Norwich City hope Uefa Nations League stars can steer clear of injury
PUBLISHED: 06:00 15 October 2018 | UPDATED: 12:04 15 October 2018
Norwich City head coach Daniel Farke will be keeping his fingers crossed none of his star men suffer injury as the second round of Uefa Nations League matches get under way this evening.
Canaries striker Teemu Pukki is the talk of the competition following his third successive winner for Finland in Group C2, firing home the deciding goal late on in Estonia on Friday night.
That followed on from scoring the goals in home victories over Hungary and Estonia last month, leaving the 28-year-old’s country with maximum points from three 1-0 wins.
Pukki took his tally for the season to nine goals in 16 games for club and country with a fine left-footed finish from an acute angle in the 91st minute in Tallinn – scoring his 15th international goal as he won his 66th cap.
Tonight Finland host second-placed Greece knowing that victory would leave them needing just a point from their two games in November to finish top of Group C2. That would earn promotion to the B groups and secure a play-off place in Euro 2020 qualification, having never previously qualified for a major tournament.
With all games kicking off at 7.45pm tonight, City players Jamal Lewis and Michael McGovern are in Bosnia & Herzegovina with Northern Ireland.
Left-back Lewis played all of a 1-0 loss in Austria on Friday and keeper McGovern was an unused substitute, with Michael O’Neill’s team looking for their first win in Group B3. Norwich defender Timm Klose was an unused substitute as Switzerland lost 2-1 in Belgium but will hope to win his 17th cap during a Group A2 clash in Iceland, 16 months since his last international appearance.
Former Canaries star James Maddison also stayed on the bench as England drew 0-0 in Croatia and is vying for his debut during a Group A4 game against Spain.
That would reportedly be worth £250,000 to City if the playmaker starts, as part of the deal worth up to £24million struck with Premier League side Leicester this summer.
Tomorrow afternoon young right-back Max Aarons could win his fourth England U19 cap during a friendly against Macedonia at the Football Association’s St George’s Park base in Burton (2pm). The 18-year-old City prospect started a 4-1 friendly triumph away to Portugal on Thursday.