Middle ground is a worry for Norwich City boss Alex Neil
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Midfield problems hit Norwich City hard at the weekend – and they may face exactly the same issues in Birmingham.
City's central midfield woes were there for all to see as they slumped to defeat at home to Brentford. And there is little to suggest Alex Neil's midfield conundrum will be easier to solve at St Andrew's in three days' time.
'This broken toe stuff is seriously boring!' tweeted Gary O'Neil on Tuesday, reaffirming the injury he sustained on Friday that left him on crutches. That is expected to put O'Neil out of this weekend's trip, for which Jonny Howson will serve the third and final game of his ban, for being sent off at Bournemouth.
Vadis Odjidja-Ofoe has been out since October with a knee injury and suffered a set-back in his recovery last week – making it unlikely he will return at the weekend from such a lengthy spell out.
So Alex Tettey remains City's best hope of avoiding a repeat of Saturday's issues – although the Norwegian's groin injury was not cured enough for Neil to risk him last weekend. Therefore, the City boss could be left scratching around for the second game running to find cover. Full-back Steven Whittaker filled in on Saturday, while Elliott Bennett, Wes Hoolahan and Conor McGrandles are other options to complete a makeshift central midfield.
From looking like relegation candidates, Birmingham have been rejuvenated under new manager Gary Rowett and impressed in their narrow FA Cup exit to Tony Pulis' West Brom on Saturday.
The Blues, who drew 0-0 at Sheffield Wednesday on Tuesday night, have lost just twice in 13 games since Rowett took charge.
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