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Pritchard on the bench as Canaries make two changes for Preston clash

PUBLISHED: 14:13 25 November 2017 | UPDATED: 14:15 25 November 2017

Alex Pritchard gets off the Norwich City team coach, before going on to make his Canaries comeback as a substitute, in the 1-1 draw with Preston North End at Carrow Road.  Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

Alex Pritchard gets off the Norwich City team coach, before going on to make his Canaries comeback as a substitute, in the 1-1 draw with Preston North End at Carrow Road. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

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Alex Pritchard has been included in the Norwich City squad for the first time this season, after recovering from his pre-season ankle injury.

The playmaker’s return is a boost for City ahead of their reunion with former manager Alex Neil against Preston at Carrow Road today.

Daniel Farke’s two changes are enforced, with Christoph Zimmermann and Josh Murphy replacing the injured Timm Klose and Marley Watkins from the team which started Tuesday’s 1-0 loss at Nottingham Forest.

Neil is also forced into two changes for the visitors following their 2-1 win at Bristol City, with suspended midfielder Ben Pearson and injured forward Stephy Mavididi replaced by Alan Browne and Callum Robinson.

North End are 12th in the table ahead of kick-off, two points and three places better off than the Canaries, who are looking to end a five-game winless streak – as well as a six-game run without a win at home which stretches back to September.

Norwich (4-2-3-1): Gunn; Pinto (C), Hanley, Zimmermann, Stiepermann; Reed, Vrancic; Murphy, Maddison, Hoolahan; Oliveira. Subs: McGovern (GK), Franke, Phillips, Cantwell, Pritchard, Wildschut, Jerome

Preston (4-2-3-1): Maxwell; Fisher, Davies (C), Huntington, Woods; Gallagher, Browne; Barkhuizen, Johnson, Robinson; Hugill. Subs: Rudd (GK), Clarke, O’Connor, Harrop, Horgan Welsh, Boyle

MATCH PREVIEW

City team news

Timm Klose (hip) is the latest injury absentee after his half-time exit at Nottingham Forest. Marley Watkins (hip) and Harrison Reed (foot) are expected to recover from knocks. Alex Pritchard is on standby after his first outing of the season following ankle surgery for the development squad during the week. James Husband (calf) and Tom Trybull (back) are ruled out along with fellow midfielder Alex Tettey (calf). Steven Naismith is set for a further meeting with the doctor over his ankle problem. Jamal Lewis (knee) could be back in training in December. Louis Thompson and Matt Jarvis remain longer term injury absentees.

Preston team news

Ben Pearson is suspended for the visitors after picking up a fifth booking of the season in the midweek 2-1 win at Bristol City, which brought an end to a six-game winless run. Defenders Tommy Spurr (knee), Greg Cunningham and Sean Maguire (both hamstring) are still all out long term

Preston manager – Alex Neil

Guided Norwich City to the Premier League in thrilling fashion through the Championship play-offs in 2015 after arriving from Hamilton. Unable to keep them in the top flight and was dismissed towards the end of last season after failing to guide City into promotion contention a second time around. Joined Preston in July 2017 as a replacement for Simon Grayson.

One to watch – Jordan Hugill

Powerful striker. Scored seven in 18 appearances this season.

Referee

Tim Robinson (West Sussex)

Has shown 60 yellow and eight red cards in 21 games this season, most of which have been in the Championship. Sent off Marley Watkins late on during City’s 2-1 win at Reading in September but booked just three players during the East Anglian derby at Portman Road three weeks later, which City won 1-0.

• Follow updates from Carrow Road with Michael Bailey in our Matchday Live blog at pinkun.com/live

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