Norwich lost 3-1 at Stamford Bridge in August, but were unlucky to do so. They posed Chelsea a fair old test that day, and that was with a lone striker, so goodness knows what'll happen now they've got two men up front. Much may depend on which Chelsea turns up today.
So which Chelsea will turn up today? The one without new signing Gary Cahill, that's which one. Here come the teams...
Norwich City: Ruddy, Martin, Whitbread, Ayala, Naughton, Fox, Johnson, Pilkington, Surman, Morison, Holt.
Subs: Steer, Drury, Crofts, Jackson, Hoolahan, Bennett, Wilbraham.
Chelsea: Cech, Bosingwa, Luiz, Terry, Cole, Ramires, Lampard, Meireles, Sturridge, Torres, Mata.
Subs: Turnbull, Ivanovic, Essien, Romeu, Malouda, Lukaku, Bertrand.
... and here comes the judge: Mark Clattenburg (Tyne & Wear)
-7 min: Phillipa Booth is bored already, for which the Guardian can only profusely apologise
and offer a large cash settlement by way of compensation. Anyway, she's given us a talking point to be getting on with. "While checking out the Ligue 1 transfer ticker to see if those Tevez / Pato / Skippy the Bush Kangaroo to PSG rumours were true, I noticed that they have a player on their books called Everton Santos," she notes. "He seems to have spent the last four years on loan, so may not be the best striker in the world, but could he be the only footballer named after two football clubs?" Now there's a poser. Almost as good a question as "how do you get cat urine out of carpet?" or "how do you kill your next-door neighbour's cat without them finding out it was you?"
-3 min: The teams are out, Chelsea in their blue, the home side Norwich in their trademark canary shades of yellow and green. A tasteful bunch, these sides, and no mistake.
Kick off: That's what Chelsea have just done. In a laughably inept fashion, they lose the ball within four seconds. Onwards and upwards for AVB's side.
2 min: Luiz gets pelters for his antics at the back, and rightly so, so it's only fair to tip the brim of the hat when he does something fancy. And here he is, nearly releasing Torres down the inside-left channel with a raking crossfield ball. Torres miscontrols, allowing the home support to critique the Stamford Bridge board's recent financial transactions.
4 min: Chelsea are looking to attack Norwich down the channels. Ramires clips a ball down the right for Sturridge, allowing the striker to win a corner. Nothing comes of the set piece, which is headed away with supreme confidence by Whitbread.
5 min: "I'm not bored!" claims Phillipa Booth, who has already sent me two emails in ten minutes on Saturday afternoon. "How could I be bored with David Luiz on the pitch? It was a contingency plan, in case of lulls." Anyway, on the pitch, there's a bit of a lull. What was that question of yours again?
6 min: Decent play by Norwich down the right, instigated by Morison: he releases Pilkington, who reaches the byline and hits a low shot-cum-cross that Cech palms out. Morison has continued running down the channel, and is first to the loose ball, but his sidefooted effort is bundled out for a corner. Which is cleared. That's got the home crowd going (on about something other than the price of Fernando Torres, that is).
8 min: Torres goes chasing after a high-bouncing ball down the middle. Ruddy comes out to pluck the ball from the sky. No real danger. This is a nice open start, though.
10 min: Morison, playing deep, is causing some bother in the Chelsea half. Nobody's sure who should be picking him up. Again he rolls a pass down the inside-right channel, this time for Holt, who turns immediately into the centre, wrongfooting a flat-footed and clown-booted Luiz - some much-required entertainment for Phillipa, there - before fizzing a brilliant low effort inches wide of the right-hand post, with Cech beaten all ends up. Wonderful football from Norwich. David Luiz, eh.
13 min: Torres has space in the Norwich area down the right. He doesn't fancy a first-time shot, though, and checks inside, before looking for his team-mate Mata. The chance gone, he buggers up the pass. Again the home support with the financial advice.
15 min: Mata tears down the left after Martin loses the ball needlessly. He rolls it into Torres, who is crowded out of it by Whitbread. The striker's getting himself involved, though. It's only a matter of time before he starts rattling them in, although I have been thinking that for about two years now. "What's wrong with sending two emails in ten minutes?!" asks not Gary Naylor, but Ryan Dunne, which isn't much less of a surprise. "The present author obviously has a very busy, vibrant,exciting life, but I understand that some perfectly well-adjusted chaps spend all day Saturday and Sunday glued (as it were) to guardian.co.uk/football and bashing F5."
