STARTING XIs: Cantwell gets chance to impress for Canaries against Reading
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Todd Cantwell is the man to get the chance to fill the boots of the suspended Emi Buendia for Norwich City tonight against Reading at Carrow Road.
It will be Cantwell’s first start since the 1-1 draw at West Brom in mid-January, making four substitute appearances in the 13 games which have followed.
The 21-year-old academy product did play a key role in the first half of the season though, with a goal and two assists to his name, one of which was setting up Teemu Pukki for the opener in a 2-1 win at Reading in September.
He replaces Buendia, who is banned for three games after a red card during Saturday’s 4-0 thrashing of QPR, with Dennis Srbeny coming on to the bench.
The Canaries head into the game five points clear at the top of the Championship following Leeds’ 2-0 win at Preston last night, looking for a ninth successive victory to keep their automatic promotion push on track.
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Third-placed Sheffield United are at Birmingham this evening and trying to reclaim second place with a win which would keep them seven points behind Norwich.
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Reading make one enforced change, with City loanee Nelson Oliveira ineligible against his parent club and Chris Gunter coming in as the visitors shift to a 5-4-1 formation, with skipper Liam Moore shaking off a knee worry.
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The Royals sit just a point clear of the relegation zone after letting a lead slip to lose 3-1 at Hull on Saturday, but have won three of their last six, beating Preston, Wigan and Ipswich.
Their 2-1 win at Ipswich is their only away win since Jose Gomes succeeded Paul Clement in December and came thanks to a goal from Norwich loanee Oliveira.
Despite slightly improved form under the Portuguese coach, the Berkshire side still sit 21st in the table, the same position as when Clement was dismissed.
They are also without another key player in creative midfielder John Swift (hip), with striker Jon Dadi Bodvarsson (back) also out, who scored against City during the leaders’ 2-1 win at the Madejski Stadium, when Mario Vrancic scored the winner.
NORWICH: Krul; Aarons, Zimmermann (C), Godfrey, Lewis; Trybull, McLean; Cantwell, Stiepermann, Hernandez; Pukki. Subs: McGovern (GK), Hanley, Klose, Leitner, Vrancic, Srbeny, Rhodes
READING: Martinez; Yiadom, Miazga, Moore (C), Blackett, Gunter; Ejaria, Rinomhota, Baker, Barrow; Meite Subs: Walker (GK), Baldock, McCleary, McIntyre, Barrett, Harriott, Loader
REFEREE: Keith Stroud (Hampshire)
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