This is the team I suspect Steve Bruce will name for Sunday’s match against Tottenham at St. James’ Park. It has two changes from the 3-0 defeat to Brighton two weeks ago.
During his press conference on Friday, Bruce asserted that Callum Wilson was likely another week away from a return. While he did say Allan Saint-Maximin could play a part, I can’t see the Frenchman starting just yet. Though having him available from the bench will be a boost.
The front three remains the same from Brighton. However, the extra two weeks for Almiron will hopefully help him produce a better performance. Ryan Fraser bagged two goals on international duty so maybe he can carry some of that confidence into this match.
Bruce seems determined to rely on experience so that’s why Jeff Hendrick could come in for the injured Isaac Hayden. It was Hendrick who replaced Hayden at Brighton. Until Bruce proves otherwise, it’s hard to predict he’ll hand one of the Longstaff brothers a chance.
The other change comes to the backline with Federico Fernandez making his return to the starting lineup after missing the last 12 games. He has been on the bench for the last three but was unable to unseat Ciaran Clark.
Bruce said there could be a change in formation for Sunday. However, I suspect Bruce is holding out for Wilson’s return. If the striker will be back next week, Bruce could be hesitant to do make too many changes this weekend.