Lampard has Chelsea on ‘perfect path’ for success but City know they can cause Blues problems
Chelsea will be desperate for three points against Norwich City after their defeat to Sheffield United but Canaries boss Daniel Farke believes Frank Lampard has the Blues on the ‘perfect path’ for success.
Chelsea are third in the Premier League table but have Leicester and a resurgent Manchester United in close competition for the final two Champions League qualification places following a surprise 3-0 loss at Bramall Lane on Saturday.
The already relegated Canaries head to Stamford Bridge on Tuesday evening with little more than pride to play for, as they look to bring an end to a run of seven consecutive league defeats, which has equalled a club record.
“In general I would have liked to have played Chelsea in a bit more of a comfortable situation because I’m pretty sure that after the last loss they will want to show a reaction,” Farke said. “They are pretty motivated because they need to win all three points in their fight for the Champions League positions.
“But that doesn’t take anything away that we want to be there with a good performance, that we want to be there with a surprising result. “We know it can’t save our season but it’s important that we are competitive right now and also show our pride.
“We want to be there with a good performance, not to upset Chelsea, more like to make our supporters and our club proud.”
Lampard cut his managerial teeth in the Championship with Derby last season, suffering play-off defeat, before returning to the club where he holds true legend status, with the former England midfielder the Blues’ all-time top scorer after 211 goals in 648 games between 2001 and 2014.
“I think he has done a fantastic job, I’m full of compliments for Frank,” City’s head coach continued. “Of course it is a top club with top players and it’s quite normal that they are in a good position but it’s also not that easy to lead a group of top class players, also when they’re in a bit of a transition period when the tries to integrate many young, talented players.
“I think he has found a really good balance and also the style, how they play is also fantastic and quite often they play with lots of intensity and pace, they are capable of delivering top class performances.
“Because they are still in a bit of a transition period they perhaps don’t have unbelievable consistency to win the Premier League title but I think they are on the perfect path and all the fingers crossed for Frank that he can go on with this fantastic work.”
The Canaries equalised twice at Carrow Road back in August through goals from Todd Cantwell and Teemu Pukki but Tammy Abraham’s second goal clinched the win for Chelsea midway through the second half of an entertaining encounter.
Farke recalled: “That says a lot about us and how when we are really spot on in our game and have a top class day, each and every player is there with a top individual performance, we are good in all of our topics and we can win points on this level.
“We can even win points against top sides like Man City or to be competitive against Chelsea. But when we are not top class, when there is a day when we are just there with 96 or 97 percent and some players don’t reach their top individual performance then we can also be thrashed.
“So it’s not like a more experienced side who even on a poor day can be solid, we always have to reach our limit to be competitive, and that’s also more or less the task for the next three games, we know that we have to reach our top class level at Chelsea.
“Meanwhile they are an even better team than they were in our first game.”
France midfielder Ngolo Kante is set to miss the game for the hosts with a hamstring issue but defender Andreas Christensen is expected to shake off a knock which forced him off at half-time at Sheffield United.
Norwich have no fresh concerns but remain without defenders Christoph Zimmermann (back), Grant Hanley and Sam Byram (both hamstring), as well as midfielder Mo Leitner (hernia). City have also allowed Ondrej Duda to end his loan from Hertha Berlin early.