showed glimpses of his best form for Belgium during the international break.
Striker – Diego Costa
Chelsea’s best striker has failed to live up to expectations this season. The Spain international has been involved in goads rather than goalscoring and, Costa has to be in his best form on Saturday in order to help Chelsea secure maximum points.