Canaries make just one change for Chelsea replay – as underground problems cause delayed kick-off
PUBLISHED: 19:32 17 January 2018 | UPDATED: 19:45 17 January 2018
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Norwich City head coach Daniel Farke has made just one change to his starting XI for tonight’s FA Cup third round replay at Chelsea – which has been delayed for 15 minutes due to problems on the London Underground.
Grant Hanley shakes off a calf worry to start and Mario Vrancic has overcome illness but Alex Tettey starts on the bench due to fatigue, with Harrison Reed replacing him.
The game will kick-off at 8pm due to long delays on the District Line preventing a large amount of supporters making it to Stamford Bridge for 7.45pm, for a match which is being broadcast live on BBC TV.
The Canaries head into the game with little expectation on their shoulders and a five-game unbeaten run to build on, following an impressive 1-0 win at Bristol City on Saturday.
Angus Gunn has kept four clean sheets during that run, including the 0-0 draw with Chelsea in the FA Cup when set up tonight’s replay, and four points from a potential 12 has moved Farke’s team to within six points of the Championship play-off positions.
Chelsea make nine changes to the team which drew 0-0 with Leicester at the weekend but just two from the team which started at Carrow Road, with Cesar Azpilicueta and youngster Ethan Ampadu replacing Gary Cahill and Antonio Rudiger from that XI.
Belgian superstar Eden Hazard is named on the bench this time though, alongside N’Golo Kante and £60m striker Alvaro Morata.
Chelsea are going through something of a mid-season slump – by their standards – as their last four matches have all finished in draws.
Following a 2-2 draw at Arsenal in the Premier League the Blues were held to a 0-0 draw at Carrow Road and then also drew 0-0 at home to Arsenal in the first leg of their EFL Cup semi-final and with Leicester in the top flight on Saturday.
Despite three consecutive games without scoring or conceding Antonio Conte’s team have only lost one of their last 18 matches in all competitions.
They are four in the Premier League table with 15 games to go and looking highly likely to lose their crown, sitting 15 points adrift of runaway leaders Manchester City.
With the prospect of a Champions League quarter-final against Barcelona approaching next month the prospect of an FA Cup run could well offer an important chance of silverware for last season’s beaten Wembley finalists.
Norwich: Gunn; Hanley, Zimmermann, Klose; Pinto (C), Reed, Vrancic, Lewis; Maddison, Oliveira, Murphy. Subs: McGovern (GK), Husband, Raggett, Stiepermann, Tettey, Hoolahan, Cantwell
Chelsea: Caballero; Ampadu, Luiz, Azpilicueta (C); Zappacosta, Drinkwater, Bakayoko, Kenedy; Willian, Batshuayi, Pedro. Subs: Eduardo (GK), Kante, Morata, Hazard, Musonda Jr, Christensen, Sterling
City team news
Alex Tettey (fatigue), Grant Hanley (calf) and Mario Vrancic (sickness) are fresh concerns. Tom Trybull (back) is set to miss the next two games, at least. Marley Watkins has been passed fit. Russell Martin sealed a loan move to Rangers yesterday. Cameron Jerome completed his move to Derby last night. Steven Naismith is not in Daniel Farke’s plans, ahead of a potential exit in the next 10 days. Matt Jarvis (ankle) and Louis Thompson (Achilles) are out.
Chelsea team news
Gary Cahill and Cesc Fabregas are ruled out with hamstring injuries. Ross Barkley is ineligible following his recent £15m move from Everton.
One to watch – Eden Hazard
Belgian international midfielder who is the Blues’ creative spark. Won two Premier League titles, the League Cup and the Uefa Europa League during his time at Stamford Bridge. Previously won the league and cup double in France.
Chelsea manager – Antonio Conte
Lifted the Premier League in his first season in English football. Previously won two Serie A titles and two Italian Cups at Juventus, where he also won the Champions League in a decorated playing career for the Turin giants.
Referee – Graham Scott (Oxon)
Now a regular on the Premier League lists. First Norwich game since December 2015. Shown 39 yellow and one red card during 17 matches so far this season.
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