All four played every minute of Saturday’s 0-0 draw with Burnley at St James’ Park, however some may feel Bruce is taking a big risk leaving out the likes of Martin Dubravka – the man who’s quite literally saved us on countless occasions this season.
As for Shelvey, Gayle and Manquillo, all three started for the first time in over a month at the weekend, and the Shields Gazette claim Bruce is reluctant to ‘risk’ any of them.
That said, Shelvey could be a big miss if the likes of Nabil Bentaleb and Sean Longstaff don’t up their game, with Isaac Hayden also putting in a poor display following his return to the side on Saturday.
Matty Longstaff could therefore come into contention, while Miles Starforth also claims Joelinton looks set to start up top – despite a slightly improved display out on the left-hand side vs Burnley.
Let’s hope Darlow steps up, along with whoever is tasked to replace Gayle, Manquillo and Shelvey – who were three of our better platers over the weekend.
It would be risky to ask our recently injured players to start twice in 4 days, but is it an equally big risk to leave out our most important player?