STARTING XIs: Krul returns for Canaries against Bristol City

Tim Krul of Norwich during the Sky Bet Championship match at Carrow Road, Norwich
Picture by Paul C

Tim Krul returns to Norwich City's starting XI against Bristol City - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Tim Krul reclaims the gloves for Norwich City this evening, ending a two-game absence to start against Bristol City at Carrow Road (6pm KO).

The Holland international returns as City's only change having finished a nine-game absence due to a thigh injury during the 1-0 home win over Barnsley at the start of the year.

Academy keeper Daniel Barden covered well during the 2-0 home win over Coventry in the FA Cup third round and Saturday's 2-1 league win at Cardiff, but returns to the bench with Krul well after 10 days of isolation and feeling fatigued after a positive Covid-19 test.

City are without top scorer Teemu Pukki (side strain) for a second game, so Jordan Hugill starts a third consecutive game up front, searching for his third goal of the season.

German midfielder Lukas Rupp returns to the bench having featured briefly in just one of the last 13 matches, with hamstring problems and then flu symptoms.

Creative youngster Josh Martin is also back on the bench after missing the last two games with flu symptoms - with both Rupp and Martin returning negative Covid-19 tests. 

Full-backs Xavi Quintilla and Bali Mumba are still in isolation after positive Covid-19 tests, while new left-back Dimitris Giannoulis is also not available yet as he completes his isolation after flying in from Greece at the weekend - with his work permit yet to be sorted either.

Centre-back Christoph Zimmermann (hip), full-back Sam Byram (hamstring) and forward Adam Idah (knee) are all hoping to return to full training soon.

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Marco Stiepermann, who was influential in the win at Ashton Gate earlier this season, is fighting a virus and goalkeeper Michael McGovern (hamstring) is set to miss much of the rest of the campaign.

The Championship leaders have the opportunity to extend the gap to third place to 10 matches, after Watford and Reading both won last night to take advantage of Bournemouth slipping to a 1-0 defeat at Derby - a third defeat in five games for the Cherries.

The Canaries won 3-1 in Bristol in late October, with Teemu Pukki scoring twice in the opening 14 minutes but right-back Jack Hunt pulling a goal back for the Robins.

Canaries number one Krul then made a superb save of a header from former Norwich striker Chris Martin and Emi Buendia's brilliant goal put City 3-1 up before the break.

Martin - who has scored twice in 23 Championship games this season - hit the post from long range in the second half and Nahki Wells let the Canaries off the hook when he put a penalty over Krul's crossbar.

Norwich City v Bristol City: All you need to know

The Robins name an unchanged starting line-up. They brought an end to a downturn in form with a 2-1 home win over lowly Wycombe and then bounced back from a 2-1 loss at Luton with a 2-1 home win over League One side Portsmouth in the FA Cup third round and then a 2-1 home win over Preston in the league on Saturday.

They sit ninth and five points from the play-offs, having finished in mid-table for the past three seasons under Lee Johnson, who was replaced by his assistant Dean Holden last summer.

Fit-again midfielder Antoine Semenyo is back on the bench but the visitors are without Fulham loanee Steven Sessegnon (hamstring), defender Nathan Baker (hamstring) and midfielders Joe Williams (thigh), Jamie Paterson (hamstring), Liam Walsh (thigh) through injury.

Experienced former Derby and Aston Villa forward Andreas Weimann is also out long term with a serious knee injury.

Centre-back Alfie Mawson, also on loan from Fulham, has returned from two months out with a knee injury though and has impressed in the last two games. 

Senegal international striker Famara Diedhiou has scored three goals in his last four games.

NORWICH (4-2-3-1): Krul; Aarons, Hanley (C), Gibson, Sorensen; Skipp, McLean; Buendia, Vrancic, Cantwell; Hugill. Subs: Barden (GK), Omobamidele, Tettey, Rupp, Dowell, Placheta, Martin, Hernandez, Omotoye

BRISTOL CITY (4-4-2): Bentley; Hunt, Kalas (C), Mawson, Rowe; Adelakun, Vyner, Nagy, Palmer; Diedhiou, Martin. Subs: O'Leary (GK), Mariappa, Moore, Edwards, Bakinson, Massengo, Semenyo, Wells, Bell 

REFEREE: James Linington (South Wales)

- You can follow all the updates, analysis and reaction from Carrow Road in our Matchday Live blog

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