Steve Bruce could DROP Karl Darlow for trip to Sheffield United

Steve Bruce could DROP in-form Karl Darlow for Newcastle’s crucial trip to Sheffield United despite talk of an England call-up… with last year’s player of the season Martin Dubravka fit again after injury

  • Steve Bruce could drop Karl Darlow for the game at Sheffield United
  • The goalkeeper has been Newcastle’s best player so far this season
  • Martin Dubravka is back fit and returned to play in the FA Cup at Arsenal
  • Bruce admitted he faces a selection dilemma between his two ‘keepers

Steve Bruce says he could drop Karl Darlow for Tuesday’s trip to Sheffield United despite the goalkeeper’s form having put him in the England reckoning.

The 30-year-old has been Newcastle’s best player this season after coming in for the injured Martin Dubravka.

The Slovakian has been out since injuring his heel during pre-season but returned for Saturday’s 2-0 FA Cup defeat at Arsenal.

Newcastle boss Steve Bruce (L) says he could drop goalkeeper Karl Darlow (R) for the trip to Sheffield United on Tuesday

Dubravka was named player of the season in July after making the most saves in the Premier League and he signed a new six-year contract last term.

The 31-year-old will expect to regain his starting jersey but Darlow has been outstanding for the Magpies in recent months, leading to talk of an England call-up.

And Bruce admits it is not a given that Darlow will continue at Bramall Lane.

‘I’m delighted with the goalkeeping situation we’ve got,’ said the head coach. ‘We have two quality goalkeepers.

‘Martin reminded us at Arsenal of what a good goalkeeper he is. Karl has been very good all season. So I’ve got one of those awful ones (decisions) to make – let’s hope I pick the right one.’

Martin Dubravka was named player of the season in July and has recovered from injury 

Darlow has been fantastic this season and his form has seen him linked with an England call-up

Newcastle, meanwhile, are without a win in five matches in the Premier League and have scored just one goal in their last eight hours of football.

Bruce, though, rejects the notion of them being involved in a relegation fight with his side still eight points clear of the drop zone.

‘At the moment we have a nice healthy cushion to the bottom three,’ he said. ‘If we’d gone in the bottom three then I’d say maybe (we were in a relegation fight). We knew this would be a tough run of fixtures. We’re in that run where we have to get out of it.

‘But Sheffield United’s position proves how difficult the Premier League is. They took it by storm last year and were in the top six at Christmas. So although they prop up the table, they are a very good side still. We’ll have to be at our best to beat them.’

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