Chelsea (-153) at Norwich City (+475), Draw (+310)
The 28th fixture of the English Premier League will get underway tomorrow at Carrow Road when Norwich City host a surging Chelsea (2:45 PM Eastern).
Norwich are playing to save their season. They’re out of the relegation zone by the slimmest of margins, currently tied with 18th-place Newcastle on points, but ahead on goal differential (-21 to -22). Newcastle, however, have played one fewer game.
Things weren’t so bleak a few weeks ago, but six losses in the last seven games (0-1-6) have them on the brink. The squad hasn’t won since January 1st against Southampton. Norwich put in a decent effort on the weekend against league-leading Leicester, but conceded in the 89th minute to fall 1-0.
The late defensive breakdown wasn’t a surprise. The Canaries have the worst defense in the entire EPL (51 goals against in 27 games; 1.8 goals against per game).
Chelsea were living the same nightmare early in the season, unable to keep the ball out of their net and sitting perilously close to the relegation zone. The Blues’ talented roster has finally turned it around under the direction of new manager Guus Hiddink, though.
Chelsea haven’t lost in 11 EPL matches and just posted their first two-game win-streak of the season after taking down Newcastle (5-1) and Southampton (1-2). They only have a +3 goal differential – which is embarrassing for such a highly paid squad – but they should close out the year as one of the best teams in the EPL.
The Blues have won three of the last four meetings against Norwich and should be able to run their win-streak to three games tomorrow.
Pick: Chelsea (-153).
(Photo credit: Warrenfish [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons. Photo has been cropped.)