18 min: Sturridge finds a bit of room down the right, but Whitbread is in to cut out his low cross. Chelsea are seeing more of the ball, but Norwich are holding it together well. "Could Luiz be responsible for Torres form at Chelsea?" wonders Robin Hazlehurst (one email in ten minutes). "Maybe in training he defends against Torres (approximately what he would do in a real match) but presents so little challenge that Torres is just not ready for proper defenders on match-day? At least Torres v Luiz right now would make a decent contest."
20 min: [cut and paste] Luiz is turned with ease [/cut and paste] by Holt in the centre circle. Holt strokes a long ball out right to Morison, who makes it into the box and hammers a low shot into the side netting.
23 min: Holt runs at Luiz down the left. He's given the space to look for the far corner with a curler, but opts for a cross instead. Cole clears, but only to Pilkington rampaging down the right. He's in space, and about to cross with Norwich bodies in the box. But - and here's what those 50 million sheets get you - Torres tracks back brilliantly and slide-tackles the ball off Pilkington's toe just as he's about to deliver.
26 min: Brilliance from Torres. Chelsea stream down the middle. Torres eventually gets the ball on the edge of the area, just to the right of the D. He's got Whitbread right up in his grille, but somehow manages to find enough time and space to flick the ball with the outside of his boot, and send a clever low curling effort towards the bottom-left corner. It's real eye-of-the-needle stuff, and he leaps in excitement, ready to celebrate a wonder goal, but Ruddy fingertips it round the post at the last. Amazing save. And what an effort! But when you're not in the goals, you're really not in the goals.
29 min: A lot of pretty passing in the middle of the park, none of it really going anywhere. It's like watching Arsenal play Arsenal. "Over here in the U.S. the announcer on ESPN is Ian Darke," begins our wide-brimmed regular J.R. in Illinois. "He has just said, about John Terry, 'He is being booed everywhere he goes because of the alleged racial abuse allegations.' Surely Mr. Darke is aware of the multitude of other reasons why John Terry would be booed. I've been booing him (from thousands of miles away) for years now."
32 min: A deep cross into the Chelsea area from Pilkington, next to the corner flag out on the right. Holt is lurking at the far post, and tries to guide a header back over Cech and into the top right. It's a bit ambitious, but with nobody else there, what can he do? And the effort is decent, nearly floating over the keeper, who backtracks in haste and eventually plucks the ball from the sky.
34 min: A shot from Johnson, right in the middle of the park, 25 yards out. The ball takes a wicked deflection, nearly wrongfooting Cech, but the keeper does well to adjust and claim.
37 min: Lampard is replaced by Malouda. At 73, Po' Frank is old and brittle now, and perhaps no longer capable of playing box-to-box football every week. Here's a thing: could AVB possibly know better than an England international? Could he really do that?
40 min: Interventions by the keepers at both ends. First Cech powerfully palms out a hard, low cross by Holt. Then Mata finds some space in the Norwich area, just to the left of goal, and sees his low effort snaffled by Ruddy.
42 min: Meireles has a crack from 30 yards. It's a decent effort, heading towards the top right, but easily dealt with by Ruddy. "Torres has had 31 apps for Chelsea and scored 3 times, so one goal per 10 games," writes Anders Borchorst, using all his fingers and a good number of toes. "His latest goal was in October so he's long overdue. Expect him to score anytime."
44 min: A sense that both teams are playing for the half-time whistle. On the touchline, Lampard sits with an ice pack on his calf, and a rare old look of displeasure on his phizog. Here's Mike Barron with the nearest we've got to an answer for Philippa Booth: "Not exactly an answer, but I went out with an Alexandra Crewe once." Seeing you're the only one bothering to help, I don't suppose you've got any cat urine tips? (Other than "don't put it on your carpet"?)
