Bell is set for a home start

David Cuffley David Bell looks set to start a Norwich City home match for the first time against Preston tomorrow - but on which wing? City began last week's Championship match at Burnley with summer signing Bell - in the starting eleven for the first time after five appearances as substitute - operating on the left and Lee Croft on the right.

David Cuffley

David Bell looks set to start a Norwich City home match for the first time against Preston tomorrow - but on which wing?

City began last week's Championship match at Burnley with summer signing Bell - in the starting eleven for the first time after five appearances as substitute - operating on the left and Lee Croft on the right.

But manager Glenn Roeder has to decide whether to persevere with two attacking wide players as the Canaries bid for their third home win in a row.


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He said: “At the moment, one of our freshest players has been Belly - one who has come in and created a very good impression. I'm looking forward to Belly over the next couple of months producing performances that help us win games, whether it be creating chances or knocking in one or two goals himself. He is in a pretty confident frame of mind at the moment and rightly so.

“What we have to decide with Belly is whether we can get the best out of him on the right side, which is his natural side, or are we going to use him on the left at times?

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“Crofty has had a very, very good couple of months but I think in the last couple of games he has started to look a bit tired. He's got to dig deep into his reserves to find that extra energy to go out and play the game in the manner that he had been playing and start creating chances for us to score goals.

“But Crofty overall has been a player who has improved a lot this season. So to get Belly in the team, do we play him in his best position, which is probably wide right, and give Crofty a break to recharge his batteries, or do we keep Belly over on the left and look for openings on that side of the pitch?”

If Bell is given his preferred role on the right, Roeder has numerous options for the wide left position, where he has also used Wes Hoolahan, Ryan Bertrand, Matty Pattison and Omar Koroma this season. Antoine Sibierski is expected to be fit to return in attack after missing the trip to Turf Moor as the City boss picks from virtually a fully-fit squad, with Elliott Omozusi the only doubt because of a hamstring strain.

Preston hope to bounce back from their 3-2 home defeat by Southampton.

“They will be hugely disappointed with the result last week,” said Roeder. “We have had a full report on them. They were doing very well at 2-0 up and then ended up losing the game to a very young Southampton team. They proved they are vulnerable.

“But it's about us concentrating solely on our performance and that's what we have to get right. We're back in front of our own supporters, who will be disappointed, and rightly so, with the last two results. We have to go out and put on a performance for the faithful and win the match.”

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