With Glenn Roeder's decision to knock this afternoon's kick-off back two hours in a bid to miss the worst of the summer heat working an absolute treat, City punters who braved the autumnal drizzle were at least rewarded with a first sighting of Arturo Lupoli.
The 21-year-old's international clearance finally arrived from the Italian FA this morning, thus enabling the on-loan Fiorentina striker to make his first appearance at Carrow Road for today's final pre-season friendly clash of the summer against East Anglian neighbours Colchester United.
With the Scottish FA having also played their part, there was also a start for on-loan Celtic centre-half John Kennedy alongside Dejan Stefanovic in that wholly re-built Canary defence.
The only slight hic-cup to Roeder's best-laid plans came at left-back where a short-term tweak for Ryan Bertrand ruled him out of the running until the Ricoh. With Adam Drury still to find his feet again first team-wise since his long-term injury last season, it all left Jason Shackell wearing the No3 shirt – a sign that he, not Stefanovic, had been handed the left-back gig.
The one other major absentee was 'OJ' after the Gambian FA proved rather less easy to reach than their Scottish counterparts – all of which ensured that the on-loan 18-year-old would be forced to twiddle his thumbs on the sidelines this weekend.
Otherwise and in the continuing absence of a target man, Jamie Cureton would start alongside Lupoli.
The whereabouts of Wes Hoolahan in Norwich's tactical thinking was the other interesting point. With Matty Pattison keeping his place and, presumeably, keeping the left-side warm, City's creative thinking would either find himself stationed away on the right or else dropped into that little hole behind the front two – a role he played with eye-catching effect in the opening 45 minutes against Spurs last Monday night.
Norwich City (4-4-2): Marshall; Omozusi, Kennedy, Stefanovic, Shackell; Hoolahan, Clingan, Fotheringham, Pattison; Lupoli, Cureton. Subs (not used): Nelson, Chadwick, Russell, Croft, Otsemobor, Smith, Eagle, Renton, Martin.
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