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Preview: Norwich City v Blues

Here's our match preview ahead of Tuesday night's trip to face Norwich City in the Championship at Carrow Road (7.45pm).

Aitor Karanka reflecting on the Sheffield Wednesday defeat...
"I started the game with different players because I felt at home we needed to be more offensive, to try and keep the ball. But we couldn't keep the ball. We didn't play with the intensity and it's difficult when you are going onto the pitch without the right intensity - you can't defend and you can't attack. Gary Gardner started because he's more of an eight, box to box, that we don't have with Ivan Sunjic and Adam Clayton, and Dan Crowley as a number 10. But we did not play as we wanted to play. We will analyse everything and look for the solutions."

Aitor Karanka on the way Blues laid siege to the Owls in the last quarter of the match...
"Tactics are always very important but we created more chances in those 15 minutes than in the four games in a row. When you play with that intensity, the desire, the passion, the commitment (it helps you to win). We have to now mix those things with the tactics. like we did, for example, against Brentford, Swansea or Stoke."

Aitor Karanka on Jonathan Leko's impressive cameo appearance as substitute...
"He was a really good surprise. We have to be careful with him as he has been out for nine months and now he has go to step by step. He can bring us a lot of things. He was good. Riley McGree coming onto the pitch was also good, considering he was in Australia two or three weeks ago. To play in the Championship when the team is losing at home is not easy. He went about it in a good way and both of them have to take credit."

Aitor Karanka on the search for a first goal from open play...
"Yes, but I'd be more concerned if we hadn't created chances, which we have done. The main thing is to take those chances and if we keep making them then for sure goals will arrive."

Aitor Karanka on Blues facing a quick turnaround in fixtures, a chance to make matters correct...
"That's the main thing. Sometimes we complain how many games the Championship has but now, with this game so soon, against a team that was in the Premier League three or four months ago, it is a challenge. They are a good team, experienced, and worked with the same manager for two or three years. It's the best thing that can happen. We need to learn what we have done bad and we need to recover as soon as possible, physically and mentally."

Aitor Karanka speaking about the addition of Jake Clarke-Salter on loan...
"We're really pleased to get him because he is going to give us a lot of options. As a central defender he is someone who can pass with the ball on the grass and he's a very good player. He will help us a lot. He was here before and has a very good relationship with everybody; everybody here has spoken really highly about him. I have worked with a few players from Chelsea's Academy since I started at Middlesbrough."

Norwich's manager Daniel Farke's comments ahead of the game, concerning Teemu Pukki, who lost his place to matchwinner Jordan Hugill at Rotherham United...
“We don’t have to discuss Teemu. He is still one of the best in this league. We don’t have to speak about his quality or to doubt him or his value to us. That would be absolutely crazy. He has probably played more football than anyone in English football in the past two seasons and scored maybe 40 league goals. My task right now is to keep him fresh. He is not 18 any more and I will go on with this approach over the whole season."

Blues team news...
Jon Toral (groin) and Lukas Jutkiewicz (illness), both of whom missed Saturday, are doubts for Blues. Jake Clarke-Salter is unlikely to be considered for selection as he builds up his sharpness.

Norwich team news...
Christophe Zimmerman has a calf injury, Todd Cantwell could make his first appearance of the season after training again following a bruised knee. Olly Skipp will be fit after taking an ugly tackle at Rotherham United, which saw Angus MacDonald sent-off. Onel Hernandez (adductor), Kieran Dowell (ankle) and Sam Byram (hamstring) are all out.

Head to head...
Blues wins: 21
Draws: 24
Norwich wins: 24

Last five meetings between Blues and Norwich...
2018/19 Championship, January Norwich 3 Blues 1
2018/19 Championship, August, Blues 2 Norwich 2
2017/18 Championship, December, Blues 0 Norwich 2
2017/18 Championship, September, Norwich 1 Blues 0
2016/17 Championship, January, Norwich 2 Blues 0

BluesTV...
The game has been selected for Sky Sports coverage, only subscribers in selected countries will be able to watch via BluesTV. There is no pay-per-view for this fixture.
For selected countries, click here.

Match officials...
Referee – Oliver Langford
Assistant Referee 1 – Adrian Waters
Assistant Referee 2 – Rob Smith
Fourth Official – Gavin Ward

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