Whitbread likely to feature for Norwich City reserves

Norwich City boss Paul Lambert must decide whether to give central defender Zak Whitbread a fitness run-out in tonight's latest Premier League reserve test against Aston Villa at Carrow Road (7pm).

The American recently returned to training with City's first team squad following a hamstring injury which had sidelined him since the early season 3-1 Premier League defeat at Chelsea.

Lambert opted not to bring the former Liverpool trainee back into contention for the latest league win against Swansea but Whitbread could potentially feature ahead of Saturday's trip to his former club.

Senior professionals Chris Martin, Adam Drury and Simon Lappin were also omitted from the Swansea matchday squad at the weekend, but have tended to play in this season's second string games at Carrow Road.

Martin impressed in the recent 4-2 defeat to Manchester United's reserves watched by more than 3,800 in an experienced line up alongside Andrew Surman, Aaron Wilbraham partnering Simeon Jackson in attack.

A youthful City second string lost 6-2 at Fulham last time out.

City's one win back in the Premier League reserve set-up this season came against Everton in August – the only side to have beaten Aston Villa at this level.

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Former Villa caretaker boss Kevin MacDonald is expected to bring an inexperienced squad to Carrow Road although talented England U21 striker Nathan Delfouneso could get a run out after missing Villa's heavy 4-1 weekend league defeat at Manchester City with a hamstring problem.

Supporters are advised to arrive early with tickets available in advance through the normal outlets. Only the Jarrold Stand only will be open. Tickets are priced �3 per person with no concessions and no free entry for season ticket holders.

First team midfielder Bradley Johnson is scheduled to be present in the Jarrold Stand to sign autographs from approximately 6.15pm.