STARTING XIs: Krul returns for Canaries against Tykes
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Tim Krul's nine-game injury absence is over, as the Holland goalkeeper returns to Norwich City's starting line-up against Barnsley at Carrow Road this afternoon.
The 32-year-old has been out with a thigh injury since being forced off shortly before half-time of a 3-2 win at Stoke in November, with Michael McGovern covering well during Krul's absence.
However, the Northern Ireland international was forced off at half-time of Tuesday's 1-1 home draw with Queens Park Rangers and is set to miss much of the remainder of the campaign with a serious hamstring injury.
Wales Under-19 international Daniel Barden made his league debut during the second half but Krul has been able to return to team training and return for today's game, with the reigning Player of the Season having recently signed a new contract until 2024.
Ben Gibson also returns in central defence, with Christoph Zimmermann dropping to the bench, but Jacob Sorensen continues at left-back and Xavi Quintilla remains on the bench.
Poland international winger Przemek Placheta also returns to the bench, with the speedy 22-year-old having missed the last six games with hamstring trouble.
Otherwise, midfielder Lukas Rupp is targeting next Saturday's home tie with Coventry in the FA Cup third round for his return from a hamstring problem, as is attacking midfielder Marco Stiepermann after complications stemming after an ear infection.
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Full-back Bali Mumba (knee) and winger Onel Hernandez (groin) hope to return to full training next week after long-term injuries and both full-back Sam Byram (hamstring) and forward Adam Idah (knee) also hope to return to contention later this month.
Daniel Farke's team have only lost two of their last 18 matches but recently lost 1-0 at Watford on Boxing Day and were held to a 1-1 home draw by QPR on Tuesday.
They sit three points clear of Brentford, whose home game against Bristol City has been postponed, and four clear of Swansea, who host fellow promotion hopefuls Watford this afternoon.
Barnsley also make two changes to their starting XI, with skipper Alex Mowatt replaced in central midfield replaced by Herbie Kane and Luke Thomas replacing Victor Adeboyejo, who drops tp the bench.
The visitors have won 10 of their opening 15 games under manager Valerien Ismael to move to eighth place and within three points of the play-off places.
However, they arrive without four players, after midfielder Mowatt and back-up goalkeeper Brad Collins tested positive for Covid-19 and attacking duo Conor Chaplin and George Miller having to isolate after being deemed as close contacts.
The Tykes are also without young defenders Jordan Williams and Aapo Halme due to injury, which means they only name seven substitutes.
NORWICH (4-2-3-1): Krul, Aarons, Hanley (C), Gibson, Sorensen; Skipp, McLean; Buendia, Vrancic, Cantwell; Pukki. Subs: Barden (GK), Zimmermann, Quintilla, Tettey, Dowell, Martin, Placheta, Hugill, Omotoye
BARNSLEY (3-4-3): Walton; Sollbauer (C), Helik, Andersen; Brittain, James, Kane, Styles; Frieser, Woodrow, Thomas. Subs: Kendrick (GK), Christie-Davies, Schmidt, Plamer, Oduor, Adeboyejo, Moon
REFEREE: Michael Salisbury (Lancashire)
- You can follow all the updates, analysis and reaction from Carrow Road in our Matchday Live blog