Norwich V Chelsea at Carrow Road - Match Preview

Hughton waits on Bassong

Norwich manager Chris Hughton will delay naming his squad for Sunday's match against Chelsea at Carrow Road to decide on the fitness of defender Sebastien Bassong who has been suffering from a hamstring injury.

Midfielder Nathan Redmond (ankle) and defender Javier Garrido (thigh)are both fit and available, however, after training this week.

Striker Ricky van Wolfswinkel also missed a couple of training sessions with a toe problem but should be fit.

Norwich face the Blues following a good win away at Stoke last weekend which eased some of the pressure on Hughton.

But with the Chelsea match being followed by Arsenal after the international break, it is a crucial period for Hughton who will face Jose Mourinho for the first time as a manager.

Hughton said: "I'm looking forward to playing against Chelsea with the quality and the array of talent they have.

"It's always a nice thought to be coming against the best managers. I think he has been great for our game. He speaks very well about the English game.

"He has an incredible CV and is used to managing winning teams and that is the biggest challenge. There is no doubt there is something special about him. His CV says that. He's very charismatic and you can say all those things about him, but the important thing is his CV. He's a manager who is used to winning."

Hughton will wait to decide on the fitness of defender Sebastien Bassong but Nathan Redmond and Javier Garrido are both fit and available after recovering from injuries.

The Norwich boss, however, who saw his side defeat Manchester United and Arsenal at Carrow Road last season, predicts a tight match.

Hughton said: "It's almost impossible to go into a game against the likes of Chelsea and play an open game. You've got to press in the right areas and be able to keep hold of the ball.

"We will be underdogs and most people would expect them to win. But you have to use that and at Carrow Road we have put in good performances against the big teams. We have to draw on those experiences."

Eden Hazard (ankle) is doubtful as Chelsea go in search of a first away win of the season.

Hazard returned to training on Friday after missing the midweek win at Steaua Bucharest along with Kevin de Bruyne, who was not selected, and Marco van Ginkel, who is out for six months following knee surgery.

Fernando Torres is out for three weeks with a knee injury, although the striker would have missed the Carrow Road encounter through suspension after his dismissal at Tottenham.

Mourinho has predicted since before the season's start that the fight for the Premier League title will be open and he believes a clearer assessment is only possible once everyone has played each other once.

"The league will be open till the end," Mourinho added.

"In this moment some teams are being helped by the fixtures, because some fixtures are more difficult than others.

"By the end of November, beginning of December, basically everybody will have played against everybody and by that moment we will find if somebody is in a better situation than others."

Mourinho's assessment of his own side suggests there is plenty of work to be done.

"We are not strong enough to be dominant every match, to win consecutively without any lost points," Mourinho said.

But he has seen signs of progress, including in Romania in the 4-0 defeat of Steaua Bucharest.

He wants to develop consistency of results and performances by changing his team's approach to become "active and not reactive".

"It's more difficult to change mentality than change tactics," Mourinho said.

Source: PA

Source: PA