HALF TIME: Norwich City 0-0 Chelsea. A burst from Torres right at the end of the half. He makes the byline down the right, and sends a delicious cross into the middle for Sturridge, who shapes to shoot but sees the ball whipped away from him by a superlative last-ditch challenge from Johnson. And that's it for a half that's been interesting more than entertaining, but worth watching anyway.
HALF-TIME ENTERTAINMENT: And now, from Norwich, it's the (other) quiz of the week...
An unnecessarily long title sequence, this, although in fairness they're only playing a game of 21s and have to fill the half hour somehow.
MORE HALF-TIME ENTERTAINMENT: "Yikes!" shrieks ma learned colleague Paul Doyle on The Twitter. "A Norwich fan has proposed to his girlfriend via the PA system at half-time. Crowd chant 'No! No!' The announcer will reveal answer soon."
And we're off again! Norwich get the ball rolling. Meanwhile, here's a stat for you: there wasn't a single foul in that first half.
Not a single foul.
46 min 13 sec: FOUL!!! It had to happen. Morison, going backwards from the Chelsea box, leaves out a leg, and trips Meireles. Gah!
48 min: Terry tears away from his berth in the centre and goes chasing after a ball down the left. He runs straight past it, like a confused puppy. As he dispatches himself into the stands, Pilkington goes romping into space. He checks inside, and looks for the top-left corner with a curler. He just about keeps the effort in the top-left corner of the stand. Norwich had plenty of folk in the box then. What a waste.
50 min: It's been a bit scrappy since the restart. "I was at the Wolves game recently where Lampard stayed out on the pitch kissing his badge in front of the Chelsea fans for a full 5 mins after the game ended," reports Ian Burch. "Now he may well have a sponsorship deal with Chapstick, but it seemed like he just wanted to avoid shaking hands with AVB who gave up waiting for him and went down the tunnel. Honestly, grow up you big kid and stop sulking."
52 min: Cole whips a low cross into the area from the left. Chelsea have plenty of troublemakers in the area, but Whitbread slides in to clear for a corner. That's a brilliant intervention. From the corner, Torres takes a wild fresh-air swipe on the edge of the area. Oh me, oh my. "You can get red wine out of carpets with white wine," writes John Darby. "Not sure what the cat urine equivalent is - dog urine?" Actually, I could use that logic to solve my other problem, i.e. "dealing with" the cat in question. I'll set a dog after the little sod. I wonder if I can source a pack of rabid hounds from the Kings Cross shops on my way home?
55 min: Chelsea are pressing Norwich back, though failing to carve out any proper chances. Here they are passing it around hither and yon 25 yards from goal, before Mata gets frustrated and hoicks a through ball intended for Cole down the left straight into the stand.
57 min: Norwich aren't quite clicking this half. A cross from the left by Morison flies out of touch on the other side, 20-odd yards behind the player. A proper old shank. "I can't think of any footballers named after two clubs," begins Ryan Sharpe, "but I did come up with this fellow who checks three teams: Carlyle Carlos dos Santos Junior - or simply known as Carlyle. Yes, that'd be Carlisle United, Santos, and Boca Juniors. And 'dos' can also mean two, which means my score counts double. I win be a country mile."
60 min: WHAT A MISS! And yes, it is him. Torres, on the penalty spot, traps dead a low cross by Bosingwa. With players closing in, it's not the easiest chance in the world, but it's easy enough, and he should at least get it on target. And he doesn't, prodding a confidence-free effort wide right. The crowd discuss matters financial once again.
62 min: Mata is free down the inside-left channel and into the area. His low shot at the near post is going in, but is tipped round the corner brilliantly by Ruddy. And that's the end of the danger.
63 min: Up the other end, Holt looks for Morison on the edge of the area with a looped pass. It hits Meireles on the arm, and should be a dangerous free kick just to the left of the D. But the referee misses it, and play - much to the home crowd's displeasure - goes on. Now I'm beginning to understand how there wasn't a single foul in the entire first half.
65 min: The ball clanks off Naughton and past the byline down the left. And Chelsea will have to do better than that if they want me to describe their corner.
68 min: Meireles sends a fierce rising volley goalwards from the edge of the area. It's rising a tad too quickly for Chelsea's liking, sadly, and the ball whistles just over the bar. "What about the God's Aftershave that is Febreeze?" asks Ryan Dunne re the cat urine issue. "You know they do a version that smells of New Zealand? I wonder if New Zealanders can buy a Scotland-flavoured version?"
