STARTING XIs: Hernandez starts again for City as Bees make two changes
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Norwich City have named an unchanged squad for this evening's top-of-the-table encounter with Brentford, with Onel Hernandez starting again on the left wing.
The Cuban was the man who got the nod to replace the injured Todd Cantwell for the 2-0 win at Wycombe on Sunday, who is hoping to shake off a calf issue ahead of Saturday's visit of Luton.
January signing Orjan Nyland is fit but youngster Daniel Barden continues to provide cover for goalkeeper Tim Krul on the bench.
Marco Stiepermann has returned to full training after a couple of weeks with the under-23s to regain fitness after two months out with a virus but is likely to come into contention for selection for Saturday's home game with mid-table Luton at the earliest.
Full-back Sam Byram is still tentatively working his way back towards full training after a year out due to two hamstring operations and goalkeeper Michael McGovern is hoping to be back in contention before the season is over, after hamstring surgery at the start of the year.
The Canaries go into the game sitting seven points clear of the second-placed Bees, with Sunday's win at lowly Wycombe securing a fifth win on the spin.
The last meeting of the teams finished in a 1-1 draw at the Brentford Community Stadium in October, with City wasting chances but Krul needed to keep the score at 1-0 after Ivan Toney had scored for the hosts, prior to substitute Kenny McLean's deflected equaliser in the 87th minute.
That was one of Toney's 25 goals so far this season, putting him in pole position to win the division's Golden Boot, with six more than Blackburn forward Adam Armstrong and seven more than Norwich star Teemu Pukki.
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Brentford make two changes, with former Norwich winger Sergi Canos replacing Tariqe Fosu and Mathias Jensen replacing England U21 midfielder Josh Dasilva, who has a hip problem.
The visitors are without former Leeds centre-back Pontus Jansson, with their skipper missing since ankle surgery in January, and midfielder Shandon Baptiste has been out since October with a major knee injury.
Thomas Frank also suffered a serious blow in late February when highly rated left-back Rico Henry was ruled out for two months with a hamstring injury.
The Canaries signed Canos from Liverpool for around £2.5million in the summer of 2016 he only made six appearances under Alex Neil, scoring twice in a League Cup win, before being sold for a similar fee to former loan club Brentford in January 2017.
The 24-year-old Spaniard has since scored 22 goals in 153 games and has featured in every Championship match so far this season, having missed the majority of last season with a serious knee injury.
At the start of last month, Brentford had knocked City off the summit for the first time in over two months, taking advantage of the Canaries' 2-0 defeat at Swansea by winning their game in hand.
However, a 21-game unbeaten run was brought to a sudden halt with three consecutive defeats and Norwich have been able to reassume control of the automatic promotion race - sitting 10 points clear of third-placed Watford ahead of tonight's action.
The match is a 5.30pm kick-off as it's being shown live by Sky Sports, with Watford at home to Wycombe at 7pm and Swansea, a point further back in fourth, are at Stoke in an 8.15pm game.
NORWICH (4-2-3-1): Krul; Aarons, Hanley (C), Gibson, Giannoulis; Skipp, McLean; Buendia, Vrancic, Hernandez; Pukki. Subs: Barden (GK), Zimmermann, Tettey, Sorensen, Rupp, Dowell, Placheta, Idah, Hugill
BRENTFORD (4-3-3): Raya; Dalsgaard (C), Reid, Pinnock, Sorensen; Jensen, Janelt, Ghoddos; Canos, Toney, Mbuemo. Subs: Daniels (GK), Gilbert, Zamburek, Bidstrup, Roerslev, Norgaard, Marcondes, Fosu, Forss
REFEREE: Tim Robinson (West Sussex)
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