FA Cup Replay Preview: Conte’s Chelsea looking for cup run confidence

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NORWICH, ENGLAND - JANUARY 06: Willian of Chelsea evades a tackle from Christoph Zimmermann of Norwich City during The Emirates FA Cup Third Round match between Norwich City and Chelsea at Carrow Road on January 6, 2018 in Norwich, England. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)

It is rare to see a Chelsea side lacking confidence in front of goal. Three games without a goal has put pressure on manager Antonio Conte to produce an attacking display against Norwich City. Along with the Premier League title seemingly gone, Chelsea will see the FA Cup as realistic glory this season.

FA Cup replay preview: Conte’s Chelsea looking for cup run confidence

Form

Chelsea have not lost in five matches, but have struggled to score in their last three matches. Scoreless draws against Leicester City, Arsenal and Norwich have put strain on the Blues’ attack. £60million striker Alvaro Morata has only scored seven times in his last 22 Chelsea appearances. While Eden Hazard has nine goals this season.

Norwich enter the replay in fine form. Three wins in five matches makes good reading for away fans making the trip to Stamford Bridge. An impressive 1-0 away victory at Bristol City on Saturday will give the Canaries confidence ahead of the match.

Team News

Captain Gary Cahill hobbled off in Chelsea’s last game against Leicester with a hamstring strain. Despite the injury not being as bad as first feared, this game will be too soon for the defender. New signing Ross Barkley is still recovering from a hamstring injury. He will be in contention for the squad, but lacks match fitness.

Norwich have a number of injuries ahead of the FA cup contest. Long-term absentees Cameron Jerome, Matt Jarvis and Louis Thompson remain sidelined. While there are doubts over Tom Trybull, who is struggling with a back injury. Harrison Reed featured at the weekend but may need rest.

Some positive news is that striker Nelson Oliveira is in contention for a starting place, after managing 90 minutes against Bristol City. Left-back Marco Stiepermann also featured towards the end of the game as he makes his way back from injury and should start against Chelsea.

Talking Points

Chelsea put an attacking line up out last time against Norwich and failed to score. The line up is likely to be similar. Michy Batshuayi will hope to start to hitting form and put his name in contention to start against Brighton Hove Albion at the weekend. Squad players Kenedy and Willy Caballero will feature. While with Gary Cahill’s injury, David Luiz will again start against the Canaries.

Norwich City have plenty of injury problems, but their form will give them confidence. Manager Daniel Farke set up with a 4-3-3 formation last time out and will look to use their counter-attacking width and pace to worry Chelsea’s defense.

James Maddison and Josh Murphy both have eight goals each and are the visitors biggest threat. While striker Nelson Oliveria has seven league goals to his name.

Prediction

Chelsea are not in good scoring form, while Norwich haven’t lost in five matches. Conte will have to put out a strong side to earn a victory and relieve pressure off him. It won’t be easy, but home advantage will pay the dividend.

Chelsea 2-1

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