71 min: Norwich win a corner down the left. The delivery is decent, but Holt and Morison confuse each other as the ball sails through the area, and a chance to nut one goalward from 12 yards is spurned. "Can I have Lincoln, please?" asks Chris Greenhough. "I've
wasted spent a very rewarding half an hour researching this."
72 min: Torres might not be clicking up front, but he's been working hard up and down the field. Not for the first time today, he shows in defence, powering Morison off the ball in his own area, then drawing a free kick while surrounded by yellow shirts. For a second, that looked like trouble for Chelsea, with Morison in space. "If getting rid of the cat is not an option, then how about getting rid of the carpet?" wonders Robin Hazlehurst. "Bare floorboards absorb the smelly liquid and it naturally processes away, bare stone flags are fairly easy to mop clean, and bare earth is positively enhanced by the stuff. And if you don't have bare earth under your carpet, and you may not if you live in urban sophistication, then just spread dirt on the floor and pretend."
74 min: Ramires takes a low blast at the Norwich goal from the edge of the area. It's a really meaty belt, and through a thicket of players as well, but Ruddy watches it all the way, dropping to the floor to smother the danger. It's just as well he holds on, too, because Torres was lurking, on his toes and ready to pounce forward to latch onto any rebound.
77 min: Torres is hooked. Lukaku comes on in his stead. The Norwich crowd, one last time, give their take on Chelsea's financial dealings of last January. You get the impression half of them will be wandering home whistling the theme tune to the Money Programme.
78 min: Norwich swap Morison and Fox for Jackson and Crofts.
79 min: It's all about touchline action at the moment. Meireles is replaced by Essien.
81 min: Chelsea are after the win here. First Lukaku powers down the right, a wonder run, but his low cross is cut out. Then there's a snapshot from Mata that ripples the side netting on the right. Norwich are digging in for their point, but in doing so, they're looking in more danger than ever today.
85 min: So much for that last comment. Chelsea have gone very quiet now. Meanwhile Patrick Neylan would like to take issue with the entry on 74 mins: "Don't you mean, 'Torres was lurking, on his toes and ready to pounce forward to lash any rebound over the bar'?"
87 min: Malouda shoots from the edge of the area. The ball sails well wide right of goal. From the corner, he takes another swipe at goal from ten yards, but the shot can't get through a bunch of players. "You need Zoflora," suggests Tim Forbes of Specialty Drinks, rummaging around his cocktail cabinet. "I don't know what colour your carpet is, and it won't do anything about the stain (except possibly make it worse, as it's a particularly suggestive colour itself – but it's the only thing I've ever found that gets rid of the smell. Pour on liberally, undiluted."
88 min: Before the Sky sound engineer can hit the sliders, Paul Lambert can be heard issuing his troops with detailed tactical advice. "Don't get fuckin' beat!!!" he screams. A peek inside the world of the professional, there.
90 min: Bennett replaces Surman. Here's more from Tim Forbes: "In contradiction to your previous correspondent, may I just add that cat pee on bare stone flags will lower your house price by between 10-20% as it is impossible to get rid of, while spreading bare earth would be like a red rag to a bull. Cats assume that earth is there for them to pee on."
90 min +1: There will be three added minutes, of which this is the first. Bennett's first touch is a dreadful clearance of a left-wing Chelsea cross. The ball goes straight to Malouda, on the edge of the area in acres of space, but luckily for the Norwich sub, the Chelsea winger screws a hilariously useless effort into the top-right corner of the stand behind.
90 min +2: Lukaku goes on another Power Run down the right, but nothing comes of it.
FULL TIME: Norwich City 0-0 Chelsea. And that's that. Chelsea give Arsenal, Newcastle United and Liverpool hope in the chase for the fourth Champions League spot, by failing to pick up all three points here. A disappointed Villas Boas nevertheless shakes hands warmly with Paul Lambert, whose men followed his instructions to a T: they did not "get fuckin' beat". Chelsea remain in fourth, five ahead of Arsenal, and Norwich stay in ninth, three ahead of Swansea City. I wonder if she said yes, by the way? I do hope so.