Onel Hernandez retains his starting place as Norwich takes on Brentford
– Photo credit: Paul Chesterton / Focus Images Ltd.
Norwich City has named an unchanged squad for the top encounter with Brentford that evening. Onel Hernandez starts again on the left wing.
The Cuban was the man who received the nod to replace the injured Todd Cantwell for Sunday’s 2-0 win at Wycombe, who is hoping before visiting Luton to shake off a calf problem on Saturday.
The signing of Orjan Nyland in January is fit, but the young Daniel Barden continues to offer goalkeeper Tim Krul cover on the bench.
Marco Stiepermann is after a few weeks with the U -23-year-olds fully trained again to get fit after two months with a virus, but will probably fight for selection for the home game on Saturday with midfielder Luton at the earliest.
The full-back Sam Byram works after a year still provisionally back to full training due to two thigh surgeries, and goalkeeper Michael McGovern is hoping to be back in the competition after a thigh operation earlier this year before the end of the season.
The Canaries are leaving with seven points ahead of the second-placed bees into the game. Sunday’s win at Wycombe secured a fifth win on the spin.
The teams’ last meeting ended in a 1-1 draw at Brentford Community Stadium in October. City wasted chances but Krul had to hold the 1-0 after Ivan Toney scored for the hosts before replacing Kenny McLean with a deflected equalizer in the 87th minute.
This was one of Toney’s 25 goals this season that put him in pole position to win the Division’s Golden Shoe. Six more than Blackburn striker Adam Armstrong and seven more than Norwich star Teemu Pukki.
Brentford makes two changes: Former Norwich winger Sergi Canos replaces Tariqe Fosu and Mathias Jensen replaces England U21 midfielder Josh Dasilva, who has a hip problem.
The visitors are without former Leeds central defender Pontus Jansson, who has been missing since the ankle surgery in January. Midfielder Shandon Baptiste has been sidelined with a serious knee injury since October.
Thomas Frank also suffered a severe blow in late February when the highly rated left-back Rico Henry was excluded for two months with a thigh injury.
The Canaries have Canos signed from Liverpool for around £ 2.5million in the summer of 2016. He made just six appearances under Alex Neil and scored two goals in a League Cup before being sold in January 2017 for a fee similar to former loaner club Brentford.
The 24-year-old Spaniard has scored 22 goals in 153 games since then and has appeared in every championship game this season so far, having missed most of last season with a serious knee injury.
Early last month, Brentford City knocked off the top for the first time in over two months, making it 2-0 – Canary Islands defeat in Swansea used to win the game in hand.
However, an unbeaten 21-game run was suddenly stalled with three losses in a row and Norwich was able to regain control of the automatic promotion race – 10 points ahead of third placed Watford before today’s game.
The game is kicked off at 5:30 p.m. as it will be broadcast live by Sky Sports. Watford is at home with Wycombe and Swansea at 7:00 PM, one point down in fourth place, in a game at 8:15 PM in Stoke.
NORWICH (4-2-3-1): Krul; Aarons, Hanley (C), Gibson, Giannoulis; Skipp, McLean; Buendia, Vrancic, Hernandez; Pukki. Subs: Barden (GK), Zimmermann, Tettey, Sorensen, Rupp, Dowell, Placheta, Idah, Hugill
BRENTFORD (4-3-3): Raya; Dalsgaard (C), Reid, Pinnock, Sorensen; Jensen, Janelt, Ghoddos; Canos, Toney, Mbuemo. Subs: Daniels (GK), Gilbert, Zamburek, Bidstrup, Roerslev, Norgaard, Marcondes, Fosu, Forss
– You can follow all updates, analysis and reactions from Carrow Road on our Matchday Live blog
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