BIG MATCH PREVIEW: City aim to bridge the divide
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Norwich City may have looked at home in the Premier League against Newcastle but Chelsea will really pose a stiffer test of their top flight credentials.
One glance down the Blues' squad list is enough to convince Daniel Farke the Canaries' must try to raise the bar even higher.
"They are a club who play for titles, success becomes a habit. It is not so long ago they won the Premier League title, it is not so long ago they won the Champions League and they are the reigning Europa League winners.
"It is a top class side," he said, despite Frank Lampard still searching for his first win since a Stamford Bridge return. "You can look at it both ways. If I am honest I would have preferred them to be there with a win already.
"Several players mentioned in the middle of the week they are highly motivated to get their season going. The performances are there but not the wins. We can't influence that. We have to go all in to be competitive."
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Lampard was one of the best midfielders of his generation and Farke knows that is set to be a key tactical battleground on Saturday.
Moritz Leitner and Todd Cantwell caught the eye last week against Newcastle while Mason Mount continues to impress for the Blues following his season long loan stint under Lampard at Derby.
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"Mason Mount is without doubt a top class player full of potential. I like him a lot," said Farke. "I am convinced he will have a great career. This is a different level to the Championship, but Chelsea have so many good players so we can't just focus on him.
"Yes, I expect a different game to Newcastle.
"It is not the style of Chelsea to sit back, rely on their structure and pray for a deflected strike and parking the bus. My feeling is they will be more progressive, more proactive and brave. We have to find solutions.
"Frank spoke after the last game how they have to control the counters a bit better but he will know us from last season and that we are a threat offensively,so they will try to find a good balance. I don't expect them to sit that deep. This is quite a complicated game."
Lampard won 4-3 in the Championship at Carrow Road as Derby boss in a floodlight-affected game. Farke can detect similarities in his approach at Chelsea.
"You can already see the handwriting of the coach but the level is higher, the individual quality is much higher. Frank is smart enough to know this," he said. "The expectations at Chelsea are different to Derby. He knows what it means to play for that club.
"He will have to adapt his style to the size and ambitions of the club but you can see the intensity coming through already, the willingness to dominate games, to play attacking, offensive football."
City have also come a long way under Farke since two FA Cup duels against Antonio Conte's Blues in the German's first season at Carrow Road.
"So long ago. I am not sure how many of my team were involved are still here," he said. "Perhaps Alex Tettey, maybe Grant Hanley and Timm Klose. Not many more. Chelsea have several players, top lads like Pedro, Willian and (Cesar) Azpilicueta.
"We were competitive in those games because we were brave.
"We tried to go into the home game on the front foot. The same back at Stamford Bridge. We are not naïve. We are a newly promoted side who have spent less than £1m in transfer fees this summer.
"Now we face the reigning Europa League winners so you can't expect us to play them off the park."