Canaries make five changes for Cardiff battle with Leitner returning in midfield
PUBLISHED: 14:12 14 April 2018 | UPDATED: 14:22 14 April 2018
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Daniel Farke has made five changes for this afternoon’s clash with promotion-chasing Cardiff City.
Ivo Pinto is rested after a busy period despite scoring a late equaliser at Sunderland in midweek, with Harrison Reed moving to right-back and Alex Tettey returning in midfield.
Timm Klose and Jamal Lewis are also back in place of Christoph Zimmermann and James Husband in defence.
Moritz Leitner is back after a month out with a hamstring issue to partner Tettey in midfield, with Wes Hoolahan dropping to the bench and Mario Vrancic moving further forward in midfield.
Dennis Srbeny also starts up front in place of Nelson Oliveira, who missed a host of chances in midweek.
The Canaries are looking to continue their improved home form, winning three and drawing three of their last seven Carrow Road games, including an impressive 3-1 defeat of Aston Villa last weekend.
That win saw City bounce back from successive defeats to Fulham and QPR but was followed by a frustrating 1-1 draw with relegation-bound Sunderland, when a host of chances were missed.
Cardiff when the first meeting of the teams this campaign 3-1 in South Wales in December, when a Marco Stiepermann strike late in the first half was wiped out by the hosts through a Joe Ralls penalty and further goals from Junior Hoilett and Omar Bogle.
The visitors make three changes, with Craig Bryson and Loic Damour coming into midfield in place of Marko Grujic and Callum Paterson, and with Gary Madine starting ahead of Kenneth Zohore up front.
After an outstanding run of eight consecutive wins the Bluebirds have slipped out of the automatic promotion places after taking just one point from their last three games.
Drawing 1-1 at Sheffield United before 1-0 defeats to champions-elect Wolves and potential play-off rivals Aston Villa has allowed Fulham to snatch second place, although Cardiff still have a game in hand.
Vastly experienced manager Neil Warnock took over from Paul Trollope in October 2016 with the Welsh side second from bottom in the Championship and led them to a comfortable 12th-placed finish, before engineering an unexpected promotion chase this season.
On-loan City winger Yanic Wildschut is ineligible against his parent club, having made eight appearances since joining the Bluebirds – starting just three games and being credited with one assist.
NORWICH: Gunn; Reed, Hanley, Klose, Lewis; Tettey (C), Leitner; Vrancic, Maddison, Murphy; Srbeny. Subs: McGovern (GK), Zimmermann, Raggett, Pinto, Husband, Hoolahan, Oliveira
CARDIFF: Etheridge; Bennett, Morrison (C), Bamba, Peltier; Gunnarsson, Bryson; Mendez-Laing, Damour, Hoilett; Madine. Subs: Murphy (GK), Manga, Ward, Paterson, Pilkington, Grujic, Zohore
City team news
Onel Hernandez (hamstring) is still out but could return to full training next week. Marley Watkins and Marco Stiepermann are available. Stiepermann may feature in tomorrow’s development game against Wolves, along with Matt Jarvis. Tom Trybull (ankle) and Louis Thompson (Achilles) are longer term absentees.
Cardiff team news
Joe Ralls (ankle) and Jazz Richards (ankle) are out. Yanic Wildschut is ineligible against his parent club.
Cardiff manager – Neil Warnock
Vastly-experienced manager targeting an eighth promotion after guiding the Bluebirds firmly into the Championship mix. Began his long managerial career at Gainsborough Trinity in 1981.
One to watch – Junior Hoilett
Pace and directness from wide areas. On target in the 3-1 win for Cardiff in the corresponding fixture. The former QPR and Blackburn attacker has 10 goals and 11 assists to his name from 45 games in all competitions.
Referee – Tim Robinson (West Sussex)
Awarded Hull City a contentious penalty in Norwich’s recent 4-3 Championship defeat. Shown 11 red and 139 yellow cards in 43 appointments this season.