STARTING XIs: Vrancic returns as City make one change for crucial Rovers clash
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Mario Vrancic has earned his return to the Norwich City starting line-up and replaces the injured Tom Trybull for tonight’s potentially promotion defining battle with Blackburn.
Vrancic has not started since a 3-0 home win over Ipswich in February, going off at half-time with ankle ligament damage and missing two games before a speedy return.
He has made 10, mostly brief, substitute appearances in the last 11 games but scored a crucial free-kick in injury-time to salvage a 2-2 draw against Sheffield Wednesday in the last home game and set up Teemu Pukki’s goal during the 2-2 draw at Stoke after replacing the injured Tom Trybull early in the second half on Monday.
The 29-year-old has eight goals and nine assists to his name from 36 games in all competitions, despite missing pre-season and the first six games of the campaign with a groin injury. The experienced Alex Tettey comes on the bench to fill the Vrancic void among the substitutes.
The Canaries head into the game unbeaten in 12 games but with four successive draws slowing their promotion momentum, leaving them in need of one point to seal a return to the Premier League.
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Daniel Farke’s team won 1-0 at Blackburn just before Christmas, thanks to a late Teemu Pukki goal.
BIG MATCH PREVIEW: Carrow Road expects and Farke’s boys aim to deliver
Rovers arrive in Norfolk with their play-off hopes already finished but with the strong wind of four consecutive wins at their back, as they look to finish the season on a high.
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- 5 Six things you might have missed after City's win at Derby
- 6 City defender likened to a 'young Rio Ferdinand'
- 7 City Q&A: One down. One to go
- 8 'You get relegated playing the Norwich way' - Old boy Bruce on Magpies' sorry plight
- 9 Lee Payne: Bruce has got it wrong over Norwich City and Premier League
- 10 Record-breaking week continues for Canaries
Former Canaries winger Elliott Bennett returns but former City loanee Harrison Reed misses out as an ankle injury has brought an end to his Rovers loan early, with both having played key roles for Tony Mowbray’s team.
The visitors make two changes, with Bennett coming in for Ryan Nyambe at right-back and the experienced Danny Graham replacing Ben Brereton up front.
NORWICH: Krul; Aarons, Zimmerman (C), Godfrey, Lewis; Vrancic, McLean; Buendia, Stiepermann, Hernandez; Pukki. Subs: McGovern (GK), Hanley, Klose, Leitner, Tettey, Cantwell, Rhodes
BLACKBURN: Leutwiler; Bennett (C), Lenihan, Williams, Bell; Travis, Rodwell; Armstrong, Dack, Rothwell; Graham. Subs: Raya Martin (GK), Mulgrew, Nyambe, Conway, Evans, Brereton, Chapman
REFEREE: Andrew Madley (West Yorks)
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