This is the team I suspect Bruce will name for tomorrow’s ultra-important match at Burnley. It has two changes from the team that rescued a point in the 2-2 draw against Tottenham last weekend.
After the performance against Spurs, one which Bruce claimed to be arguably the best of the season, he may be reluctant to make too many changes. So he could stick with relatively the same team and formation which was on the front foot for much of the last match.
He, of course, will be forced into altering his backline with the revelation that Jamaal Lascelles has a stress fracture in his right foot. Thankfully, despite Lascelles and Fabian Schar being unavailable, there are still options at the back.
While the loss of the skipper is disappointing, both Ciaran Clark and Federico Fernandez are ready to slot straight in. Both could return to the starting lineup tomorrow giving Bruce more of an imposing back three.
Clark, being left-footed, is Lascelles’s likely replacement in the middle with Fernandez preferable to Emil Krafth due to his aerial ability. While Ashley Barnes is injured, Chris Wood represents a massive threat in the air for our opponents.
The rest of the team is the same that started last weekend. Bruce generally rewards players after a good performance, sometimes to his detriment. However, most deserve another chance to build on their performances against Spurs.
The obvious absence in this team is Callum Wilson. Our star striker will be available but Bruce may opt to save him as an impact sub should he be needed. He only returned to full training this past week and since it’s a hamstring injury, Bruce may take the cautious approach.
That also poses a problem as our two best attackers, Wilson and Saint-Maximin, are not involved from the start. However, Fulham’s defeat to Wolves last night may play a role in him treading lightly with the dynamic duo.