Safri joins list of Canary unavailables

Nigel Worthington is once again down to the bare bones for today's home clash with Preston, the Canaries' fourth game in the space of eight days.

Nigel Worthington is once again down to the bare bones for today's home clash with Preston, the Canaries' fourth game in the space of eight days.

The City boss was without the services of five members of his first-team squad at Leicester, with Andy Hughes, Leon McKenzie, Carl Robinson, Matthieu Louis Jean and Ryan Jarvis all missing the game through a variety of injuries.

In the circumstances Worthington had little option but to include Jim Brennan and Jason Shackell in the travelling party, even though both had

only just recovered from illness, while 16-year-old academy prospect Michael Spillane made the trip to the East Midlands as cover.

With Youssef Safri missing this afternoon because of a one-match suspension it's again likely to be a case of all hands of deck against Preston, with Worthington keeping his fingers crossed that a number of players come through late fitness tests.

Robinson, who would be the obvious replacement for Safri, remains a big doubt after sustaining a rib injury against Burnley last week.

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If he fails to make it today either Brennan or 17-year-old Rossi Jarvis will join Simon Charlton and Dickson Etuhu in City's three-man midfield - unless Worthington opts to revert to

4-4-2 shape, with Ian Henderson providing the width on the right.

There are no problems up front, with Dean Ashton, Darren Huckerby and Paul McVeigh all ready for action, but it's a different story at the back, with Craig Fleming and Jurgen Colin both sustaining knocks against the Foxes.

The long-serving club captain is expected to shrug off a nasty head wound that required a number of stitches to retain his place alongside Gary Doherty in the centre, but Colin is a doubt after being stretchered off during the closing stages of Saturday's fixture.

The problem is believed to be no more serious that a painful bout of cramp, but the Dutchman has never been used to playing so much football in such a small space of time and might struggle to get through another 90 minutes against Preston.

If he fails to make it then Jarvis would almost certainly be handed his full debut at right-back, after standing in for Colin for nine minutes at the Walkers Stadium.

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