Chelsea host Norwich on Sunday knowing they have a chance to win the Premier League title, but they need other results to go their way.
The Blues trail Liverpool by two points, and they lead Man City, who have a game in hand, by a point. With the season almost over, Chelsea are big outsiders for the trophy. Jose Mourinho has ruled out their chances of winning the title, but he’ll be expecting his side to finish strongly and win their last two.
Mourinho ruled out their title hopes after the Liverpool game, but said they still had a good season. “We are not in it,” said Mourinho. “The champions will be Liverpool or City. We have nothing to celebrate.”
The question is how much rotation will we see from the side that was in Champions League action in midweek (losing 3-1 to Atletico to exit the Champions League). Mourinho made seven changes for the trip to Liverpool, and we could see some more stars rested after Wednesday’s game, despite the Blues’ elimination from European competition.
Tomas Kalas’ impressive debut has increased their options in midfield, as has the return of Ashley Cole. With the heavily changed side managing a 2-0 win at Anfield last Sunday, Chelsea have the strength in depth to change things and still beat Norwich.
Frank Lampard, John Obi Mikel, Nemanja Matic and Mohammed Salah could all return after missing the Atletico game through suspension or ineligibility. This is Chelsea’s final home Premier League game of the season, so there should be a strong line up on show.
With Samuel Eto’o not featuring against Atletico, he could well make a return against Norwich, with Mourinho preferring him to the other strikers over the course of the season. After Wednesday night’s more defensive line up, Chelsea should name a more attacking side against the Canaries as they look to put on a show against doomed-looking Norwich.
Brazilian midfielder Ramires continues his suspension that started last weekend. He won’t feature in the Premier League again this season after his lash out during the defeat to Sunderland landed him a four game suspension. The return of John Terry in midweek was a massive boost, but he’s unlikely to be risked against Norwich.
Norwich come in to this game in desperate need of points, having dropped in to the relegation zone. They lost 4-0 at Old Trafford and offered up very little against Ryan Giggs’ side. They face Arsenal on the final day of the season, so their survival chances are looking slim to say the least.
Chelsea won this fixture 4-1 last season, and they’ll expect a similarly resounding win to wrap up the season, even with changes. Chelsea have been in great defensive form in the league, conceding the fewest goals in the division, and that should continue here with another clean sheet.
LCN Verdict: Chelsea to win 3-0