Can Brandon Williams play for Norwich against Manchester United?

Manchester United academy graduate Brandon Williams is enjoying a positive spell on loan at Norwich.

He has started all of Dean Smith’s games in charge so far as the former Aston Villa manager has had an instant impact at Carrow Road.

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Norwich’s next game is at home to Manchester United on Saturday evening. So can Williams feature for West Ham in the fixture?

The answer is no, and there is a very simple reason why.

As per the rules of loan agreements, the club loaning out the player have the right to stipulate that said player cannot play against them.

In the Premier League it is standard practice, and Williams will not be eligible to feature in either league game this season between Norwich and United.

Smith commented on Williams’ absence at his pre-match press conference, saying: “Brandon (Williams) is ineligible this weekend, which is a shame because I thought he was really good last week.”

Todd Cantwell is fit to play, but Mathias Normann has not recovered from his injury and has been ruled out, according to Smith.

Dimi Giannoulis could come into the Norwich side to replace Williams, who will be a big miss for Smith as he looks to deal with United’s new 4-2-2-2 system under Ralf Rangnick.

For United, Ralf Rangnick has said that Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Nemanja Matic are both doubtful for the game.

“We have two or three question marks behind players. Aaron [has injuries], and Nemanja Matic has a bit of a cold. I wouldn’t call it ‘flu, he is negative, tested for COVID, and I am still hoping he is available.”

Anthony Martial, Raphael Varane and Paul Pogba are also definitely sidelined but Edinson Cavani could figure at Carrow Road.

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Sam Preston is an NCTJ gold standard news and sports journalist who studied with the Press Association. He also has a 2:1 law with French law degree from the University of Birmingham, which included a year studying at Bordeaux Montaigne University. He is an FA Level 1 football coach who appeared on the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire show in 2018 and has also written digital football content and match-day programme pieces for Colchester United, Mansfield Town and Stockport County.