Safri may get early return from Africa

Norwich City manager Nigel Worthington will learn tonight whether Youssef Safri is to make an early return from the African Cup of Nations in Egypt.

Norwich City manager Nigel Worthington will learn tonight whether Youssef Safri is to make an early return from the African Cup of Nations in Egypt.

Safri's country Morocco have picked up just one point from their opening two group fixtures and need to beat Libya comprehensively in their final game this evening to stand any chance of making it through to the knock-out stages of the competition.

Even then they would still need Ivory Coast to beat the hosts in the other game, while a goal difference of minus four would also have to be overturned.

If the results go against Morocco then Safri should be back in England at the beginning of next week - although whether he would be back in time for City's trip to league leaders Reading on Tuesday night is a matter for conjecture at present.


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If Morocco overturned the odds and qualified then the Canaries' midfield playmaker would miss the trip to the Madejski Stadium - and would also be unavailable for the East Anglian derby clash against Ipswich at Carrow Road on Sunday week.

City will have to find a new date for next month's home clash against Derby if the Rams come through their tie at Colchester today.

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The Coca-Cola Championship meeting between the two sides at Carrow Road is scheduled for the afternoon of Saturday, February 18 - the same day as the fifth round of the FA Cup.

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