Three new signings on the bench as City make one change to starting XI for Brentford battle
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Norwich City head coach Daniel Farke has made just one enforced change to his starting line-up for this afternoon’s battle at Brentford – but all three of his new signings are fit enough to be on the bench.
Southaampton loanee Harrison Reed moves to right wing-back in place of injured captain Ivo Pinto and Mario Vrancic comes into central midfield alongside Alex Tettey.
But attacking midfielders Onel Hernandez and Moritz Leitner, as well as striker Dennis Srbany – all of whom arrived from Germany in midweek – are all on the bench.
Marley Watkins returns to the bench after previously falling out of favour, with Wes Hoolahan (abductor) missing out and Todd Cantwell set to leave on loan, with midfielder Tom Trybull also returning from a back problem. Sean Raggett and James Husband miss out completely.
The Canaries are looking to bounce back from a 2-1 home defeat to Sheffield United last weekend, which brought an end to a four-game unbeaten run which had lifted Daniel Farke’s team to within six points of the play-offs.
The hosts make two changes, with Lasse Vibe and Romaine Sawyers both missing out, replaced by Josh McEachran and Neal Maupay.
Brentford won 2-1 at Carrow Road just before Christmas thanks to two goals from Vibe, set up by Sawyers which started a run of five wins in six games for the high-flying west Londoners.
The Bees are also unbeaten in 13 home league games, losing just once all season – 4-3 to Nottingham Forest in August – but winning six and drawing seven ever since. City did win 3-1 at Griffin Park in September though, Mario Vrancic scoring twice in the third round of the Carabao Cup, and a much-changed side also lost 1-0 at home to Notts County in the FA Cup recently.
Brentford sit ninth in the table, just three points adrift of the play-offs, six points better off than City in 13th.
Norwich: Gunn; Hanley, Zimmermann, Klose; Reed, Tettey (C), Vrancic, Lewis; Maddison, Oliveira, Murphy. Subs: McGovern (GK), Stiepermann, Trybull, Watkins, Leitner, Hernandez, Srbeny
Brentford: Bentley; Mepham, Bjelland, Barbet; Yennaris, Mokotjo, Woods, McEachran; Jozefzoon, Watkins, Maupay. Subs: Daniels (GK), MacLeod, Egan, Marcondes, Dalsgaard, Judge, Canos
City team news
Norwich could include new signings Onel Hernandez, Moritz Leitner and Dennis Srbeny. Daniel Farke made it clear yesterday City were just awaiting international clearance to come through for striker Srbeny. Ivo Pinto is ruled out for a week with a knee injury in a freak accident getting out of his car. Tom Trybull (returns) but Wes Hoolahan is out injured and Mario Vrancic is a big doubt with a gashed shin. Tottenham loan signing Marcus Edwards is not in the squad. Matt Jarvis (ankle) and Louis Thompson (Achilles) remain out.
Brentford team news
John Egan is back in training after a concussion, but full-back Henrik Dalsgaard is a doubt with an ankle injury. Left-back Rico Henry (knee) is a longer term absentee.
One to watch – Lasse Vibe
Scored eight goals in his last seven outings - including a brace in the Bees’ 2-1 Championship win at Norwich. The 30-year-old has scored 36 in 94 league appearances since moving from IFK Gothenburg.
Brentford manager – Dean Smith
Two top 10 Championship finishes since taking over at Griffin Park and Smith has got Brentford firmly in the mix for contention this time around. Spent five years at Walsall, who he guided to the Football League Trophy final in 2015
Referee – Scott Duncan (Northumberland)
Shown 68 yellow and four red cards during 24 matches so far this season.