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Steve Bruce confirms first name on the team sheet to definitely face West Ham on Sunday

1 month ago
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Freddie Woodman will make his Premier League debut on Sunday.

Steve Bruce confirming on Friday morning that the 24 year old will definitely start against West Ham.

A remarkable turn around for Freddie Woodman who had taken his medical and was just about to sign for Bournemouth, when a Newcastle United goalkeeping crisis stopped that loan deal in its tracks.

Proving himself to be the best goalkeeper these past two years in the Championship, when on loan at Swansea, Freddie Woodman now with the opportunity to do the same in the Premier League.

A pre-season operation for a broken metatarsal and a bad bout of covid have presented this chance, with respectively Martin Dubravka and Karl Darlow still not available as the season kicks off.

Steve Bruce talking ahead of Sunday about Freddie Woodman:

“It’s pretty straightforward really.

“Obviously Martin[Dubravka] is not fit, and it doesn’t look as if Karl Darlow’s going to right with his episode – I think it’s been well documented that he’s been suffering with COVID.

“Karl found himself in hospital for the best part of a week, dropped over a stone and a half in weight and it’s really knocked him around.

“Freddie Woodman will get his chance [on Sunday].

“He’s waited patiently. He’s played for the last two years. Always, there’s somebody falling down with injury or illness, and it opens the door for somebody else.

“It’s Freddie’s big opportunity, he’s waited patiently, but I’ve been very, very pleased with what I’ve seen over the last six weeks in particular – and the reports that we had from Swansea have always been very, very positive about the kid.

“We’re fortunate in that department of course, and it’s such a crucial part of your team. Unfortunately we’ve lost a couple, but we’ve still got a really, really good young player coming in.”

As for outfield players, Steve Bruce claims there is only one with no chance of being involved against West Ham:

“The only one so far is Paul Dummet, he won’t make it [for West Ham], but everybody else is fit and available.”

There is of course fit and…fit.

Steve Bruce has constantly spoken about how important it is to get minutes in legs in pre-season friendlies.

The last four friendlies saw Allan Saint-Maximin only manage 45 minutes, whilst Callum Wilson was only able to play 45 minutes in the last three friendlies.

Meanwhile, Jonjo Shelvey has only had 76 minutes in friendlies after recovering from a calf injury, whilst Miguel Almiron only joined the squad last week and has had 45 minutes of friendly action.

Interesting to see what Sunday’s team selection ends up looking like.

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