STARTING XIs: Two changes for City at Wycombe
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Onel Hernandez has shaken off a dead leg to make his first league start in four months for Norwich City this lunchtime, away to bottom side Wycombe Wanderers.
Hernandez impressed off the bench during the 3-1 win at Birmingham on Tuesday and with Todd Cantwell having a minor calf issue, the Cuban winger starts and Poland winger Przemek Placheta returns to the bench after a four-game absence.
The other change to the starting XI is Ben Gibson returning after two games with a back issue, with Christoph Zimmermann dropping to the bench and Xavi Quintilla dropping out of the squad.
Marco Stiepermann is due to return to first-team training after almost two months out due to a virus, making his second appearance at under-23 level on Friday and getting 90 minutes during a 3-0 win at Middlesbrough, scoring a penalty and claiming an assist.
January signing Orjan Nyland is now in full training but young keeper Daniel Barden continues to provide cover for Tim Krul, with Michael McGovern set to miss much of the rest of the season after hamstring surgery.
Full-back Sam Byram is making his way tentatively back to full training after a year out due to two hamstring operations.
The leaders go into the game knowing they would push 10 points clear of third place with a fifth consecutive victory, to retain firm control of the automatic promotion race.
Brentford cut their lead to four points with a 2-1 home win over Stoke on Saturday but both Watford and Swansea lost to give the Canaries the chance to solidify their top-two prospects.
WYCOMBE V NORWICH: All you need to know
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- 2 Norwich pub's shock after city council refuse outdoor seating bid
- 3 Driver flees after crashing into level crossing
- 4 Delivery driver fined for 'flagrant' seafront stunt caught on CCTV
- 5 Police and air ambulance called to major incident near Norwich
- 6 Couple sell 'amazing' converted water mill after two-year renovation
- 7 Hairdressers working 12-hour days to recoup Covid losses
- 8 Day of two halves - Footballer wins £80,000 and breaks leg in 24 hours
- 9 Caravan left dumped near beach for several years will be removed
- 10 Man staged his own kidnap to get ransom from his family
Norwich needed a late free-kick from Mario Vrancic to beat Gareth Ainsworth's spirited side 2-1 at Carrow Road in October, after Scott Kashket had cancelled out Teemu Pukki's opener for the Canaries early in the first half.
The Chairboys are in their first season in the second tier and although they are bottom of the table they have kept survival hopes alive with two wins and a draw from their last four matches.
They were left 11 points adrift on Saturday however, as Birmingham won 2-1 at home against QPR to bounce back from their midweek 3-1 defeat to Norwich.
They won 1-0 at home against play-off hopefuls Reading on Tuesday, despite centre-back Ryan Tafazolli being sent off in the 69th minute, with Josh Knight dropping into defence and Dominic Gape coming into midfield as the hosts' only change, in Tafazolli's absence.
The hosts have former Norwich academy prospect Anis Mehmeti in their starting XI, with the 20-year-old scoring twice in 17 Championship appearances so far this season. The midfielder was with Norwich between 2017 and 2019.
Two experienced players return to the bench for Wycombe. Influential left-back Joe Jacobson has only featured in one of the last eight games due to a knee injury and then a muscle strain and veteran striker Adebayo Akinfenwa has missed the last four with a knee problem.
Number one goalkeeper Ryan Allsop has missed the last two games through injury, which saw former Fulham keeper David Stockdale recalled from an emergency loan with League Two side Stevenage.
NORWICH (4-2-3-1): Krul; Aarons, Hanley (C), Gibson, Giannoulis; Skipp, McLean; Buendia, Vrancic, Hernandez; Pukki. Subs: Barden (GK), Zimmermann, Tettey, Sorensen, Rupp, Dowell, Placheta, Idah, Hugill
WYCOMBE (4-3-3): Stockdale; Grimmer, Stewart (C), Knight, Obita; Wheeler, Gape, Mehmeti; McCleary, Ikpeazu, Onyedinma. Subs: Anderson (GK), McCarthy, Jacobson, Horgan, Thompson, Ofoborh, Kashket, Akinfenwa, Samuel
REFEREE: Robert Jones (Merseyside)
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