One change for Canaries as Farke goes with three at the back to match Chelsea's formation for FA Cup tie
PUBLISHED: 16:37 06 January 2018 | UPDATED: 16:41 06 January 2018
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Norwich City head coach Daniel Farke has made one change to his starting line-up for this evening's FA Cup clash with Premier League giants Chelsea, switching to three at the back in a 3-4-3 formation.
Christoph Zimmermann comes in for Nelson Oliveira, joining Timm Klose and Grant Hanley at the back, with Ivo Pinto and Jamal Lewis to push forwards as full-backs, matching the visitors’ formation.
Alex Tettey and Tom Trybull retain their place in central midfield and Josh Murphy, James Maddison and Alex Pritchard acting as the attacking trident.
The hosts go into the game on the back of a three-game unbeaten run which has lifted them to 13th in the Championship table, following up a 2-0 win at Birmingham on Boxing Day with a drab 0-0 draw at Burton Albion and a 2-1 home win over Millwall on New Year’s Day.
City have a miserable recent history in the FA Cup though, with their last third round victory coming five years ago when winning 3-0 at Peterborough.
In fact, the Canaries have won just five of their last 20 ties in the world’s oldest club competition, making it beyond the third round in just four of the last 20 seasons.
FA Cup semi-finals were secured in both 1989 and 1992 but City have not pulled off a ‘giant-killing’ of one of the country’s top clubs for almost 27 years, beating Manchester United 2-1 at Carrow Road in the fifth round in 1991.
Chelsea have made nine changes from the team which drew 2-2 at Arsenal in the Premier League on Wednesday night.
Belgium star Eden Hazard misses out and Spanish striker Alvaro Morata is named on a young bench, with the likes of Cesc Fabregas, Cesar Azpilacueta, Victor Moses and Ngolo Kante all left out.
The seven-time winners were beaten 2-1 in last year’s final by Arsenal, last lifting the trophy in 2012.
Antonio Conte masterminded Premier League glory in his first campaign in charge but the Italian’s team are currently third and 16 points adrift of runaway leaders Manchester City.
However, while Norwich do not have a midweek game to worry about, the Blues host Arsenal in the first leg on their EFL Cup semi-final on Wednesday night.
Norwich (3-4-3): Gunn;Zimmermann, Hanley, Klose; Pinto (C), Tettey, Trybull Lewis; Pritchard, Maddison, Murphy. Subs: McGovern (GK), Husband, Vrancic, Oliveira, Watkins, Hoolahan, Wildschut.
Chelsea (3-4-3): Caballero; Rudiger, Luiz, Cahill (C); Zappacosta, Drinkwater, Bakayoko, Kenedy; Willian, Pedro, Batshuayi. Subs: Eduardo (GK), Ampadu, Clarke-Salter, Sterling, Musonda, Hudson-Odoi, Morata
City team news
Daniel Farke confirmed yesterday Sean Raggett is not in contention, after linking up with his parent club earlier this week. Harrison Reed (hip) is again ruled out after missing the New Year’s Day win over Millwall. Marco Stiepermann (groin) is scheduled to return to training next week. Matt Jarvis (ankle) and Louis Thompson (Achilles) are still out.
Chelsea team news
Eden Hazard is a doubt because of a calf injury sustained against Arsenal. David Luiz could play for the first time since November 22 after recovering from a knee injury.
Chelsea are unbeaten in 13 games against the Canaries, winning their last three games at Carrow Road, all in the Premier League.
City’s last victory came in the top flight in December 1994, winning 3-0 at home thanks to two goals from Ashley Ward and another from Jamie Cureton.
The first ever match between the clubs was in the FA Cup third round, in January 1936, City holding the top-flight Blues to a 1-1 draw at Carrow Road as a Second Division team, before losing the replay 3-1.
Chelsea have won 21 of the 49 games between the clubs in total, with City winning 14 and 14 finishing in a draw. The west London side have won all four FA Cup ties played though, the most recent of which was a 4-0 win at Stamford Bridge in the fifth round in 2007.
One to watch – Cesc Fabregas
Spanish international midfielder who has amassed a glittering CV at the likes of Arsenal, Barcelona and now Chelsea. Won the World Cup and two European Championships with the all-conquering Spanish. At club level, has 10 major honours.
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 – Stuart Attwell (Warks)
First trip to Carrow Road since City’s 2-0 Championship win over Bristol City in August 2016. Booked Alex Tettey and Ivo Pinto on that occasion. Has shown 49 yellow and one red card during 15 matches so far this season.