What do Pukki and Messi have in common for City chief?

Teemu Pukki has missed Norwich City's last two games through injury Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Teemu Pukki has missed Norwich City's last two games through injury Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Paul Chesterton

Teemu Pukki is fit for Norwich City’s epic Premier League relegation clash against Bournemouth – and Daniel Farke says it is like Barcelona getting Lionel Messi back.

Pukki missed his first Premier League game of the season at Manchester United, after suffering a hamstring injury against Crystal Palace over the festive period, but the striker is now back in full training.

The prolific Finn has been a revelation since arriving on a free transfer, with his goals firing the club to the Championship title and then a blistering start to the big time earning him August's player-of-the-month award.

"It is crucial when one of your key players is not available. It would be the same even for Barcelona when Messi is out," said Farke. "It is probably a bigger task for us not to have Teemu, although we cannot rely on just one player.

"He has played so many games and scored so many goals. He is a big part of what we have achieved and you are always going to miss a player like that.

"We have other players who can play in that part of the pitch, Adam (Idah), Josip (Drmic) even Onel Hernandez through the middle, but they are all a bit different to Teemu in terms of their movement.

"It means the other lads in the side have to adapt a little bit because they are so used to having Teemu up front.

"At least this time out with the hamstring problem also gave him a chance to rest the issue he had with his toe at Leicester City."

Ben Godfrey is also back in training well ahead of schedule, following a knee injury, and the England Under-21 international could be needed against the Cherries with Grant Hanley subsituted in the closing stages of the 4-0 Old Trafford defeat.

The centre back is expected to be fit for Bournemouth's visit, despite a late second half exit after suffering a bout of cramp.

"He was struggling with illness during the week and perhaps his body was just a bit tired," said Farke, with Hanley only back himself after a longer term layoff. "Grant has had a lot of football since he came back in with Ben not available.

"We missed him a lot. He is a strong lad and always in a good physical shape so I don't expect he needs too much training before he can be really involved, but we have to see wait how he is this week."

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