STARTING XIs: Pukki and Giannoulis start for City against Boro

Teemu Pukki of Norwich has a shot on goal that hits the post during the FA Cup match at Carrow Road,

Teemu Pukki returns to Norwich City's starting line-up - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Top scorer Teemu Pukki returns to Norwich City's starting line-up and new signing Dimitris Giannoulis is straight into action for the Championship leaders against Middlesbrough.

Finland star Pukki ends a three-game absence with a side strain as he looks to add to his 11-goal haul for the season, with Jordan Hugill dropping out with a hamstring injury which is expected to sideline the striker for around a month.

Greek international left-back Giannoulis, signed on loan from PAOK Salonika with a view to a permanent deal, replaces Jacob Sorensen at left-back and the midfielder drops to the bench.

The only other change to Daniel Farke's last league XI, which earned a 2-0 home win over Bristol City prior to last Saturday's 1-0 defeat at Barnsley in the FA Cup, is Lukas Rupp replacing Kenny McLean in central midfield.

Scotland international McLean completes his 10 days of self-isolation this weekend after a positive Covid-test and is expected to be available for the trip to Millwall on Tuesday, as he has no symptoms of the virus.

On-loan Villarreal left-back Xavi Quintilla is not on the bench after completing self-isolation to train fully this week but young full-back Bali Mumba is, as is centre-back Christoph Zimmermann after three games out with a hip problem.

Young striker Tyrese Omotoye has gone on loan to League One side Swindon and his place is taken on the bench by Adam Idah, with the Republic of Ireland striker fit after two months out with foot and ankle injuries.

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Marco Stiepermann is still recovering from a virus, Sam Byram is hoping to back in training next month after almost a year out with hamstring problems and goalkeeper Michael McGovern had hamstring surgery at the start of this month and is out for much of the rest of the season.

The Canaries go into the game with eight wins from their last 10 games, sitting six points clear of Swansea, Watford and Reading at the top of the table, after Reading beat Bournemouth 3-1 last night.

MORE: Warnock wants reaction from Boro against City after ‘week from hell’ 

Boro come into the game three points adrift of the top six despite losing three of their last four games, with injuries affecting home losses to Blackburn and Rotherham in the last week.

Star defender Dael Fry returns after a nasty facial injury during the Blackburn game, as one of four changes.

Full-back Anfernee Dijksteel (dental surgery) and influential attacking midfielder Marcus Tavernier (knee) remain out.

New signings Yannic Bolasie and Darnell Fisher both come in after signing this week, with former Everton and Crystal Palace attacker Bolassie signed on a free and full-back Fisher signed from Preston on Friday.

Former Canaries players Jonny Howson and Patrick Roberts are in the squad for the visitors, although Manchester City loanee Roberts drops to the bench - with Howson wearing the captain's armband.

That's due to striker Britt Assombalonga dropping to the bench, alongside Duncan Watmore, with young defender Nathan Wood not involed.

NORWICH (4-2-3-1): Krul; Aarons, Hanley (C), Gibson, Giannoulis; Skipp, Rupp; Buendia, Vrancic, Cantwell; Pukki. Subs: Barden (GK), Zimmermann, Mumba, Sorensen, Tettey, Dowell, Placheta, Hernandez, Idah

BORO (4-5-1): Bettinelli; Fisher, Fry, McNair, Bola; Spence, Morsy, Howson (C), Saville Johnson; Bolasie. Subs: Archer (GK), Hall, Coulson, Wing, Roberts, Assombalonga, Watmore, Akpom, Fletcher 

REFEREE: Keith Stroud (Hampshire)

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

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