Norwich City host Premier League Champions Chelsea in the FA Cup on Saturday afternoon. We spoke to Talk Chelsea’s editor Jamie Wilkinson ahead of the game about the Chelsea squad, Premier League expectations and the fixture.
The Chelsea manager was moaning this week that he had a small squad and therefore was finding it difficult to compete this season.
How can this be with over 40 players being sent out on loan?
Antonio Conte has little control over the Chelsea loan system. We use it as a means to develop younger players out on-loan and sell them for profit.
The blame for the size of our squad falls on the board, which is why Conte has continually complained about it over the past six months!
How many youngsters are likely to turn out against Norwich on Saturday?
I think we could see the likes of Kenedy, Ampadu, Batshuayi, etc. get a shot. Conte has rotated quite a bit over the festive period and I don’t imagine that this one will be any different.
The team we put out will be strong enough to (hopefully) beat you, but let’s hope you make it a contest.
What are your expectations for league and cup success this season?
The league is gone, that’s Manchester City’s to lose now, but I’d be disappointed if we didn’t win some kind of silverware this season. We lost the FA Cup final to Arsenal last time around, hopefully Conte takes the competition seriously and we can make amends.
Do you think Chelsea will be able to compete with Manchester City again in the foreseeable future?
The only way to keep pace with Man City is to match their investment in the transfer market.
You’d be a fool to believe that Pep Guardiola will allow them to kick their heels next summer, they’ll be investing heavily once again, and Chelsea need to make a statement in the transfer market or we have little hope of bringing the title back to the Bridge.
Could we have a score prediction please?
Unfortunately for you, I think we’ll walk this one. There’s a lot of bit-part players who will be eager to impress, and I reckon we could see a 3-0 Chelsea victory, with Batshuayi to bag a couple.
You can read more from Jamie on the Chelsea blog