STARTING XIs: Two changes for City as injuries force defensive shuffle for Derby battle
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Christoph Zimmermann and Onel Hernandez have returned to Norwich City's starting line-up for this afternoon's Carrow Road clash with Derby County.
Zimmermann pulled out of City's last match in the warm-up through illness but returns to partner Timm Klose in central defence, with Ben Godfrey moving to right-back and Max Aarons to the left to cover for the injured Jamal Lewis.
The Canaries extended their exceptional unbeaten run to 12 matches with a dramatic 3-3 home draw with Nottingham Forest on Boxing Day, thanks to two injury-time goals from substitute Onel Hernandez.
That leaves City with just one defeat from their last 19 games, although it came at a cost, with Emi Buendia (ankle) and Lewis (hamstring) both joining Moritz Leitner (ankle) on the sidelines until mid-January.
Hernandez, as expected, comes into the starting XI in place of Buendia and former captain Ivo Pinto returns to the squad in the absence of Lewis – having not even been named among the substitutes in the league since the 3-0 home defeat to Leeds in August – although he did start the League Cup games at Wycombe and Bournemouth.
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Derby sit sixth in the table, nine points adrift of second-placed Norwich, after a wobble in form recently. Frank Lampard's team lost 3-1 at play-off rivals Sheffield United on Boxing Day, following up two home draws, 0-0 with local rivals Forest and 1-1 with Bristol City.
The Rams also make two changes, with George Evans replacing Tom Huddlestone in midfield and former Ipswich man Martyn Waghorn into the attack, with Craig Bryson dropping to the bench.
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Norwich: Krul; Godfrey, Zimmermann, Klose, Aarons; Tettey (C), Vrancic; Hernandez, Stiepermann, Cantwell; Pukki. Subs: McGovern (GK), Pinto, Hanley, Trybull, Marshall, Rhodes, Srbeny
Derby: Carson; Bogle, Keogh (C), Tomori, Wisdom; Wilson, Evans, Mount; Jozefzoon, Marriott, Waghorn. Subs: Roos (GK), Pearce, Bryson, Holmes, Bird, Huddlestone, Nugent
Referee: David Webb (Lancs)