STARTING XIs: Placheta starts for City at Millwall
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Poland international Przemek Placheta is the man Norwich City head coach Daniel Farke has turned to in the absence of the suspended Emi Buendia at Millwall this evening (6pm kick-off).
Argentine ace Buendia was sent off during Saturday's 0-0 home draw with Middlesbrough and begins a two-game ban, with 22-year-old Placheta coming into attacking midfield.
That's the only change City make to their starting XI, with Lukas Rupp remaining in central midfield and Kenny McLean returning to the bench after 10 days of self-isolation following a positive Covid-19 test.
The Canaries go into the game with just two defeats from their last 22 league games, knowing that victory would see them extend their lead over second-placed Swansea to seven points ahead of travelling to Wales on Friday to face the Swans - who don't have a midweek game.
Full-back Sam Byram is hoping to return to full training in the next few weeks as he closes on a year out after two hamstring surgeries and midfielder Marco Stiepemermann is closing on a return to full training after six weeks out with a virus which caused extreme fatigue.
Strapping striker Jordan Hugill could miss all of February after injuring his hamstring during the recent FA Cup defeat at Barnsley.
Back-up goalkeeper Michael McGovern is also set to miss much of the rest of the campaign after hamstring surgery at the start of the year so former Aston Villa goalkeeper Orjan Nyland was signed on a free transfer on deadline day, but the Norway international needs a couple of weeks of training to get up to full speed.
Millwall v Norwich City: Everything you need to know
- 1 Farke's dilemma with City prodigies
- 2 Robbie Savage: 'Never mind Stuart Webber, it's all down to me'
- 3 Dowell pledge from City boss
- 4 Police interviews and faulty planes - the inside track on Onel's Cuba bow
- 5 Lee Payne: Bruce has got it wrong over Norwich City and Premier League
- 6 Candid Cantwell opens up on struggles during 'whirlwind' summer
- 7 Local lad tag weighs heavy on Cantwell's shoulders
- 8 Farke's fledglings: How City chief moulded the next generation for Canaries
- 9 Ex-City star Murphy boosts hopes of new deal
- 10 City defender likened to a 'young Rio Ferdinand'
Millwall come into the game sat 16th in the table, eight points clear of the relegation zone and 11 short of the top six, having won just two of their last 18 league matches.
However, 10 of those games were draws and the Lions have only conceded 25 goals in 26 games, which is just four fewer than leaders Norwich.
Their defensive resilience was demonstrated when they held City to an infuriating 0-0 draw at Carrow Road in October, with Placheta going closest when he hit the post as a dominant Norwich registered a season-high of 27 shots on goal. Shaun Williams did very nearly punish that profligacy as well, clipping the post with a late shot for Millwall.
Gary Rowett's team have held other promotion hopefuls Brentford, Reading, Watford and Bournemouth to draws this season but have only won once at home this season, drawing eight and losing three of their 12 games at The Den.
The only player to drop out of the Lions' squad following their 1-1 draw at Cardiff on Saturday is Tottenham forward Troy Parrott, a Republic of Ireland team-mate of Canaries striker Adam Idah.
The 18-year-old was recalled by Spurs and sent on loan to Ipswich in League One, after struggling to make an impact for Millwall after missing the opening two months of the season with an ankle injury.
Parrott is replaced on the bench by Shane Ferguson, with their starting XI unchanged for a third consecutive game.
The south London side completed the permanent signing of Derby midfielder George Evans on deadline day but the deal wasn't sealed in time for Evans to feature this evening.
Centre-back Murray Wallace is the only major injury absence for the hosts, after fracturing a bone in his foot earlier this month. Former Birmingham winger Connor Mahoney (thigh) and young midfielder Billy Mitchell (hamstring) have both returned to training recently after injury.
Former Norwich loanee Alex Pearce, who made 11 appearances while on loan from Reading in 2008, is a substitute and former Ipswich stalwart Bartosz Bialkowski is Millwall's number one goalkeeper.
NORWICH (4-2-3-1): Krul; Aarons, Hanley (C), Gibson, Giannoulis; Skipp, Rupp; Cantwell, Vrancic, Placheta; Pukki. Subs: Barden (GK), Zimmermann, Mumba, Sorensen, Tettey, McLean, Dowell, Hernandez, Idah
MILLWALL (3-4-3): Bialkowski; Leonard, Hutchinson (C), Cooper; McNamara, Kieftenbeld, Woods, Malone; Wallace, Zohore, Thompson. Subs: Fielding (GK), Romeo, Pearce, Williams, Bradshaw, Smith, Bennett, Ferguson, Bodvarsson
REFEREE: Stephen Martin (Staffordshire)
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