One change for Canaries as Trybull returns in midfield for Middlesbrough battle
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Tom Trybull returns alongside Alex Tettey in midfield as the only change to Norwich City head coach Daniel Farke’s starting XI for this afternoon’s Carrow Road clash with Middlesbrough.
The German hasn’t started any of City’s last four games after back trouble but starts against Boro, with Harrison Reed continuing at right wing-back as Ivo Pinto (knee) is still unavailable.
The Canaries have won four of their last six league games and are looking to build on a 1-0 win at Brentford last weekend, but have only won two of their last 11 Carrow Road league games.
Losing 2-1 to Sheffield United in their last home game followed on from a gruelling penalty shoot-out defeat after extra-time at Chelsea just three days before, when the Blades did not have a midweek game, continuing the problems at home.
The visitors make two changes, with former Canaries midfielder Jonny Howson and 12-goal top scorer Britt Assombalonga dropping to the bench, replaced by Adam Clayton and Rudy Gestede.
New signings Martin Caranie, Mo Besic and Jack Harrison all start on the bench for the north-east side.
Boro sacked Garry Monk just days before Christmas when sitting in ninth place, just three points adrift of the play-offs after a 2-1 win at Sheffield Wednesday, having taken charge following relegation from the Premier League last summer.
After a 2-0 home win on Boxing Day under caretaker boss Craig Liddle, the club’s academy manager, former Stoke and West Brom manager Tony Pulis began his reign with a 1-0 home loss to Aston Villa.
In total the visitors have won two and lost two of their five leagues games under Pulis, both wins coming away from home, 3-2 at Preston at 3-0 at QPR, being held to a 0-0 draw at home by Sheffield Wednesday in midweek.
Norwich: Gunn; Hanley, Zimmermann, Klose; Reed, Tettey (C), Trybull, Lewis; Maddison, Oliveira, Murphy. Subs: McGovern (GK), Stiepermann, Vrancic, Watkins, Leitner, Hernandez, Srbeny
Boro: Randolph; Shotton, Ayala, Gibson, Friend; Clayton, Leadbitter (C), Downing; Traore, Gestede, Bamford. Subs: Konstantopoulos (GK), Fry, Cranie, Howson, Besic, Harrison, Assombalonga
City team news
James Maddison is rated ‘touch and go’ after missing three days of training with a hamstring problem. Maddison returned to training on Friday but Daniel Farke will make a late call. Timm Klose is expected to recover from a heel problem. Ivo Pinto (knee) is out for another week but Wes Hoolahan returns from a back problem. Matt Jarvis could return to training next week.
Middlesbrough team news
New signings Muhamed Besic and Martin Cranie might make their debuts. Fellow new recruit Jack Harrison is unlikely to be involved after his switch from the MLS.
One to watch – Jonny Howson
First return to Carrow Road since his move last summer, after five years of service. Popular figure with team mates and fans alike for his all-action displays from midfield and an eye for the specatular goal. Scored 22 league goals in 176 appearances for the Canaries and an integral part of two promotion-winning squads.
Middlesbrough manager – Tony Pulis
Replaced Garry Monk on Boxing Day. Vastly-experienced manager who took Stoke out of this division and kept the Potters in the Premier League for seven years. Also led Stoke into the Europa League and to the FA Cup final. Successful relegation battles since then at Crystal Palace and West Brom.
Referee – Mike Jones (Chester)
Shown 70 yellow and two red cards during 19 matches so far this season.