Emiliano Buendia of Norwich celebrates his team’s first goal during the Sky Bet Championship game in Deepdale
– Photo credit: Paul Chesterton / Focus Images Ltd.
The final stages of the championship season began this afternoon in Preston for leaders Norwich City.
The Canaries entered the game under strange circumstances. The central defenders Ben Gibson and Christoph Zimmermann were injured, followed by seven regular starters from Daniel Farke, who were in international action less than 48 hours before the game. City, however, is in a very strong position in Deepdale in the promotion race with eight Play into the game, eight points ahead of Watford and 14 ahead of third-placed Swansea.
This is thanks to an outstanding run of nine wins and a draw in the ten games before the international break, earning 83 points and on the verge of an immediate return in the Premier League.
One element of the international action that went at least according to plan was the continuation of the brilliant form of the 22-goal top scorer Teemu Pukki with three goals in two World Cup qualifiers before going for the final phase of a friendly match in Switzerland was substituted on.
The Finn, who celebrated his 31st birthday on Monday, has in his last 14 goals scored 13 games for club and country.
– You can follow all updates, analysis and reactions from Preston on our Matchday Live blog above
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