With tonight’s clash with Crystal Palace now just a few hours away, it’s time to predict what our starting 11 might look like when the team sheets are released at 7.15pm.
Keeping form, fitness and last weekend’s brilliant win at Everton in mind, here’s the team I think Steve Bruce will go with:
(4-3-2-1): Darlow – Manquillo, Schar, Clark Lewis – Hendrick, Hayden, Shelvey – Almiron, Saint-Maximin – Wilson.
OUT – Lascelles and Fraser?
IN – Clark and Saint-Maximin?
Given how well we played on Saturday and the issues set to keep Lascelles (injury) and Fraser (illness) out, this may be the most straightforward predicted line up I’ve had to do so far this season (*famous last words!).
Darlow should keep his place after a clean sheet and strong response to a shaky start at Goodison Park, however Lascelles injury and Fernandez’s prolonged absence means a fit-again Clark will almost certainly replace the skipper.
Elsewhere at the back, Schar proved he could play in a four-man defence with a towering display, Manquillo cemented his spot at right-back with a polished performance at both ends and Lewis also put in his best game for the club – bagging a brilliant late assist and looking more confident throughout.
The midfield will surely stay the same, even if Arsenal loanee will be eyeing one of the three roles that helped us control the game at Goodison Park last weekend!
In attack, Wilson will be looking to push his tally past the 10-goal mark, however he may have to do it without Fraser.
If illness does keep the former Bournemouth winger out of this one, we will surely see Saint-Maximin return alongside Almiron – who was tireless both on and off the ball at Everton.