The selection issues facing Daniel Farke as Norwich City face Chelsea
- Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021
Daniel Farke will be hoping Norwich City can rely on their newfound defensive structure to frustrate Chelsea and leave Stamford Bridge with points.
City will be without Christoph Zimmermann who requires surgery on an ankle injury and Todd Cantwell, who is left out due to Farke's unhappiness with his performances in training.
Billy Gilmour is ineligible to face his former club although Thomas Tuchel did reiterate his support for colleague Farke in how he has handled the youngster's loan so far.
The Canaries are still searching for their first Premier League but performances have improved and Farke feels his side are edging closer to recording their first three points of the campaign.
We take a look at some of the pressing selection questions ahead of City's trip to the capital.
How to fix the lack of creativity?
It's probably the most pressing question on the lips of Canaries supporters at present.
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With all the comments around Cantwell and with two summer signings on the bench, questions will inevitably be asked about a City side that has only registered one goal from open play so far this season.
This will be a game where defensive steel and solidity will be of paramount importance if they are to leave Stamford Bridge with a positive result, but they will need to pack a punch of their own.
Farke's willingness to evolve this formation and introduce attacking elements may be more noticeable after this fixture, with a more favourable run of matches coming up - especially at Carrow Road.
Sargent - drop or start?
Given all the talk that has followed the American's miss last weekend against Brighton, Farke will face a decision over whether to include him in his starting XI against Chelsea or opt for a more pacey option at the top end of the pitch.
Sargent's all-round game was key to Norwich gaining a foothold in the contest in the first-half but his confidence was shattered after the miss on the stroke of half-time.
In a fixture where City may need someone who can hold up the ball and bring others into play whilst getting through plenty of work, it seems likely that Farke will opt to start the 21-year-old against the early pacestters.
Norwich did seem to miss his ability to hold up the ball in the latter stages of their draw with Brighton. That said, his goal return will need to improve if he wants to remain the occupant of the starting shirt.
Adding pace to the front line?
There may be an argument that an injection of pace on the counter attack could help Norwich City's attacking efforts at Stamford Bridge and this is a role that Milot Rashica has occupied in the past in the Bundesliga.
A stunning individual goal against Bayern Munich in the 2019/20 season showcases his ability to fulfil such a task, especially against the experienced Thiago Silva.
Whether pace in behind and counter attacks could cause problems against a Chelsea side who boast the joint meanest defence in the league remains to be seen, but it's likely to have been something City boss Farke has at least thought about this week.
Ultimately, it would be surprising if he veered away from the partnership of Josh Sargent and Teemu Pukki for this encounter. Both Rashica and Tzolis provide different options should City need to chase the game late on.
PREDICTED XI (3-5-2): Krul; Kabak, Hanley, Gibson; Aarons, Lees-Melou, Normann, McLean, Williams; Sargent, Pukki.
Gunn (GK), Omobamidele, Williams, Rupp, Sorensen, Dowell, Rashica, Tzolis, Idah
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