Canaries set to field strong side at Valley

Fears that Norwich City's depleted squad may be even thinner for FA Cup duty at Charlton eased yesterday when the availability of two senior players for the third round tie was confirmed.

Fears that Norwich City's depleted squad may be even thinner for FA Cup duty at Charlton eased yesterday when the availability of two senior players for the third round tie was confirmed.

Midfielder Darel Russell's one-match ban, after he collected a fifth yellow card in Sunday's 3-2 defeat by Nottingham Forest, will, as expected, apply to the Championship game at Sheffield United on January 10.

It leaves Russell clear to play in Saturday's tie at The Valley (3pm) as the Canaries bid to get beyond round three for only the third time in 12 seasons.

Manager Glenn Roeder will also be able to include loan signing Antoine Sibierski in his plans after his Premier League club, Wigan, agreed to make him available for FA Cup duty.


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Roeder said after the Forest game that he did not expect Wigan to allow the Frenchman to play, but permission has since been given.

City's season-long loan quartet - Ryan Bertrand, Omar Koroma, Arturo Lupoli and Elliott Omozusi - are also available to face Charlton.

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Reading striker Leroy Lita, whose three-month stay with City has ended, will be the one absentee from last weekend's squad, barring a swift renewal of his loan.

One striker also out of action on Saturday will be City's Jamie Cureton, on loan at Barnsley.

The 33-year-old, who has scored in his last two games for the Yorkshire club, will not be allowed to play for them in the competition and must sit out Saturday's third round game at West Ham.

Despite their poor Championship form, the Canaries will be backed by about 3,000 fans at The Valley.

City have sold their initial allocation of 2,700 seats and a further 500 tickets will be on sale on the day.

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