Srbeny starts as Oliveira is dropped as part of three City changes for Wolves battle
PUBLISHED: 18:53 21 February 2018 | UPDATED: 19:26 21 February 2018
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January signing Dennis Srbeny has been handed his first start by Norwich City head coach Daniel Farke as part of three changes for tonight’s match against league leaders Wolves.
Srbeny replaces Nelson Oliveira – without a goal in 11 matches – up front while Marley Watkins plays in support of him, in place of Josh Murphy, who is on the bench alongside Oliveira.
Mario Vrancic comes into midfield in place of Alex Tettey and Harrison Reed remains at right wing-back, with skipper Ivo Pinto not in the squad at all unexpectedly, so Timm Klose is handed the captain’s armband.
The Canaries have lost just one of their last nine league games and head for kick-off in good spirits after a dramatic last-gasp equaliser to snatch a 1-1 draw from the jaws of defeat against arch rivals Ipswich on Sunday.
Wolves have named the same starting XI which drew 1-1 at Preston North End on Saturday.
The big-spending hosts are 11 points clear at the top of the table and have lost just one of their last 18 league games, a 2-0 home loss to Nottingham Forest in January.
Nuno Espirita Santo’s team have won 13 of those 18 games though and look nailed on to be promoted to the Premier League, having invested heavily since Chinerse investment company Fosun International took control of the club in 2016.
Wanderes also have two players in their team with over 350 Canaries appearances between them, goalkeeper John Ruddy and defender Ryan Bennett, who have been regulars since leaving City last summer when their contracts expired due to their top-level wages.
Ruddy, 31, has kept a league-high 17 clean sheets in 32 games this season having made 243 appearances for Norwich over the course of seven seasons. Bennett has made 24 appearances so far this season and made 119 for City across five seasons.
Norwich: Gunn; Hanley, Zimmermann, Klose (C); Reed, Vrancic, Leitner, Lewis; Maddison, Watkins, Srbeny. Subs: McGovern (GK), Husband, Raggett, Tettey, Murphy, Hernandez, Oliveira
Wolves: Ruddy; Bennett, Coady (C), Boly; Douglas, N’Diaye, Neves, Douglas; Costa, Jota, Cavaleiro. Subs: Norris (GK), Batth, Miranda, Gibbs-White, Saiss, Afobe, Bonatini
City team news
Daniel Farke reported no fresh injury worries following Sunday’s 1-1 Championship draw against Ipswich Town. Ivo Pinto is pushing for a recall after his recent knee injury. Tom Trybull has been ruled out for the majority of the run in, after suffering ankle and knee ligament damage. Midfielder Louis Thompson (Achilles) remains a longer term injury absentee.
Wolves team news
Leo Bonatini and Romain Saiss may come back into the line up if Nuno Espirito Santo wants to freshen up his starting XI. Phil Ofosu-Ayeh (ankle) is still a long-term absentee.
One to watch – Ruben Neves
Portugal international who arrived from Porto for a reported £15.8m club record fee last summer. Highly-rated midfielder who has the distinction of being the youngest captain in the Champions League at 18 in 2015.
Wolves head coach – Nuno Espirito Santo
Signed a three-year deal at Molineux in May 2017, and has guided Wolves to an 11-point lead at the top of the Championship. Varied coaching career prior to his arrival in England with spells in his homeland at Rio Ave and Porto along with one season at Valencia. As a player, was part of the Jose Mourinho Porto era which won the Uefa Cup and the Champions League.
Referee – James Linnington (Newport)
Shown 102 yellow and five red cards during 31 matches so far this season.