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Friday 29 August 2014

Hughton ready for Blues challenge

Published 25/12/2012 | 15:10

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Chris Hughton is expecting a stern test on Boxing Day against in-form Chelsea

Norwich manager Chris Hughton is braced for a "formidable" Boxing Day challenge from a Chelsea side he believes could still be in the hunt for the Barclays Premier League title.

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The Canaries were beaten 4-1 at Stamford Bridge earlier this season and they face Chelsea just three days after the Blues stunned Aston Villa 8-0.

"They have great attacking options. We experienced that at their place a couple of months ago," Hughton told reporters. " Victor Moses is starting to show his real quality now. Fernando Torres is hitting very good form. The fact they kept a clean sheet against Aston Villa as well shows the quality and depth they have throughout the squad."

He continued: " David Luiz playing in midfield is a role everybody felt was a role he could do and he showed some real quality.

"They are fairly formidable. They are placed very well in the league with a game in hand. They are still in the Capital One Cup with a great chance to progress (to the final)."

The Chelsea supporters may not be entirely convinced by manager Rafael Benitez, but Hughton agrees with the Spaniard that their title bid is not over yet.

Chelsea are third in the league, 11 points behind leaders Manchester United and seven behind Manchester City with a game in hand.

"At the moment Chelsea are on a high and he [Benitez] will be judged on that," said Hughton.

"He will perhaps look at the two teams above them at the moment and think 'will they go through the season without dropping points?'

"That is very difficult. Swansea showed against Manchester United that everybody is fighting. If they (Chelsea) put a good run together then everything is possible."

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