Team news: Nelson Oliveira returns to starting line-up for Norwich City’s clash with Queens Park Rangers
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Nelson Oliveira has been restored to Norwich City’s starting line-up for tonight’s Championship clash with Queens Park Rangers at Carrow Road.
The Portuguese striker has been the centre of attention since scoring a late equaliser in City’s 1-1 draw at Fulham on the opening day of the season – before unleashing a controversial celebration.
Oliveira proceeded to tear his shirt off, charge towards head coach Daniel Farke and hold up his name to the German in apparent protest at starting the game on the bench.
The matter has since been dealt with publicly by Farke and privately within the Canaries dressing room but the 26-year-old began Sunday’s disappointing 3-1 home defeat to Sunderland on the bench, coming on in the 68th minute.
He has the chance to kick-start his and City’s campaign against QPR this evening though as he leads the line, with Cameron Jerome a substitute.
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Farke has made five changes, also bringing Ivo Pinto, Wes Hoolahan and Josh Murphy back into the starting line-up following their returns to fitness and also restoring midfielder Mario Vrancic, who was dropped for the Sunderland game.
Russell Martin drops to the bench as City switch to four at the back and is joined on the bench by Steven Naismith, Marley Watkins and Cameron Jerome, with Yanic Wildschut out of the squad completely.
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The hosts are still without long-term midfield injury victims Alex Pritchard (ankle), Matt Jarvis (ankle) and Louis Thompson (Achilles), with defender Timm Klose (leg) set to return next month.
QPR boss Ian Holloway makes no changes from Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Sheffield Wednesday.
The visitors are without centre-back Grant Hall (tendonitis), winger Yeni Ngbakoto (ankle) and forward Idrissa Sylla (head), with former Tottenham defender Steven Caulker not yet fit to start.
The west London side arrive in buoyant mood though after starting the season with a 2-0 home win over last season’s beaten play-off finalists Reading and Saturday’s draw at promotion hopefuls Wednesday – to raise hopes of an improvement on finishing 18th in the Championship last season.
Norwich (4-1-4-1): Gunn; Pinto, Zimmermann, Franke, Husband; Reed; Hoolahan (C), Maddison, Vrancic, Murphy; Oliveira. Subs: McGovern (GK), Martin, Naismith, Jerome, Watkins, Stiepermann, Tettey.
QPR (3-5-2): Smithies; Perch, Onuoha, Lynch; Wszolek, Luongo, Scowen, Freeman, Bidwell; Mackie, Washington. Subs: Ingram (GK), Borysiuk, Furlong, Robinson, Manning, Lua Lua, Smith