Norwich City will look to continue their return to form as they host struggling Nottingham Forest in the Championship at Carrow Road on Wednesday night (19:45 KO).
The Canaries bounced back from a comprehensive 3-1 defeat at Luton Town a week ago by beating Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday.
Forest meanwhile are winless in their last five games and have not scored in over a month as they prepare to face the league leaders.
Norwich will be without defender Ben Gibson (calf) and winger Przemyslaw Placheta (hamstring) for the next fortnight after both picked up knocks against Wednesday.
The duo are the latest names on an already lengthy injury list, however City boss Daniel Farke said in his pre-match press conference that midfielder Todd Cantwell is set to return to the squad.
However, while Kieran Dowell, Kenny McLean and Jordan Hugill have all returned to training, they will not be involved against the Reds. Lukus Rupp and Tim Krul are also ruled out, and Sam Byram remains sidelined.
Forest meanwhile will likely be without defender Scott McKenna after a recurring ankle injury forced him off at half time in the 2-0 defeat at Reading on Saturday.
Tyler Blackett, Fouad Bachirou and former Norwich striker Lewis Grabban are back in training but not expected to feature.
Jack Colback and Luke Freeman are long-term absentees, while Ryan Yates is suspended after his red card at the Madejski Stadium last weekend.
McGovern, Aarons, Zimmerman, Hanley, Sorensen, Skipp, Tettey, Buendia, Steipermann, Martin, Pukki.
Samba, Christie, Worrall, Figueiredo, Ribeiro, Dias, Sow, Arter, Lolley, Taylor, Knockeart.
Head-to-head and form guide
The two sides have met 73 times since their first meeting, over a century ago in 1915. Results are tightly split, with 27 Norwich wins, 28 Forest wins and 18 draws.
Recent meetings have typified this mixed bag of results, although Norwich have edged the last decade, winning five of the last 10 meetings between the sides. Forest’s last victory in this fixture was a 1-0 win at the City Ground in November 2017. The most recent game between the two – on Boxing Day in 2016 – saw Norwich come back from 0-3 down in the last 20 minutes to draw 3-3, Onel Hernandez snatching a point with a 98th-minute equaliser.
Norwich’s defeat to Luton was their first defeat in 11 league games. But the comeback victory against Wednesday last weekend, thanks to goals from Josh Martin and Max Aarons, ensured the Canaries remain at the league summit a point ahead of second-placed AFC Bournemouth. This game is only the second since the hosts were allowed to admit up to 2,000 fans into Carrow Road, following the end of the second national lockdown.
Forest’s trip will mark a return to Carrow Road for Reds’ boss Hughton, who managed the Norfolk outfit from 2012-14. The visitors sit just one place and two points above the relegation zone and have not won since a 2-0 win over Wycombe Wanderers on 7 November, which was also the last time they found the back of the net.
A positive result will soon be needed for Hughton if he is to relieve early pressure. After being appointed in October, his side have won just three times in 12 games.
What the managers said
Farke said he was under no illusions of the ability of his side’s next opponents, citing bad luck as the reason for Forest’s recent poor form. Speaking earlier today, he said:
“Since Chris (Hughton) took over they have had some unbelievably bad look with injuries. You can see his handwriting because of their attacking play.
“The team is struggling a bit, but they have quality and with his leadership and knowledge, it is just a question of time until they start a really good run.
“I have them as still a competitor for the top six. We know we have to be fully focused and fully switched on against them.”
Speaking to the club yesterday, Forest boss Hughton said:
“You can look at any game when you are in a difficult period as being the perfect game, as it is the next opportunity and that is something that I am always telling the players.
“What we have seen with this division is that anyone can beat anyone, whether that is home or away. We know the difficulties we have been having, we have had a tough run of games in playing effectively the top six teams.
“It has been a test, but we know the areas we need to do better in and that is why you work as hard as you can every single day to change that.”
How to watch
The game is being shown live on the Sky Sports Football red button. Alternatively, the match can be watched live on the two club’s respective iFollow streaming services.
More details are available here.
Kick-off is at 7:45pm BST.