Norwich City out to complete first Championship double

Norwich City put their formidable away record to the test again tomorrow as they begin their northern odyssey against Sheffield United.

The Canaries will be bidding to complete their first Championship double of the season at Bramall Lane (3pm), less than four weeks after Wes Hoolahan’s second-half hat-trick gave them a 4-2 victory over the Blades at Carrow Road.

Paul Lambert’s team, fourth in the table, have not lost on their travels since the 3-1 defeat at Cardiff at the end of October.

Three of their next five away games are in Yorkshire, with trips to Leeds and Barnsley coming up next month, and with a midweek home game against Doncaster squeezed between those two dates, City will be getting to know the White Rose county nearly as well as the cast of Emmerdale.

With the first February away fixture just across the county border at Burnley, there is a distinct northern flavour to the rest of their winter programme.

But first on the agenda are United, fourth from bottom and still looking for their first victory under new boss Micky Adams, back in his home city at the club where he played as an associate schoolboy.

Lambert’s selection will be influenced by whether he has been able to secure the return of Arsenal midfielder Henri Lansbury. City were hoping to take the 20-year-old on loan for the rest of the season after five appearances in his first two months at Carrow Road, but there was no news last night of an extension and reports suggest that Fulham are also interested in securing his services.

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If a deal is not agreed in time for tomorrow’s game, there will be at least one change to the eleven who started last week’s 1-1 draw with Cardiff, with the three substitutes used against the Bluebirds – Aaron Wilbraham, Korey Smith and Simon Lappin – among the candidates to fill the vacancy, though it may require a reshuffle in midfield to accommodate one of them.

Lambert has plenty of options, however, with new signing Marc Tierney waiting for his first appearance after arriving from Colchester and a host of midfielders getting some match practice in the Norfolk Senior Cup against Norwich United earlier in the week. Adams could include four loan players against City, the latest of them 32-year-old striker Marcus Bent, who first played for the Blades more than 10 years ago.