Chelsea v Norwich preview: Antonio Conte to rotate squad for FA Cup third-round replay
Last Updated: 17/01/18 7:37pm
Chelsea head coach Antonio Conte has confirmed he will rotate his squad for the FA Cup third-round replay against Norwich at Stamford Bridge.
Premier League champions Chelsea were held to a 0-0 draw by Championship side Norwich at Carrow Road on January 6, the first of three successive 0-0 draws.
While Conte insists he will make changes, he has stressed the importance of the game against Norwich as his side look to set up a fourth-round clash with Newcastle.
"I think this game is an important game," Conte said.
"It is a good chance to continue to keep the clean sheet and then to try to win the game and score and go to the next round.
"As you know this type of game is very difficult and we have to pay great attention to try to win the game."
He continued: "Tomorrow is another game in a busy period for us. I have to make many changes. We have to play against Brighton after two days.
"This is the great risk to make rotation, a lot of rotation. If you want to face and try to go to the next round in every competition this is the only way we can do.
"Tomorrow we want to try to win, the best way to win and for sure we are making many rotations like the first game and we want to go to the next round."
Gary Cahill and Cesc Fabregas are out of the match.
Defender Cahill and midfielder Fabregas have hamstring injuries, but Conte is likely to rotate his options anyway, with Michy Batshuayi and David Luiz to be given a chance.
Ross Barkley is ineligible as he was not signed by the required registration deadline to play in the original tie at Carrow Road.
Meanwhile, Tom Trybull will miss Norwich's trip to Stamford Bridge and is having injections to try and recover from a back injury.
Marley Watkins, who missed the trip to Ashton Gate with injury, has recovered and is travelling with the squad to Chelsea. However, new signing Marcus Edwards is not available as he was not registered before the first match against Chelsea.
Chelsea have won seven of the last eight matches in which they have hosted the Canaries at Stamford Bridge in all competitions (D1), last losing at home to Norwich 2-1 in October 1993, thanks to goals from Ruel Fox and Chris Sutton.
Norwich have failed to score in six of their last eight visits to Chelsea, netting just two goals whilst conceding 22 times (2.8 on avg).
This will be the third FA Cup third-round replay between these two sides, with Chelsea winning both previous encounters; 3-1 in 1936, and 4-0 in 2002.
Norwich have lost each of their last five FA Cup replays away from home, last winning on the road in 1987 against Huddersfield Town.
Chelsea are unconvincing at the moment and I think Antonio Conte has been embroiled in too many things. I don't think there's any doubt he'll be on his way this summer, perhaps beforehand.
The substitutions of Eden Hazard and Cesc Fabregas on Saturday was strange and they'll make further changes with Michy Batshuayi in for the out-of-sorts Alvaro Morata, who I feel for a bit as pretty much every striker other than Harry Kane goes through these sort of spells.
Charlie predicts: 3-0 and Willian to score first (22/1 with Sky Bet)