Ahead of our crucial trip to Turf Moor, it’s time to predict what side Steve Bruce will select against Sean Dyche’s Burnley in Sunday’s early kick off.
Keeping form, fitness and last weekend’s much improved display in mind, here’s the starting 11 and formation I can see us going with…
(3-4-1-2): Dubravka – Fernandez, Clark, Dummett – Murphy, S Longstaff, Shelvey, Ritchie – Almiron – Wilson, Joelinton.
Clark IN, Lascelles OUT? – An easy swap no the skipper is out. Clark was poor in his last start at Brighton but doesn’t usually let us down, meaning he is almost certain to come back into the side here.
Fernandez IN, Krafth OUT? – With Lascelles ruled out we need height, experience and leadership, something Fernandez can offer. As for Krafth, you’d like to think we’d take him out of the firing line, with the Swede not the answer at centre-back whatsoever – not to mention against a big Burnley side who like to throw balls into the box.
Wilson IN, Gayle OUT? – This would involve Bruce changing a winning side and throwing Wilson straight into the side, however it seems the latter is ready to return after training all week. I see Joelinton keeping his place after doing so well in that 2-2 draw with Spurs – a call that could keep Saint-Maximin on the bench – but I think Bruce will want his top scorer back in for this one. After all, he takes that big chance Gayle may miss; and that could end up being the difference in a tight game like this.
Elsewhere, it’ll be interesting to see if Joe Willock can force his way back into the starting XI. The Arsenal loanee was dropped last Sunday but ended up scoring a late equaliser against Spurs, giving Bruce a decision to make after Sean Longstaff performed well on his return to the side.
How do you see us lining up?