Canaries prepare for Union test, as U23s face Farke’s former team
Pre-season continues with the second friendly of Norwich City’s tour of Germany this afternoon.
The Canaries take on Bundesliga II side Union Berlin at Stadium Laumeskamp in Delbruck (5pm UK time) looking to build on a 3-2 win over another second-tier team, Paderborn, on Sunday.
Whereas Paderborn have just been promoted from Bundesliga III, Union finished eighth in Bundesliga II last year. Berlin are stepping up their own preparations though, after a 1-1 draw and two 3-1 wins against lower level German opponents, following today’s game with friendly fixtures against Bordeaux and Queens Park Rangers.
Among the players the Canaries could face is Felix Kroos, the younger brother of Germany star Toni and a former Werder Bremen team-mate of City midfielder Tom Trybull.
Union are looking to fill the hole left in their team by Steven Skrzybski though, who joined top-flight side Schalke this summer after a season which brought him 14 goals in 29 games.
They have also lost centre-back Toni Leistner, a player regularly linked with Norwich since Daniel Farke’s arrival, only to join Championship rivals QPR on a free transfer.
First up today however is an under-23s game, when Matt Gill’s development squad take on Borussia Dortmund II – the former team of City head coach Farke – at Kampfbahn Schwanbell in Lunen (1.30pm UK time), north of Dortmund.
The Canaries’ boss led the Bundesliga club’s U23 squad to second place in Regionalliga West in 2016/17, at the fourth tier of German football.
A strong season, conceding just 25 goals in 34 games was blighted by 15 draws, causing Farke’s group to finish nine points adrift of top spot.
That defensive strength convinced City to give imposing centre-back Christoph Zimmermann the chance to follow his head coach to England, having captained Dortmund’s U23s that season.
Without Farke and Zimmermann the BVB youngsters finished fourth last season, conceding 21 more goals and finishing 21 points adrift of the summit.