Crystal Palace visit the North-East to face Newcastle United sitting only one point before Saturday’s opponents within the Premier League table.
Meanwhile, the Magpies play host to the Eagles having lost bent Burnley last weekend, which represented their first defeat in four outings. Prior to the setback at Turf Moor, two wins and a draw had been recorded from three matches, helping the Magpies remain seven points beyond the relegation zone.
Bruce will little question be looking ahead instead of backwards, but putting distance between themselves and therefore the bottom three was the priority when he replaced Rafael Benitez during the summer.
However, Bruce will see that Newcastle now have a troublesome run of fixtures, and an extended period with a coffee return would change the mood at St James’ Park. As it stands, though, Newcastle have recorded only one less point than their next opponents, creating the chance to maneuver into the highest half the table by Saturday night.
Palace manager Roy Hodgson would have probably hoped to ascertain his team placed even higher given their overall form, but a return of eight points and three clean sheets from four matches will delight the veteran.
In sharp contrast to Newcastle, Palace now have a run of games which they’re going to feel are winnable and have the potential to catapult the club into contention for a Champions League spot. While Hodgson will involve focus against teams occupying places within the bottom half, there’s enough breathing space before the dropping zone where Palace can throw caution to the wind.
Just five goals have come from their last seven outings, however, which will got to improve if the London outfit are to form an impression further up the division.
Newcastle United expected starting lineup:
Dubravka; Yedlin, Fernandez; Scha;, Dummett; Willems; Atsu, Hayden, S.Longstaff, Joelinton; Carroll
Crystal Palace expected starting lineup:
Guaita; Kelly; Tomkins, Dann, Riedewald; Kouyate, Milivojevic, McArthur; Townsend, Ayew; Zaha