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Gunn eager to nail down his starting line-up

PUBLISHED: 07:45 28 July 2009 | UPDATED: 11:06 06 July 2010

Bryan Gunn's plans for the new season should become more evident tonight as the countdown to League One life becomes serious. The standard of pre-season opposition takes a significant leap when City travel to Crystal Palace.

Bryan Gunn's plans for the new season should become more evident tonight as the countdown to League One life becomes serious.

The standard of pre-season opposition takes a significant leap when City travel to Championship side Crystal Palace - and the degree of difficulty is likely to be matched by a definite shaping of the new-look Canaries.

So far it's been a guessing game - now the pieces will begin to slot into place.

“That was probably the idea up to this Saturday, and now we're 180 minutes away from being ready for the start of the season, so we'll need to start shaking things up and be slightly more focused on the first game of the season,” said Gunn.

The City boss is still without some of the players he has brought to the club - midfielder Stephen Hughes, striker Cody McDonald and left back Rhoys Wiggins - while contract offers to striker Goran Maric and defenders Jens Berthel Askou are still pending.

But the clues will be out there at Selhurst Park tonight, with just the home game against Wigan on Saturday to come before the vital opener against Colchester on August 8.

Fans will get their first view of new Aussie keeper Michael Theoklitos and should see more of Grant Holt than the 10 minutes he had at the end of Saturday's game.

But who partners the big target man remains to be seen - will it be out-of-sorts Jamie Cureton or the returning Chris Martin?

Who gets the nod at left back, Simon Lappin or Adam Drury, and will it be Jon Otsemobor or Michael Spillane at right back?

The absence of Hughes means Matt Gill and Owain Tudur Jones will be keen to impress for fear of being sidelined - while the same might be said of Gary Doherty and Michael Nelson should Askou add to the competition for places in central defence.

And will Gunn go for the orthodox 4-4-2, or will he let the little magician Wes Hoolahan do his stuff in a more advanced midfield role?

Plenty of questions - and tonight should yield some answers.

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