Saturday’s Premier League action kicks off at Stamford Bridge as league leaders Chelsea take on rock-bottom Norwich City, and Indiana sportsbooks along with other bookmakers are banking on a comfortable home win, with the real betting stakes on goal scorers and the final score line.
Despite brushing aside Swedish outfit Malmo 4-0 in midweek Champions League action, the Blues paid a hefty price as Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner both picked up physical issues during the first half.
While the Belgium international sustained an ankle injury, the German forward succumbed to a hamstring injury, as both now face several weeks on the sidelines (via The Independent).
Even though the star duo won’t be in contention for the weekend’s game, the reigning Champions League holders head into proceedings as overwhelming favourites to claim all three points.
Chelsea squeezed past the league newcomers Brentford 1-0 last time out, courtesy of Edouard Mendy’s array of eye-catching saves that propelled his side to a hard-earned victory.
Thomas Tuchel’s men harbour a slender one-point lead over second-placed Liverpool going into this matchday, which means they can ill-afford a slip-up here if they are to remain at the summit.
History is firmly on Chelsea’s side here, as the side starting the day bottom of the Premier League standings has lost 11 of their last 12 league meetings with the team sitting atop the table (D1).
Defensively robust, the Londoners have conceded a league-low three goals this season, with first-choice keeper Mendy boasting an impressive 53% clean-sheet ratio across his 38 England’s top-flight starts (20/38).
At the other end of the pitch, Chelsea have netted 3+ goals in their last two competitive fixtures at Stamford Bridge after scoring one goal or less in their three home outings beforehand.
Another landslide victory could be on the cards here, as each of the hosts’ three Premier League home triumphs this term has seen them score precisely three goals while conceding a total of one in return.
Player to watch: Ben Chilwell
Pointing to Ben Chilwell as Chelsea’s player to watch may sound surprising, but the English left-back has been in a stellar form of late.
In addition to scoring in back-to-back Premier League appearances, including his screamer at Brentford last time out, the ex-Leicester City man found the net for England in between despite playing as a defender.
Norwich City Preview
Rooted to the foot of the Premier League table, Norwich have failed to win any of their opening eight league fixtures this season, going from six straight defeats to a pair of draws.
Bringing their previous Premier League campaign into the equation, the Canaries are now winless in their last 16 top-flight matches (D3, L13), scoring a mere four goals in that run.
A lack of firepower up top has seen Norwich fail to get on the scoresheet for ten hours and 26 minutes of Premier League action away from home, last scoring on the road in England’s top-flight in July 2020.
The visitors have scored a league-low two goals in the Premier League this season, both of which arrived inside the final 15 minutes of the first half.
Tipped for a season-long dogfight against the drop, Daniel Farke’s men have lost each of their last ten Premier League matches in London since holding West Ham to a 2-2 draw in September 2015.
With the odds heavily stacked against them here, Norwich will have to produce something special to snap a seven-game winless top-flight streak at Stamford Bridge (D1, L6).
Player to watch: Teemu Pukki
Teemu Pukki has been a rare bright spot in the Canaries’ thoroughly disappointing top-flight campaign so far.
The 31-year-old has picked up where he left off in Norwich’s last Premier League campaign, scoring his side’s paltry two goals this term.
Chelsea vs Norwich City Predicted Line-ups
Chelsea (3-4-2-1): Edouard Mendy; Cesar Azpilicueta, Trevoh Chalobah, Andreas Christensen; Reece James, Jorginho, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Ben Chilwell; Hakim Ziyech, Mason Mount; Kai Havertz.
Norwich City (3-5-2): Tim Krul; Grant Hanley, Ozan Kabak, Ben Gibson; Max Aarons, Pierre Lees-Melou, Kenny McLean, Mathias Normann, Dimitris Giannoulis; Teemu Pukki, Josh Sargent.