With today’s clash with Manchester United just a few hours away, it’s time to predict what side Steve Bruce will go with at Old Trafford.
Here’s the starting 11 we are expecting to see when the team sheets are released at 2pm:
(5-3-2): Woodman – Murphy, Fernandez, Lascelles, Schar, Ritchie – Hayden, Willock, Almiron – Saint-Maximin, Joelinton.
OUT – S Longstaff, Wilson?
IN – Hayden and Joelinton?
Although Wilson (thigh), Fraser (ankle), Shelvey (calf) and Dubravka (foot) ruled out, Steve Bruce will be boosted by the return of Isaac Hayden – who hasn’t featured since our 2-0 defeat to Villa last month.
Karl Darlow is also in contention, however I can’t see him coming straight back into the side, especially when Woodman hasn’t done a great deal wrong.
Paul Dummet had been tipped for a recall, but his availability is unknown, with him not appearing on any of the club’s training photos on Thursday.
Miguel Almiron being passed to play is a bonus after a dispute involving Paraguay, FIFA and the EPL, meaning Sean Longstaff could drop out if Hayden is thrown back into Bruce’s starting XI.
Up top, it’s between Joelinton and Gayle in Wilson’s absence, and the former seems more likely to start after coming on ahead of Gayle in all of our three league games so far.
Although Murphy seems first choice at present, it wouldn’t surprise me if Javier Manquillo came back in for this one.
The Spaniard impressed in his Carabao Cup outing vs Burnley, while Murphy has struggled defensively in all of our league games so far – making the double threat of Shaw and Pogba a potentially daunting prospect.