Team news: Josh Murphy and Wes Hoolahan start for Norwich City at Reading

Josh Murphy returns to Norwich City's starting XI at Reading this evening. Picture by Paul Chesterto

Josh Murphy returns to Norwich City's starting XI at Reading this evening. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Norwich City head coach Daniel Farke has given winger Josh Murphy an immediate opportunity to bounce back from being dropped in midweek by restoring him to City’s starting XI for this evening’s game at Reading.

Murphy and Wes Hoolahan are the only two changes from the team which started Tuesday’s impressive 1-0 win at Middlesbrough, which Murphy missed due to ‘unprofessional’ preparation, in Farke’s view.

More: Man overboard. Timm Klose reveals Norwich City’s squad haul Josh Murphy back on the boat

Mario Vrancic has also overcome a calf issue to return to the substitutes bench, where Yanic Wildschut and Marley Watkins begin the game after a night of hard running at Boro.

The Canaries are looking to extend a six-game unbeaten run in all competitions, having set a club record in the process by keeping clean sheets in each of their last five league games.

Reading also make two changes to their starting line-up, Tiago Ilori and Dave Edwards dropping to the bench and Leandro Bacuna and Liam Kelly coming in.

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The Royals have not won any of their last five matches in all competitions, allowing a 1-0 lead to slip late on in a 2-1 defeat at Millwall in midweek, to sit 18th in the Championship table.

Norwich: Gunn; Pinto (C), Zimmermann, Klose, Husband; Tettey, Trybull; Hoolahan, Maddison, Murphy; Jerome. Subs: McGovern (GK), Reed, Vrancic, Oliveira, Watkins, Wildschut, Hanley.

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Reading: Mannone; Gunter, McShane (C), Moore, Blackett; Van den Berg, Bacuna, Kelly; Beerens, McCleary; Aluko. Subs: Jaakkola, Edwards, Barrow, Ilori, Clement, Böðvarsson, Richards.

City team news

Marco Stiepermann (groin) is ruled out. Nelson Oliveira is in the squad but Farke made it clear on Friday the striker is still suffering pain after a groin injury and will not be able to start. Russell Martin is unavailable with a back problem. Steven Naismith must await scans on the extent of an ankle injury. Alex Pritchard, Matt Jarvis, Jamal Lewis and Louis Thompson remain long-term absentees.

Reading team news

Jon Swift (hamstring) is a doubt after missing the midweek defeat at Millwall. Moudou Barrow is on the bench after shaking off a knee problem. Jordan Obita is ruled out and Yann Kermorgant, who scored 19 goals last season, is still a fortnight away from a return to action after a pre-season injury.

Reading manager – Jaap Stam

Legendary former Manchester United centre back. Won three Premier League titles, the FA Cup and Champions League at Old Trafford. Reading is his first managerial move, after a spell as Ajax assistant coach. Led the Royals to the Championship play-off final last May. Signed a new two-year deal in the summer keeping him at the Madejski until at least 2019.

One to watch – Sone Aluko

Nigerian international striker who moved to Reading from Fulham in August 2017. Yet to get off the mark in four appearances. Had a four-year spell in Scotland with Aberdeen and Rangers.

Referee – Tim Robinson (West Sussex)

First meeting with Norwich since last season’s 4-0 final day Championship win against QPR. Sent off six players already this campaign in 13 games.

• Follow updates from this evening’s match at the Madejski Stadium in our Matchday Live blog at

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