PRE-MATCH BRIEFING: NORWICH CITY V CHELSEA - PART TWO
Club historian Rick Glanvill and club statistician Paul Dutton look at the past and the present to complete their preview of Sunday lunchtime's game...
WE HAVE HISTORY
Chelsea are unbeaten against the Canaries in the last nine league and cup matches (seven wins, two draws).
This is a fixture that has been played only since 1962/63 and not in the top flight until a decade later. The Canaries were in the Southern League until 1920/21 when they became founding members of Football League Division Three South. They were eventually promoted to Division One for the first time in 1972.
Their only trophy up to that point had been the nascent League Cup, won in 1961/62 and it was for the quarter-final of the same competition that Chelsea travelled to Carrow Road on Wednesday 17 November 1971.
The visiting Cup Winners Cup holders were in unpredictable form, though. Defence of the UEFA tournament had ended feebly with two draws against Atvidaberg and the away goals rule swinging progress the way of the Swedish part-timers.
The response in the league and League Cup had been three straight wins, nine goals scored and none conceded. Six of those strikes - including a hat-trick for Tommy Baldwin - had come at Bolton in the fourth round of the midweek cup.
Ron Saunders' City, unbeaten at home that season in the Second Division, would provide sterner resistance and with Wembley in sight the game was played at a frenzied pace. No quarter was given on either side and one raking tackle by Peter Osgood required defender David Stringer to leave the field and receive treatment a full 10 minutes. Tommy Baldwin was booked. Alan Hudson popped up everywhere.
Chelsea went into the break on level terms largely thanks (as ever) to two world-class saves by Peter Bonetti (pictured below) from Peter Howard's head then, with lightning reactions, a powerful Graham Paddon drive that was already being celebrated by home fans.
Norwich continued to apply pressure but midway through the second period Osgood made mockery of the boos and jeers he suffered with the perfect riposte. The Blues won a corner down the right which left-footer Peter Houseman delivered. Ossie rose above the pack and steered the ball beautifully past Kevin Keelan.
City pushed for an equaliser and their Scots winger Ken Foggo might have been the leveller when he beat the visitors' offside trap, only to fire wide. The game finished 1-0 and Chelsea beat Spurs 5-4 over the two-legged semi-final to reach Wembley, only to disappoint again, losing to Stoke City.
Norwich reached the final the following year but also had to settle for runners-up medals.
Norwich's last victory against the Blues was at Carrow Road in December 1994 when Jamie Cureton and a brace from Ashley Ward secured a 3-0 victory.
Norwich have won one point from the last 18 which was the goalless draw at Carrow Road in January 2012.
Our last 10 meetings at Carrow Road
1987/88 - Norwich won 3-0 - Old Division One
1989/90 - Norwich won 2-0 - Old Division One
1990/91 - Chelsea won 3-1 - Old Division One
1991/92 - Chelsea won 1-0 - Old Division One
1992/93 - Norwich won 2-1 - Premier League
1993/94 - Drew 1-1 - Premier League
1994/95 - Norwich won 3-0 - Premier League
2004/05 - Chelsea won 3-1 - Premier League
2011/12 - Drew 0-0 - Premier League
2012/13 - Chelsea won 1-0 - Premier League
Other fixture last season
6 October 2012 - Barclays Premier League
Torres 14 Holt 10
Norwich City v Chelsea in all competitions
Games played 45
Chelsea wins 18
Norwich wins 14
Head to head in the League at Carrow Road
Games played 18
Chelsea wins 4
Norwich wins 8
Biggest league win at Carrow Road for each team
Norwich 4-1 Chelsea - 6 April 1963
Norwich 1-3 Chelsea - 17 April 1991, 5 March 2004
Chelsea lost to Norwich: 6,875
Norwich lost at home to a team from the capital: 284
Arsenal won a trophy: 3,060
Liverpool won the league: 8,555
Chelsea, yet to win away in the league, face a side who garnered almost three-quarters of their points from home matches in 2012/13. Key players are sidelined by suspension or injury, yet the Blues are growing in confidence now and have a good record in this part of East Anglia.
Chris Hughton has a system that has worked pretty well for Norwich. When they have the ball his team bursts into life, with quick passing and bodies charging forward, both full-backs joining the fray.
The system contracts to an industrious 4-5-1 without the ball until they win it back. Hughton's work ethic requires pressing from all his players, their lone striker required to drop deep to harass opponents and force mistakes. However sometimes they start with such pace and effort that it becomes hard to sustain as the game progresses.
Record signing Ricky van Wolfswinkel, with one goal and 19 fouls to his name (the most of any league player, City being the most penalised team), was preferred to fellow new boy Gary Hooper in the win at Stoke City last weekend.
Despite the influx, last season's low goalscoring remains an issue - they have four, the Premier League's joint lowest total, compared to Chelsea's seven. Grant Holt, who scored two of the Canaries' three goals in our last four meetings, is now with Nottingham Forest.
Earlier this week Chris Hughton was hopeful his pacy, cutting-in left winger Nathan Redmond, plus the experienced defenders Sebastien Bassong and Javier Garrido (pictured below left), would return from injury.
A key role in their central midfield has been defensive screen, asked to stop the kind of incisive passes and running players that can cause problems for Michael Turner and Ryan Bennett. With or without Bassong the central area is dominant in the air but less comfortable on the turf against fast-footed movement and passing; five of their six conceded goals have come from inside the box.
As well as asking his full-backs to curb their attacking enthusiasm, Hughton will want to double up in the midfield with a 4-2-3-1 rather than the 4-3-3 used last week at Stoke.
Two of Alexander Tettey (pictured above right), Leroy Fer and Jonny Howson may be asked to shackle the visitors' creative trio behind centre-forward Samuel Eto'o or Demba Ba. Fernando Torres has excelled in recent weeks but is suspended as well as injured. So far no Chelsea striker has scored a league goal.
He was relentless in exposing the Romanians' flaws down that flank and was involved in two of the Blues' four goals. Right-back Daniel Georgievski must have experienced new empathy with his biblical namesake in the lions' den.
The Rhineland raider is also very adept at pressing opponents deep in their own half, stifling attacks and gaining possession - a function not previously associated with fellow starter Juan Mata so much.
Mourinho has demanded the Spaniard add that to his game and he has responded impressively. 'Juan played very well with the ball, as he always does, and very good without the ball, as he never did,' observed the manager afterwards.
Late sloppiness from the Pensioners in Bucharest, perhaps understandable at 3-0 up, will have encouraged Hughton and his team to persevere whatever the scoreline. However Chelsea have not surrendered any league points from a winning position this season.