Big test ahead for Norwich City reserves as Arsenal youngsters head to Carrow Road

Norwich City's second string look set to tackle the cream of Arsenal's emerging talent in tonight's Premier League reserve fixture at Carrow Road (7pm).

A youthful Gunners' squad is expected to travel to Norfolk featuring the bulk of Steve Bould's junior crop who currently top their Academy League. City have recently lost to both Liverpool and West Brom on the road with a side comprising largely the Canaries' own academy products and young professionals. Striker James Vaughan did score against the Baggies' reserves in last week's 3-1 defeat, prior to making his first team return in the FA Cup fifth round exit to Leicester. City boss Paul Lambert confirmed over the weekend midfielder Jonny Howson was ready to step up his fitness return from a knee problem. The ex-Leeds man is expected to train with the rest of Norwich's first team squad this week for the first time since his Elland Road switch, but tonight's game is expected to come too soon in his personal battle for fitness.

Zak Whitbread (hamstring) and Marc Tierney (groin) settled for a watching brief against the Foxes. Lambert is unlikely to risk the pair ahead of Manchester United's Premier League visit on Sunday. Simon Lappin was an unused FA Cup substitute, but the Scot has been a regular alongside the likes of Aaron Wilbraham in the majority of Norwich's home reserve league contests this season.

Wilbraham's late winner sealed their only victory at this level when they beat Everton 2-1 at Carrow Road back in late August. The Gunners lie third in the Premier Reserve League South standings and Neil Banfield's men hammered Wolves 3-0 in their last game.

Admission for all suporters tonight is �3.


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