Chelsea will embark on a trip to Carrow Road on Saturday afternoon to face Norwich City in the Third Round of the FA Cup.
The two sides have not faced each other in this competition since the Fifth Round in 2007, when The Blues won 4-0 at Stamford Bridge.
Going into to this tie, last year’s runners-up in the world’s oldest cup competition are third in the English Premier League table, whilst The Canaries are currently 13th in the Sky Bet Championship standings.
With Chelsea manager Antonio Conte likely to rotate his side, here is how we predict The Blues could line-up on Saturday.
Predicted line-up: (3-4-3) Willy Caballero, Antonio Rudiger, David Luiz, Gary Cahill; Davide Zappacosta, Danny Drinkwater, Ethan Ampadu, Kenedy; Willian, Michy Batshuayi, Pedro
Predicted substitutes: Eduardo, Cesar Azpilicueta, Victor Moses, Cesc Fabregas, Tiemoue Bakayoko. Charly Musonda, Alvaro Morata
Despite a top level performance against Arsenal on Wednesday, Thibaut Courtois was unable to keep a fifth consecutive English Premier League clean sheet, with the game ending as a 2-2 draw. The 25-year-old has played every minute of Chelsea’s league and UEFA Champions League campaigns this season and is likely to be rested, with Willy Caballero, who has played in all three of The Blues’ Carabao Cup victories this term, set to replace him.
After missing The Pensioners’ last 11 matches with a knee injury, David Luiz could be ready for a return to the starting line-up, where he would play in the middle of a back three. German international Antonio Rudiger could replace Cesar Azpilicueta on the right side of Luiz, whilst captain Gary Cahill could retain his place on the left of the Brazilian.
Italian defender Davide Zappacosta has had a superb week in a blue shirt, despite starting on the bench in both of their league clashes with Stoke City and Arsenal. On Saturday, Zappacosta scored Chelsea’s fifth in their 5-0 thrashing of The Potters and on Wednesday, he created Marcos Alonso’s goal during the 2-2 draw with The Gunners; he almost scored the winner in stoppage time, with his half-volley crashing off the crossbar. His recent form may earn him a start on Saturday, whilst giving Victor Moses a rest.
Another man who scored during the convincing win over Stoke City is Danny Drinkwater, who is likely to start in the centre of midfield alongside 17-year-old sensation Ethan Ampadu.
Marcos Alonso scored his sixth goal of the season in the draw against Arsenal; Conte will be keen to give his in-form wing-back a rest at the weekend ahead of their Carabao Cup semi-final first leg against Arsenal on Wednesday. Kenedy, who has been linked with a move away from Stamford Bridge, could start at left wing-back.
Wingers Willian and Pedro both scored during the victory over Stoke City at the weekend and the duo were unlucky to be dropped to the bench against Arsenal. However, they could be recalled to the starting side for the cup tie in East Anglia.
Belgian striker Michy Batshuayi has started in just seven of his 19 appearances in all competitions this season. The 24-year-old may be handed his first start in five matches against Daniel Farke’s side at the weekend.
Despite our prediction of 10 changes to the starting XI, The Blues should progress into the next round, regardless of what team they field.
Score Prediction: Norwich City 1-3 Chelsea
By Jonty Colman