Youssouf Mulumbu to miss Norwich City’s clash with Birmingham City

Norwich City midfielder Youssouf Mulumbu has helped DR Congo reach the quarter-finals of the African

Norwich City midfielder Youssouf Mulumbu has helped DR Congo reach the quarter-finals of the African Cup of Nations. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Youssouf Mulumbu will not be available for Norwich City's home clash with Birmingham City on Saturday, after helping Democratic Republic of Congo seal qualification for the African Cup of Nations quarter-finals.

The 29-year-old central midfielder missed his country's opening game in the tournament in Gabon, a 1-0 win over Morocco in their Group C opener last Monday.

He then came on in the 72nd minute of a 2-2 draw with Ivory Coast on Friday and started this evening's 3-1 win over Togo which sealed top spot in the group, playing the whole match.

DR Congo will now play the team who finish second in Group D, likely to be Egypt or Ghana, in the quarter-finals at 4pm UK time on Sunday, January 29.

Mulumbu has not played for City since playing all of a 0-0 draw at Brentford in the Championship on New Year's Eve, so far missing five games due to his time at AFCON.

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That has come at an unhelpful time for Canaries boss Alex Neil, due to fellow central midfielders Graham Dorrans (knee) and Louis Thompson (pelvis) being out injured, and Alex Tettey being one yellow card away from a two-match suspension.

If DR Congo – who also have former Norwich loan striker Dieumerci Mbokani in their squad – win their quarter-final then Mulumbu will be away until at least Saturday, February 4 for a third-place play-off.

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That would mean he would also miss the trip to Cardiff City and potentially the match at Wigan Athletic on Tuesday, February 7 as well.

Mulumbu has made 13 appearances for City so far this season but his contract is due to expire this summer.

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