Steve Bruce has suffered a double blow for Newcastle’s game this weekend, with Fabian Schar again ruled out and joining Matt Ritchie, who suffered a set-back in his quest to return.

The Swiss defender has been the Magpies’ star performer this season, and his injury has now kept him out longer than originally anticipated, with him set to miss his third game as a result.

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Bruce had been hopeful of having the defender back for last week’s game at West Ham, but it did not happen, and as a result, his replacements effectively won Newcastle the game, with both Ciaran Clark and Federico Fernandez scoring first half headers.

It would have been a difficult decision for Bruce over which of the two to leave out had Schar returned on Saturday. But as that is not the case, the manager has been saved from that dilemma.

(Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)

Bruce will relish the tough decisions of who to leave out

It is a fantastic problem for a manager to have, of course, and as we have maintained for a while now, he must wish he had a similar issue at every position in the team.


Having such capable back-ups, with the luxury of knowing the versatile Paul Dummett is on the bench, and having Florian Lejeune – often considered the best ball-playing centre-back at the club – nearing his comeback, shows the quality depth we have.

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Of course, tough decision or not, Schar is almost certain to walk straight back into the side when he is fit again, such has been his form.

But for now, with Bruce still without both Schar and Ritchie, he will be in the comfortable position of being able to name an unchanged team for the Bournemouth clash on Saturday.

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