TEAM NEWS: Normann and Cantwell fit for City's battle with Brighton

Mathias Normann of Norwich goes close during the Premier League match at Turf Moor, Burnley
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Mathias Normann is expected to be fit for Norwich City's clash with Brighton despite dropping out of the Norway squad - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Mathias Normann and Todd Cantwell are both available for Norwich City's home clash with Brighton tomorrow but Daniel Farke has suggested Cantwell may not yet be ready for a start.

City's head coach had no fresh fitness concerns to deliver at his pre-match press conference but was able to reassure supporters that Normann should be okay to continue his strong start to Premier League life, having pulled out of the Norway squad with a minor abdominal concern.

“In general, we have had much good news during this week. Mathias was difficult because he has just been back in training for two days," Farke explained. 

“He just did individual work during the first week because he needed injection therapy and then at the start of this week he just needed an individual programme. 

“Since Wednesday he was back in training and is available, perhaps not the perfect scenario going into the game but I think it was the only solution, to leave him out of the international team, and I hope will be beneficial in the coming weeks. 

“Also Todd Cantwell since the beginning of this week was back in team training and all the other guys from the national teams came back in good moods and without any problems."

On-loan Chelsea midfielder Billy Gilmour returned from Scotland duty with a slight cold and winger Milot Rashica picked up a slight knee knock while with Kosovo but both are expected to be available.

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Cantwell may not quite be ready for a start though after missing the last three games, firstly due to personal issues and then because of an Achilles tendon strain.

The 23-year-old attacking midfielder hasn't played for almost a month, since coming on for the final 20 minutes of the 3-1 home defeat to Watford. 

“His last game in the starting line-up was several weeks ago and he missed more or less two weeks of full training," Farke added, of Cantwell's condition.

“Last week he did some individual work because he had some problems with his Achilles, so back in team training since Monday and that means he is available. 

“But in general, until he is back to his full fitness and a beneficial option for us for the starting line-up, I think he will need a bit more time and a bit more consistency in training. 

“It’s definitely good to have him back and that he can build on his resilience and his shape.” 

Przemek Placheta is also back in contention after returning to action with Poland during the break but has had to deal with complications in recovering from Covid-19 and is unlikely to be involved against Brighton.

Centre-back Christoph Zimmermann has missed the last five games and could be facing a longer layoff but the recovery of full-back Sam Byram is continuing well.

“The only bad news is Christoph Zimmermann, he is still struggling with his ongoing ankle problems and it looks like he perhaps needs another surgery," the Canaries boss continued.

“So definitely annoying and bad news, not just for us but also for Christoph because he was struggling a lot in the recent months. 

“Hopefully it’s not too bad but we will have to wait for further assessment, he is definitely not available for this game but is more or less the only player not available. 

“Also some good news with Sam Byram, he was also taking part in major parts of our team training during this week. 

“In the five days we have trained since Monday, in four he has joined team training. He has been out for over 18 months and that is definitely a good, promising step on his way back to being a topic for the game days. 

“We still have to be a bit careful but definitely good news with him."

- You can see the key updates from the press conference as it unfolded in the live blog below

International action concluded on Tuesday night, with players including Teemu Pukki, Grant Hanley, Milot Rashica and Christos Tzolis back in full training on Thursday.

While the Canaries sit bottom with just a point thanks to the goalless draw at Burnley before the break, Brighton sit sixth in the Premier League after four wins from seven games, drawing 0-0 with Arsenal in their last match.

The Seagulls have lost forward Danny Welbeck (hamstring) and midfielder Steven Alzate (ankle) to injury after operations but have former Ipswich defender Adam Webster and midfielders Yves Bissouma and Enock Mwepu available again after short-term injuries.

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