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STARTING XIs: Buendia fit enough to start for City against Forest

PUBLISHED: 14:11 26 December 2018 | UPDATED: 14:15 26 December 2018

Emi Buendia went off after 20 minutes of City's defeat at blackburn but is fit to start against Forest Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

Emi Buendia went off after 20 minutes of City's defeat at blackburn but is fit to start against Forest Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

Paul Chesterton

Emi Buendia has shaken off a dead leg to retain his starting place for Norwich City's home clash with Nottingham Forest this afternoon.

Buendia limped off after 20 minutes of Saturday’s 1-0 win at Blackburn after a heavy challenge but starts against Forest, with Mario Vrancic replacing the injured Moritz Leitner (ankle), who was also injured at Ewood Park, the only change to the starting XI.

The Canaries are unbeaten in 11 league matches and looking to keep pace with Leeds, who are a point clear at the top of the table ahead of a home clash with Blackburn today.

That defeat of Rovers thanks to a late Teemu Pukki winner means Daniel Farke’s team have lost just one of the last 18 Championship matches, winning their last five games at Carrow Road.

Forest have made four changes to their team following a 1-0 defeat at Queens Park Rangers last time out, with defenders Michael Hefele and Danny Fox both fit to start, and Claudio Yacob and Matty Cash coming into midfield.

The visitors sit seventh in the table, three points adrift of the play-off places and 12 behind second-placed Norwich, after one win in their last five matches.

After drawing 5-5 at Aston Villa, Aitor Karanka’s side beat lowly Ipswich 2-0 but have since lost 1-0 at home to Preston and QPR, either side of a 0-0 draw with local rivals Derby County.

Norwich: Krul; Aarons, Zimmermann, Godfrey, Lewis; Tettey (C), Vrancic; Buendia, Stiepermann, Cantwell; Pukki. Subs: McGovern (GK), Hanley, Klose, Trybull, Hernandez, Rhodes, Srbeny

Forest: Pantilimon; Darikwa, Hefele, Fox (C), Robinson; Yacob, Colback; Cash, Carvalho, Lolley; Grabban. Subs: Steele (GK), Guedioura, Watson, Murphy, Osborn, Janko, Dias

Referee: John Brooks (Leicestershire)

• You can follow all the action from Carrow Road in our Matchday Live blog at pinkun.com/live

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