Shelvey has been missing since our last home win (a 1-0 victory over Chelsea) and Manquillo hasn’t played since pulling his hamstring against Leicester on New Year’s Day – which was the last time both started together.
That could be about to change, however, with both clearly in contention to return ahead of Saturday’s crucial clash at St James’ Park after being pictured back in first-team training:
With Lazaro suspended and Yedlin struggling at right-back in recent outings, the return of the reliable Manquillo could be a welcome one – but Shelvey’s creativity and newfound goal threat could be the biggest boost.
Jonjo is our top scorer and one of few players in this side capable of being the difference – especially in a game where we’ll be expected to play on the front foot and get at an in-form yet beatable Burnley side.
Not only that, both Nabil Bentaleb and Sean Longstaff haven’t taken their chance in recent weeks and look off the pace both on and off the ball, so the return of a Shelvey-Hayden partnership could be exactly what the doctor order for Steve Bruce this weekend.
Fingers crossed both on deemed fit enough to start on Saturday!