This is the team we are predicting Steve Bruce will name for Tuesday’s crucial match at Sheffield United. It has 8 changes from the FA Cup loss at Arsenal.
On Monday, Bruce mentioned the squad being refreshed after resting some players against Arsenal on Saturday. So that indicates he’ll once again make plenty of changes. On Saturday, he made 7 changes and we could see close to that amount on Tuesday.
First off, there now seems to be some hesitation on Bruce’s part about Karl Darlow continuing as the number one. Martin Dubravka made his season debut at the Emirates and was outstanding. However, it would be quite brutal beyond belief to drop Darlow so soon.
Bruce may opt to switch the formation against Sheffield after facing top clubs over the past four matches. We don’t think he’ll go to a back four just yet, though. The lads created plenty of chances in this system on Saturday so Bruce will probably stick with it.
We suspect the back five that played against Man City, Liverpool, and Leicester City will return. Jamaal Lascelles may be rested after coming off at half-time at Arsenal due to fatigue. Paul Dummett also will likely be rested after making his return on Saturday. Yedlin returns on the right after a rest while Ritchie gets recalled on the left with Jamal Lewis still nursing a knee injury.
The midfield pairing is a tough call. We have Matty Longstaff and Isaac Hayden, who were the pairing at Man City and against Liverpool. It may be somewhat defensive but Matty shouldn’t lose his place after getting a rest over the weekend. He was a bright spark in the three matches he started last week.
In attack, both Callum Wilson and Ryan Fraser return. Both were in the training images released today. Fraser has been out since the Brentford defeat while Wilson only missed out at Arsenal as a precaution. Miguel Almiron keeps his place despite playing the entire match, including extra time, over the weekend.