STARTING XIs: Buendia goes straight back into City’s team with promotion a possibility at Stoke

PUBLISHED: 14:08 22 April 2019 | UPDATED: 14:19 22 April 2019

Emi Buendia returns for Norwich City at Stoke, after a three-game ban Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

Emi Buendia returns for Norwich City at Stoke, after a three-game ban Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

Paul Chesterton

Emi Buendia is back and the talented Argentine goes straight into Norwich City’s starting line-up at Stoke, as the Canaries look to try and seal promotion today.

The league leaders are unbeaten in 11 games but have drawn their last three without Buendia, after their creative force was sent off for a poor tackle in a 4-0 home win over QPR, slowing their promotion momentum.

The former Argentina Under-20 international comes in for Moritz Leitner in the only change to the starting XI, with Michael McGovern and Jordan Rhodes returning to the bench and Alex Tettey and Aston Oxborough missing out.

A return to the Premier League would be sealed with victory, if rivals Sheffield United or Leeds drop points. If both fail to win and City are victorious then the title would also be secured.

The Blades are at Hull in a 3pm kick-off but Leeds do not kick-off at Brentford until 5.15pm, so City may have to wait to learn their fate, but that will only matter if they beat the Potters.

BIG MATCH PREVIEW: Vamos Emi. City ace back for the final push

Stoke have won just one of their last eight matches, including four consecutive 0-0 draws, but have lost two of their last three – 2-1 at Swansea and 1-0 at Middlesbrough, either side of a 2-2 home draw with lowly Rotherham.

The hosts make three changes, with England goalkeeper Jack Butland returning after missing the loss at Boro due to his wife giving birth and captain Ryan Shawcross returning in defence, with Thibaud Verlinden coming in for former Norwich loanee Sam Vokes.

NORWICH: Krul; Aarons, Zimmermann (C), Godfrey, Lewis; Trybull, McLean; Buendia, Stiepermann, Hernandez; Pukki. Subs: McGovern (GK), Klose, Hanley, Leitner, Vrancic, Cantwell, Rhodes

STOKE: Butland; Edwards, Batth, Shawcross (C), Williams, McClean; Etebo, Allen, Clucas, Verlinden; Afobe. Subs: Federici (GK), Collins, Adam, Diouf, Vokes, Ince, Bojan

REFEREE: Tony Harrington (Cleveland)

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