Betting preview: Chelsea vs Norwich - back the Blues, even with a lack of strikers

It's a top versus bottom clash in the Premier League this weekend at Stamford Bridge. Have injuries to key Chelsea players given Norwich a glimmer of hope?

Chelsea had a mini blip at the end of September, and when we say 'mini' it really is just that, especially given the opposition they faced.

They lost two matches, both 1-0, against top quality opposition. Manchester City beat the Blues at Stamford Bridge in the Premier League then Juventus got the better of them in the Champions League.

Since then they have won three matches on the spin, two of which came in the Premier League.

Norwich, meanwhile, would give anything for just one of those wins. The Canaries have just two points and are still winless in the Premier League this season. Unsurprisingly they find themselves rooted to the foot of the table.

Crucially, though, they are not yet out of touch. Four points separate them from 17th placed Leeds going into the game at Stamford Bridge, and if they can get a shock win in the early kick-off it would certainly put a bit of pressure on those above them.

When, where and how to watch

When: Saturday, October 23, 12.30pm BST

Where: Stamford Bridge

How to watch: BT Sport 1

Chelsea vs Norwich best bets

Chelsea to win first half 2-0 at 4/1

Jorginho to score anytime at 15/8

Red card in the match at 21/4

Last time out

Brentford 0-1 Chelsea (October 16, 2021)

Chelsea travelled to Brentford last time out and they once again showed they can grind out a hard-earned three points when needed.

The winner came from an unlikely source too, with Ben Chilwell firing home in spectacular style on the brink of half-time.

Chelsea were, though, reliant on a superb performance from goalkeeper Edouard Mendy, and they rode their luck too with Bryan Mbeumo twice hitting the woodwork.

However, they say that the best teams find a way to win when they are not at their best, and Chelsea certainly did that at the Brentford Community Stadium.

Norwich 0-0 Brighton (October 16, 2021)

This match was Norwich's second successive 0-0 draw and shows that some defensive stability is creeping into their formation. Whether it will keep them up is another question.

But Brighton, however well they have done so far this season, is one of those games you have to target to win if you want to keep yourselves up.

It was neither a good nor a bad result for Norwich, but it does leave you wondering where the goals are going to come from.

By no stretch of the imagination was it a classic, and Brighton probably shaded it in terms of chances, so Norwich know they have plenty of work left to do.

Premier League - Chelsea vs Norwich head-to-head

Chelsea wins: 11

Draws: 3

Norwich wins: 4

Chelsea goals: 32

Norwich goals: 18

How good are Chelsea without Lukaku?

Romelu Lukaku rubs hands together

Chelsea are top of the Premier League and deservedly so, and it's starting to look like they are the team to beat this year if you want to win the title.

One key difference from last season, though, has been Romelu Lukaku leading the line.

The Belgian has maybe not been quite as prolific as he'd have expected, but he has been firmly installed as the fulcrum of the Chelsea team.

However, Lukaku injured his ankle in the 4-0 Champions League win over Malmo and he could be out for a month while he recovers.

That will inevitably provoke questions about whether Chelsea can absorb the loss of a such a key player for so long.

You'd still have to fancy them to have enough to beat Norwich, but it's unquestionably a big blow.

Free hit for Norwich?

Norwich City's Teemu Pukki looks dejected

Whenever a newly promoted team comes into the Premier League, their destiny is not decided by how they do against the established top clubs.

Whether or not you survive that perilous first season is all about how you do against the teams in the bottom half, so Norwich can likely see this game as a bit of a free hit for them.

The real work for the Canaries starts next week when they start a run of fixtures against Leeds, Brentford, Southampton, Wolves, and Newcastle.

Although it's early days, it's no exaggeration at all to say that given the poor start they have had, that run of fixtures may decide Norwich's whole season.

Chelsea vs Norwich goalscorer bets

Kai Havertz looks on

It was Kai Havertz who replaced Lukaku against Malmo and you would expect him to come into the side from the start in this one.

To make matters worse, Chelsea also lost Timo Werner to injury against Malmo, leaving the Blues a little short in terms of natural goalscorers.

That will put plenty of pressure on Havertz, but Jorginho may be the man to back here. He scored two penalties against Malmo and Chelsea will have most of the ball, so a penalty being awarded at some stage seems pretty likely.

Norwich have scored just two Premier League goals this season. Neither of them came away from home and both were scored by Teemu Pukki, so if you're going to back anyone we'd suggest the Finn.

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