Four changes for Canaries against Reading as Spurs loanee is named on the bench for first time
PUBLISHED: 14:13 17 March 2018 | UPDATED: 14:36 17 March 2018
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Tottenham loanee Marcus Edwards has been named on the bench for the first time, as Norwich City head coach Daniel Farke makes four changes to his starting XI for today’s home clash with Reading.
Edwards in on the bench alongside the fit-again striker Nelson Oliveira, with City deploying a 4-2-3-1 formation and Christoph Zimmermann dropping to the bench.
Jamal Lewis reclaims the left-back berth from James Husband, Harrison Reed replaces the injured Alex Tettey in midfield after shaking off illness, Onel Hernandez starts on the right and Dennis Srbeny starts up front ahead of Marley Watkins.
Edwards, 19, joined Norwich on loan in January but has not been named in a matchday squad before. However, the attacker was named in the England U20s squad this week and Farke had said in recent weeks that the Spurs prospect had improved in training.
City are looking to bring an end to a run of three successive draws at home, with the last two ending 0-0 against Bolton and Nottingham Forest. Only six teams have managed fewer than the 23 points Norwich have accumulated from 18 home games in the Championship so far this season.
The Canaries bounced back from a chaotic 4-3 defeat at Hull last Saturday with a 1-1 draw at Barnsley on Tuesday. They have only lost two of their last 14 league games but taken just six of the last 21 points available to leave them marooned in 14th place, 12 points adrift of the play-offs and 19 clear of the drop zone.
Reading make two changes, with youngster Sam Smith coming in up front in place of the injured Jon Dadi Bodvarsson and Liam Kelly replacing George Smith in midfield.
The visitors have won just one of their last 17 league games and were beaten 3-0 away to leaders Wolves in midweek.
Jaap Stam’s struggling side missed out on promotion on penalties to Huddersfield in last season’s play-off final but sit six points clear of the relegation zone and lost 2-1 to City at the Madejski Stadium earlier this season, thanks to goals from James Maddison and Cameron Jerome.
Despite that, only Fulham (57%) average higher possession than Reading (56%) in the Championship, with Norwich not far behind in fourth with an average of 54%.
City: Gunn; Pinto (C), Hanley, Klose, Lewis; Reed, Vrancic; Hernandez, Maddison, Murphy; Srbeny. Subs: McGovern (GK), Zimmermann, Husband, Edwards, Hoolahan, Watkins, Oliveira
Reading: Jakkola; Gunter, Ilori, Moore, Blackett; Edwards, Kelly, Clement; Aluko, Smith, Barrow. Subs: Mannone (GK), Holmes, Bacuna, van den Berg, Evans, Kermorgant, Swift
City team news
Nelson Oliveira could make the bench after shaking off a calf problem, Christoph Zimmermann and Harrison Reed are over illness. Alex Tettey (foot), Moritz Leitner (hamstring), Marco Stiepermann (hernia) and Tom Trybull (ankle) are out until after the break. Matt Jarvis and Louis Thompson are unlikely to feature this season.
Reading team news
Former City striker Chris Martin could return after illness as could midfielders Liam Kelly (ankle) and John Swift (rested). Garath McCleary (ankle), defenders Paul McShane, Tommy Elphick, Jordan Obita (all knee) and Omar Richards (calf) remain sidelined, with Joey van den Berg (ankle) also struggling.
Opposition manager – Jaap Stam
Huge impact in his first season, earning 85 points to finish third before Wembley heartbreak against Huddersfield in the play-off final. Yet to shake off that hangover but still in a job despite one win in 17 games.
One to watch – Mo Barrow
Former Swansea wide man has pace to burn. The Gambia international, 25, is Reading’s top scorer with nine goals from 32 games.
Referee – Oliver Langford (West Mids)
Has shown 104 yellow and four red cards in 34 games so far this season, mostly in the Championship. His only City game was the 2-0 win over QPR at Carrow Road in August but has overseen two 2-0 losses for the Royals, at home to Middlesbrough and at Bristol City.
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