Emi Buendia set for Norwich City bow at Luton Town
PUBLISHED: 12:15 25 July 2018 | UPDATED: 12:17 25 July 2018
Daniel Farke has hinted Emi Buendia will make his Norwich City debut in Wednesday's friendly trip to Luton Town - with Grant Hanley also set for his seasonal re-appearance.
Both have yet to feature for the Canaries this summer, with Buendia arriving from Getafe with a calf issue and Hanley picking up a hamstring problem in the first 10 days of pre-season.
The trip to Kenilworth Road will come too soon for Ivo Pinto or former Luton academy prospect, Jamal Lewis. Pinto is expected to re-join full training this week after a hamstring injury while Lewis has had a muscular problem and a stomach bug on the club’s recent German tour.
“The chances of Emi Buendia and Grant Hanley playing are pretty high. We will make short-term decisions on them. However, the game will come too soon for Ivo Pinto and Jamal Lewis,” said Farke, on the club’s official Twitter feed.
With Tim Krul unveiled as a potential new number one on Tuesday going a long way to addressing the goalkeeper situation, what are Farke’s pressing issues regarding his outfield options for the trip to Kenilworth Road and the summer friendly finale at Charlton?
With Hanley edging towards fitness but no sign yet of either Pinto or Lewis, Farke has plenty still to ponder ahead of the Championship kick off at Birmingham City. Hanley, you suspect would come straight back into contention for St Andrews should he prove his fitness.
That would allow Farke the flexibility of a defensive three, with Timm Klose and Christoph Zimmermann, or perm two from that core group of centre backs.
Ben Marshall appears to be in pole position down the right, behind Felix Passlack. Marco Stiepermann needs to see off the challenge of James Husband down the left, given Lewis is yet to re-appear this summer.
Alex Tettey’s bout of chicken pox presens a window of opportunity for Louis Thompson.
Farke was positively eulogising about his impact, since a lenghty injury return.
Tom Trybull is a vital cog in that withdrawn midfield role, but with Farke pushing the claims of both Kenny McLean and Moritz Leitner the German has plenty of options to alter the balance. Buendia faces a stiff task in the two friendlies that remain to edge out Onel Hernandez in any direct selection battle right now. The Argentine will need time to adapt to English football.
Given the chronic lack of goals last season was cited as a major priority in the market, this area of City line up appears to have settled.
Jordan Rhodes and Teemu Pukki have both opened their account and shown enough to suggest they can re-produce that threat when the real action starts.
With Nelson Oliveira on the outside looking in, and Dennis Srbeny still a work in progress, it would hardly be a huge surprise to see Rhodes and Pukki paired in tandem at St Andrews.