Oliveira starts for City despite Derby speculation as Farke makes two changes for Bristol battle
PUBLISHED: 14:17 13 January 2018 | UPDATED: 14:20 13 January 2018
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Norwich City head coach Daniel Farke has been forced into two changes to his starting XI for this afternoon’s match at Bristol City.
Nelson Oliveira has shaken off an ankle injury to replace Alex Pritchard in City’s front three, following the playmaker’s sale to Huddersfield for an initial £11m fee yesterday, as Farke sticks with a 3-4-3 formation.
Oliveira has been the subject of transfer speculation in the past 24 hours, with Derby reportedly making an £8m bid for the Portugal international striker.
The other change sees Mario Vrancic join Alex Tettey in central midfield, with Tom Trybull missing out with a back problem, and Harrison Reed is fit enough to make the bench.
Young attacking midfielder Todd Cantwell is included among the subs, after Yanic Wildschut was loaned to Cardiff, and Marco Stiepermann returns after groin trouble.
The Canaries are looking to build on a four-game unbeaten run, taking seven points from a possible nine in the league before holding Premier League side Chelsea to a 0-0 draw at Carrow Road last weekend.
That has set up a televised third round replay at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday, which Farke must also keep in mind.
Bristol make just one change, Hordur Magnusson dropping to the bench and Joe Bryan moving to left-back, with recent signing from Everton Liam Walsh coming into midfield.
The hosts make one change from their narrow 2-1 defeat away to Premier League leaders Manchester City in the first leg of their EFL Cup semi-final on Tuesday.
That was a fourth consecutive defeat from a tough run of games for Lee Johnson’s side, although they remain fourth in the Championship table, two points adrift of second-placed Derby, and proved tough nuts to crack in a 0-0 Carrow Road draw in September.
Norwich: Gunn; Hanley, Zimmermann, Klose; Pinto (C), Tettey, Vrancic, Lewis; Maddison, Oliveira, Murphy. Subs: McGovern (GK), Husband, Reed, Hoolahan, Stiepermann, Raggett, Cantwell
Bristol City: Fielding; Wright, Flint, Baker, Bryan; Brownhill, Smith, Pack, Walsh; Paterson; Reid. Subs: Steele (GK), Kelly, Vyner, Magnusson, Kent, Taylor, Woodrow
City team news
Tom Trybull is out with a back complaint. Cameron Jerome (back) has returned to training but is not under consideration. Harrison Reed (hip) is still not 100pc but will travel. Marco Stiepermann is fit again after his groin injury. Matt Jarvis (ankle) and Louis Thompson (Achilles) are still out.
Bristol City team news
Ryan Kent could be available after a loan move from Liverpool.
One to watch – Bobby Reid
The 24-year-old has been a revelation this season, leading the line after being converted from an attacking midfielder. Notched 14 goals in 31 appearances - including a penalty at Manchester City in midweek - and unsurprisingly now touted with a potential Premier League move this month.
Bristol City manager – Lee Johnson
Still one of the youngest managers in the Football League at 36, but embellishing his reputation with the Robins’ promotion push and run to the League Cup semi-finals. Started his coaching career at Oldham, before a brief spell at Barnsley. Won seven of their last 16 games last season to avoid a late brush with relegation from the Championship.
Referee – Simon Hooper (Wiltshire)
Needs no introduction after his decision to disallow Cameron Jerome’s bicycle kick on the opening day of the 2015 Premier League season. Has shown 77 yellow and three red cards during 25 matches so far this season.