Norwich City’s on-loan defender Joseph Yobo ruled out of Premier League clash against title favourites Liverpool
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Russell Martin and Michael Turner are primed to get another chance to work on their central defensive partnership against Liverpool’s fearsome spearhead in Easter Sunday’s Premier League tussle at Carrow Road.
Martin and Turner were paired in tandem at Craven Cottage with Sebastien Bassong a surprise omission from Neil Adams’ first matchday squad. Adams confirmed on Friday afternoon Bassong has trained this week but on-loan centre back Joseph Yobo has been ruled out with a calf problem as he looks to come up with a plan to subdue Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge, if the England striker overcomes a hamstring injury.
“Joseph will be out for another week at least. He has had a scan on his calf and it will be a week or maybe two weeks, we don’t know,” said Adams. “The sooner the better he is back but he had the scan two or three days ago and he’s one we’ve got to manage. Seb is fine. He wasn’t injured last weekend and he has trained this week.”
Leroy Fer has suffered no adverse reaction to his 70-minute outing at Fulham after recovering from a hamstring injury. Fer is expected to retain his place against the Reds but Elliott Bennett will not be considered after his third development outing since knee ligament surgery at Manchester United in midweek.
“Elliott is continuing his recovery from that long-term injury and he got 90 minutes at Manchester United the other night which is all part of that process,” said Adams. “Leroy has had no reaction. He has been fine and he has been carefully monitored. He trained fully this week and he is a big player for us.”
Adams is happy for City to be written off against the title favourites. The Canaries’ chief realises few outside Norfolk give his squad any chance of halting the Reds’ surge to a first title since 1990 at Carrow Road this weekend but he believes the battle at both ends of the table will have plenty of sub-plots.
“At this stage of the season you see strange results,” he said. “If you look Sunderland the other night everyone in the country probably expected Manchester City to win and win comfortably, especially when they scored so early on. Sunderland is fighting for their lives and they showed that steel and a bit of bite and people will have seen that from us at Fulham. Hopefully we will see it again on Sunday and in the remaining three matches. It is far from cut and dried. Teams are scrapping for points at the top and bottom.
“It is going to be about belief, confidence, desire. All those words and many more besides and supporters would know what I am talking about. We had that at Fulham for certain and people could see that and we need it again against Liverpool.”
Adams is ruling out any lingering hangover from a 1-0 defeat at relegation rivals Fulham on his first day in charge.
“We were disappointed after the game because we played particularly well and deserved to win,” he said. “That is what makes it hard to take. If we had been beaten and deserved to be beaten you take it on the chin and look to improve but when we have had a really good go that is difficult. Sunday and Monday goes by and then it is back to normal and the boys have been great this week and the focus is on Liverpool.
“You have to assume other teams will pick up points and we can’t rely on sitting there and hoping.
“We have to go out and get points. We know how incredibly tough the last four games are and everyone at Norwich knew that when the fixtures came out last June. Make no bones about it, they are four really top sides but we are confident we can get points.”