Chelsea-Norwich City Preview
By JEFF FLETCHER
STATS European Editor
(AP) -- Jose Mourinho's Chelsea side will be aiming for their first Premier League away win of the season when they travel to play Norwich City at Carrow Road Sunday.
The Blues will be boosted by an impressive 4-0 victory at Steaua Bucharest in the Champions League Tuesday as they look to kick-start their domestic league campaign after making a sluggish start in England's top flight.
Brazilian midfielder Ramires scored either side of an own goal from Steaua defender Daniel Georgievski before Frank Lampard added a fourth in stoppage time.
"I put a lot of pressure on the players for this game," Mourinho admitted. "It's a way you can grow up faster. When you play for a big club, you need to have big challenges, sometimes bigger than your real conditions to succeed.
"It's the way to accelerate the process. I'm happy because they coped very, very well and we played very good football. In attacking areas we were beautiful in certain moments, but I think everything started in the back. Petr (Cech), Iva (Branislav Ivanovic), David (Luiz) - zero mistakes all game - John (Terry), Ash (Ashley Cole). They gave us big stability there and from there the team could cope with the situation."
Chelsea (3-2-1) drew 1-1 at Tottenham last weekend an in ill-tempered match that saw Fernando Torres sent off late after being shown two yellow cards.
The Spanish striker also came under scrutiny from the Football Association after being shown on television scratching Spurs defender Jan Vertonghen's face. However, the FA could not impose retroactive action since a match official had already seen the incident. As a result, Torres was handed a standard one-match ban for his dismissal. Torres would have missed the Norwich match anyway after suffering a knee injury against Steaua that will keep him out of action for three weeks.
Norwich (2-1-3) eased the pressure on manager Chris Hughton on Sept. 28 when Jonny Howson's first-half goal earned them a 1-0 win at Stoke. It was only their second league win of the season.
There had been speculation about Hughton's future at Carrow Road following a disappointing start to their league campaign - just four points from their first five matches - after the club had spent heavily on new players in the summer.
"I think every win away from home is a big win, particularly for us, given we have found it more difficult away from home," Hughton said. "I don't think there is anyone who would say different than we thoroughly deserved it. It is a big lift."
Hughton was the victim of alleged racist abuse on a supporters' Facebook page following the win at Stoke. Local police said officers are investigating after being contacted by the anti-racism group Kick It Out.
Norwich said in a statement that it "totally supports" the reporting of the post and stressed the Facebook account was not officially affiliated to either Norwich City or their East Anglian rivals Ipswich Town.
Defender Sebastien Bassong remains doubtful for Norwich due to a hamstring problem.
In addition to Torres, Chelsea will be without Marco van Ginkel, who is out for six months following knee surgery, while Eden Hazard faces a late test on an ankle problem.
Chelsea have won seven of their last eight matches across all competitions against Norwich.
The Blues did the double over Norwich last season, winning 4-1 at Stamford Bridge in October on goals by Torres, Lampard, Hazard and Ivanovic after Grant Holt shocked the Londoners with the opening goal on 11 minutes. Chelsea won 1-0 at Carrow Road on a Juan Mata goal seven minutes before halftime.
Chelsea outshot Norwich 41-15 in the two matches.
Updated October 4, 2013