Newcastle United head coach Steve Bruce. (Photo by RICHARD SELLERS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
The return of Callum Wilson and Federico Fernandez is a welcomed boost for the Magpies, however it is tinged with a little sadness with Jamaal Lascelles at risk of missing the remainder of the season.
Nevertheless, the 60-year-old head coach has some big decisions to field as he seeks a valuable three points in the club’s battle against relegation.
When asked if Saint-Maximin or top scorer Wilson will start at Turf Moor, Bruce said in his pre-match press conference on Friday: "That’s the big decision I have to make, of course.
No change expected in the goalkeeping department with United’s number one retaining his place for the sixth consecutive match.
"They’re muscle injuries, which always you’ve got to box clever with. I hope I make the right choice.”
So, who will Bruce name in his starting XI for the ‘six-pointer’ against Sean Dyche’s side?
Check out our predicted team – including four changes from the draw against Tottenham Hotspur:
Manquillo has a strong case of making the starting XI, especially if Bruce does indeed revert back to a four-man defence. A no-brainer following Jamaal Lascelles’ injury. The Republic of Ireland international and Federico Fernandez are the only fit central defenders at the club. Supporters understandably want Fernandez back in but Bruce could proceed with caution given the Argentine hasn't played since December. Left-back isn’t Ritchie’s best position but it’d take a big call from Bruce to take the 31-year-old out of the starting XI following a solid display against Spurs. Did well to assist Joelinton’s opener on his return to the starting XI last week. Should edge out Jeff Hendrick against his old club - and Matty Longstaff for that matter. In Lascelles’ absence, it is likely Shelvey will be handed the captain’s armband - virtually guaranteeing a start against Burnley. Responded in the perfect way to being dropped last week after coming on to score the equaliser versus Spurs. Newcastle need his energy. As tempting as it is, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Callum Wilson start on the bench and for an in-form Joelinton (can we say that?) to retain his place. Back in his false nine role, something which had brought the best out of Almiron in the early weeks of Graeme Jones’ arrival. Having played the final 20 minutes against Spurs, could Bruce unleash the Frenchman from the off at Turf Moor?