STARTING XIs: Teen keeper and U23 captain on bench as City take on Villa amid wretched injury crisis

PUBLISHED: 14:37 05 October 2019 | UPDATED: 14:37 05 October 2019

Michael McGovern makes the first Premier League start of his career this afternoon, as Norwich City take on Aston Villa Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

Michael McGovern makes the first Premier League start of his career this afternoon, as Norwich City take on Aston Villa Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

Paul Chesterton

Two youngsters have been named on the bench for Norwich City, amid an injury crisis continuing ahead of this afternoon’s home Premier League clash with Aston Villa.

The Canaries' one change to the starting XI was expected, with veteran keeper Michael McGovern having come on in the 22nd minute of last weekend's 2-0 loss at Crystal Palace, after Ralf Fahrmann's groin injury flared up.

Fahrmann and number one Tim Krul (back) are unavailable so McGovern makes his first league start for City since April 2017, during a 3-0 Championship loss at Huddersfield.

That means 18-year-old keeper Archie Mair is named on the bench for the first time in his career, with the Scotland Under-19 international having been signed from Aberdeen this summer.

MORE: McGovern and Mair. Norwich's thin yellow line

Under-23 captain Akin Famewo, a centre-back, also comes on to the first-team bench for the first time, with the January signing from Luton Town having previous League Two experience from a loan spell at Grimsby Town before he had joined Norwich.

The 20-year-old defender made 12 appearances for Grimsby during the first half of last season and had made 13 appearances for Luton during the two seasons prior to that, making his debut for the Hatters as a 17-year-old.

City's defence is also feeling the force of a horrid injury crisis, with Timm Klose and Christoph Zimmermann already out long term with knee injuries and fellow centre-back Grant Hanley now joining them with a persistent groin problem which needs to be checked out by a specialist during the international break.

That means Ben Godfrey is playing through the pain, as he needs a hernia operation, which will keep him out of England U21 action during the break.

Left-back Jamal Lewis is also pushing through the pain of elbow ligament damage, although the 21-year-old is due to join up with Northern Ireland after today's game.

The visitors name the same starting XI and substitutes from their 2-2 home draw with Burnley last weekend.

NORWICH: McGovern; Aarons, Amadou, Godfrey (C), Lewis; McLean, Leitner; Buendia, Stiepermann, Cantwell; Pukki. Subs: Mair (GK); Famewo, Byram, Roberts, Srbeny, Drmic, Idah

VILLA: Heaton; Guilbert, Engels, Mings, Targett; McGinn, Nakamba, Hourihane; El Ghazi, Wesley, Grealish (C). Subs: Steer (GK), Taylor, Konsa, Luiz, Trezeguet, Jota, Davis

REFEREE: Andrew Madley (West Yorks)

VAR: Stuart Attwell (Warwickshire)

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