The pair are set to face ‘late fitness tests’ after suffering minor muscle injuries, meaning we could be without SEVEN first-team players for the match at Turf Moor.
Jamaal Lascelles, Matt Ritchie and Allan Saint-Maximin – who’s set for 4-6 weeks on the sidelines – are ruled out with long-term injuries, while Bruce has also confirmed that Ciaran Clark and Ki Sung-Yeung will miss out with knocks.
“We’ve got a few out. Clark, Ritchie, Lascelles, Saint-Maximin and Ki are all out. We’ve got a couple of question marks over Almiron and Shelvey.
“Shelvey has a bit of a sore calf and Almiron has a tight hamstring. We’ll see how they are today and we’ll make a judgement on them after training.”
“I don’t think you can take that risk with muscle injuries. If they’re struggling with it and they pull up and are out for a month or six weeks, then we’ll all look stupid. We’ll err on the side of caution.”
It may be that Shelvey and Almiron come through late fitness tests, but it seems pretty clear Bruce won’t risk them at this hectic stage of the season.
You’d expect Sean Longstaff to come in for Shelvey, while Atsu and Joelinton may be forced to operate out wide in ASM and Almiron’s potential absence?
One bit of good news is that Bruce will bring Florian Lejeune back into his 18-man squad after losing Lascelles and Clark, but the injuries really are starting to mount up at the wrong time.