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Premier League preview: Chelsea v Norwich

League leaders Chelsea will bid to continue their undefeated start to the season at home to lowly Norwich on Saturday.

Roberto Di Matteo’s side have begun the 2012/13 campaign strongly after having struggled with Andre Villas-Boas’ methods for much of last season.

A 4-0 win over Danish club Nordsjaelland on Tuesday in the Champions League and a 2-1 win at Arsenal last Saturday underlined Chelsea’s title credentials and highlighted the changing of the guard that has taken place at Stamford Bridge under Di Matteo.

New signings Oscar and Eden Hazard have sparkled in a new-look line-up while striker Fernando Torres is finally starting to relish his permanent starting berth up front.

The Spaniard’s confidence appears high but it is not only his goal-scoring feats – three in six league games – that have contributed to the side’s promising start to the season, but his all-round displays.

Plenty of clubs breathed a sigh of relief when Didier Drogba called it quits at the end of last season, but Torres continues to present a much different, but no less dangerous proposition.

Many pundits lauded Torres’ work-rate at the Emirates Stadium as Chelsea won 2-1 and he seems to finally be paying back some of the 50 million pounds Chelsea forked out for him.

The 4-0 scoreline in Norway on Tuesday flattered Chelsea a little, but there’s no doubt the Blues are finding a way to get the job done in the early stages of the season.

Juan Mata scored twice, David Luiz netted with a sublime free kick and Ramires added a fourth as the defending champions brushed aside the minnows from Denmark.

Chelsea lead Everton by three points and are one of teams along with champions Manchester City and Sunderland yet to lose in the league.

Meanwhile, Norwich are one of three teams, all of whom are in the relegation zone, yet to post a win this season and have struggled after the departure of manager Paul Lambert.

Winless from six games, Chris Hughton’s men look set to struggle after exceeding all expectations with a 12th-placed finish in their first season back in top flight in 2011/12.

Norwich have scored only four times this campaign, a league-worst record shared with Queens Park Rangers.

Last season, by contrast, Norwich were outscored only by the league’s top six, despite adding few players to their squad after back-to-back promotions.

Defenders Steven Whittaker (ankle) and Sebastien Bassong (hamstring), both signed in the off season, are unlikely to make the trip while striker Daniel Sturridge (hamstring) is the only injury concern for Chelsea.

Thu 4 October, 2012
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