City boss Paul Lambert has some interesting selection posers ahead of tomorrow’s clash with Stockport as the league leaders aim to bounce back from their not-so-Good Friday on Merseyside.
Starting at the top, there will be an enforced change in goal, with Declan Rudd coming in for Fraser Forster after the on-loan Newcastle man saw red at Prenton Park.
But for me, this is no biggie – despite Forster’s outstanding form this season. Rudd is an excellent prospect and will be keen to prove that he can be the permanent No 1 in the Championship next season, if, as expected, Forster returns to the north east.
In defence, it looks unlikely that Lambert will make any changes, despite messageboard clamour for Zak Whitbread. There are high hopes for the US-born Scouser but at this stage of the season, I fully expect the current backline to stay as it is.
The engine room is a different kettle of fish and much will depend on whether Korey Smith has recovered from his dead leg.
With no pre-match press conference ahead of the Hatters clash for obvious reasons, we’ll have to assume that Smith will be absent again, with no opportunity for Lambert to confirm whether he’s in or out.
Stephen Hughes will therefore keep his place and I thought he looked lively in the controversial Tranmere reverse, with the former Motherwell and Leicester man keen to prove that he’s worthy of a regular slot.
I rate the Scot and he brings something different to the party, with his cultured passing and good movement, and if Hughes turns it on against rock-bottom County tomorrow, then there is no reason why he can’t earn one of those midfield gigs for the rest of the season.
But Lambert’s biggest headache will concern who partners skipper Grant Holt and the smart money would have to be on Chris Martin making a return to the starting XI.
Stephen Elliott’s impact has been minimal in the two starts he has made and the 21-goal Beccles striker should be refreshed after a stint on the bench.
And while Elliott hasn’t taken League One by storm, he is a more-than-useful asset from the bench, as the Irishman proved at Huddersfield when he grabbed a brace in that crucial 3-1 victory.
But whatever team Lambert decides on, there will certainly be no better chance for the Canaries to get back on track and without tempting fate, you have to fancy a convincing Norwich triumph to round off the traditionally hectic Easter weekend.