Norwich City ready for big spending Chelsea

The most expensive member of Norwich City’s current squad will be hoping for a Premier League recall tomorrow – but even his transfer fee is dwarfed by the sums paid in assembling Chelsea’s multi-million pound squad.

Striker Steve Morison, who missed the Canaries’ 1-1 draw against Stoke last Sunday because of a groin injury, returned to action when he played nearly half an hour as a substitute in Tuesday night’s 4-0 Carling Cup defeat by MK Dons.

With central defender Leon Barnett available again after serving a one-match ban in midweek, manager Paul Lambert is expected to rely largely on the side that faced Stoke when City visit Stamford Bridge tomorrow (3pm).

But Lambert has a choice to make up front, where Chris Martin performed well in Morison’s absence against the Potters.

Morison’s move from Millwall in the summer is reported to have cost City �2.1m, rising to a potential �2.8m, but it rates as a drop in the ocean when compared with the huge outlay of tomorrow’s opponents.


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While the Norwich side taking the field, backed by 3,000 travelling fans, is likely to have cost less than �8m in total, Chelsea are expected to parade at least �160m worth of talent.

New manager Andr� Villas-Boas could give a debut to Spanish forward Juan Mata, a �23.5m capture from Valencia, and has just splashed out more than �20m on two new signings unlikely to make the starting line-up tomorrow – Belgian striker Romelu Lukaku and Spanish midfielder Oriol Romeu.

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With a reported �16.6million bid for Porto’s Uruguayan star, Alvaro Pereira, also in the pipeline, business is picking up at Chelsea, after a summer of limited transfer activity.

“Criticism was coming from all fronts at a lack of market activity, so you can lay off us now,” said Villas-Boas yesterday.

Florent Malouda is also hoping for a recall after scoring the winner against West Bromwich Albion last week.

Lambert was expected to give a fitness update on his squad at Colney today, while Villas-Boas prepares to face a seemingly unknown quantity in the Canaries.

“I cannot go in depth on Norwich last season, but I know they had a fantastic season,” he said.

• Norwich City

John Ruddy �450,000

Kyle Naughton Loan

Ritchie De Laet Loan

Leon Barnett �750,000

Marc Tierney �150,000

Elliott Bennett �1.5m

Andrew Crofts �300,000

Bradley Johnson Free

Anthony Pilkington �2m

Steve Morison �2.1m

Grant Holt �400,000

Total: �7.65m

(Norwich City fees estimated as most are undisclosed)

• Chelsea

Henrique Hilario Free

Jose Bosingwa �16.2m

Alex �5.7m

John Terry Trainee

Ashley Cole �5m

Ramires �19.8m

John Obi Mikel �16m

Frank Lampard �11m

Nicolas Anelka �15m

Fernando Torres �50m

Juan Mata �23.5m

Total: �162.2m

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