The disappointing news is that NUFC new boys Danny Rose and Valentino Lazaro are ineligible, with both unable to play in the replay after being officially registered after our first meeting with Oxford last month.
There’s no clear update on Javier Manquillo, but Bruce did mention after Saturday’s draw with Norwich that Saint-Maximin ‘wasn’t 100%’ and that both Almiron and Joelinton were close to burn out, so it remains to be seen if any of those three are risked.
Here’s what he’s had to say when speaking to the press this morning:
“We have got two centre-backs who are desperate to play in Lejeune and Schar, so they will play.
“So will the Longstaffs if they are both fit, we will find out that today.
“We will slightly freshen us up.
“The two lads that made their debut on Saturday, Danny Rose and Valentino Lazaro, can’t play.
“Unfortunately they weren’t signed before the first game, which is annoying because it would have been an ideal game for them.
“I think after tomorrow’s game the break will do everybody the world of good.
“I hope we have them all back by Arsenal.
“Certainly the signs with Dwight Gayle, Andy Carroll and Yoshi Muto in particular are good.
“In difficult circumstances over the last month we’ve shown a certain amount of resilience to get us this far.
“The break can only do us good.”
Bruce then spoke about tomorrow’s opponents, highlighting the fact key players Tariqe Fosu and Shandon Baptiste have sealed £3m moves to Brentford since we last met:
“Oxford are a decent side.
“They have lost two of their players to Brentford so that will hinder them I’m sure but they are a good side.
“It’s live on the TV and they’ll want the underdogs to turn us over, so we have to be wary of that.
“If we can go and get to the Fifth Round this week and be on 31 points, I think we’d have accepted that, no matter how we got there.
After a dreadful display on Saturday, you’d think things can only get better away at League One opposition – although this is Newcastle United we’re talking about.
Bruce hasn’t got many options available, meaning there’s only so much he’ll be able to rotate, but let’s hope whoever plays does enough to get us into the last 16 of the FA Cup for the first time since 2006.
Win tomorrow and we’re a victory over West Brom away from the Quarter Finals.