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Almirón could return at Brighton, says Bruce

Newcastle United boss Steve Bruce says Miguel Almirón "has a chance" of making a return to action at Brighton & Hove Albion on Saturday night (8pm kick-off).

The Magpies head to the Amex for what is shaping up to be a vital fixture ahead of the upcoming international break.

United have been without the services of influential attacking trio Almirón, Callum Wilson and Allan Saint-Maximin in recent weeks, with the latter pair on track to return when top flight action resumes in the next fortnight.

But Bruce says he will check on the fitness of Almirón prior to the trip to the south coast, with the Paraguayan international having come through training unscathed in the latter part of this week.

"They’re both back on the grass. We still think with Callum that the international break is at the right time. He’s well into his rehabilitation, he’s back on the grass," Bruce confirmed.

"The same goes for Almirón, who trained for the first time yesterday, so we’ll see how he is but things are obviously improving, given the time.

"The same goes with Saint-Maximin, but we know with Saint-Maximin and Callum in particular were nasty muscle injuries which are obviously going to take time. You have to let nature take it’s course.

“(Almirón)’s got a chance. We’ll see.”

Newcastle sit one point behind their opponents going into Saturday’s game on the south coast.

And with Fulham in action on Friday night, Bruce knows there will be a lot of eyes on his side when they take on Graham Potter’s men.

"When you get to the level of big games, you have to handle pressure," he said. "That’s what playing in the Premier League week-in, week-out is. It’s a big game for both teams. In big games, you have to go and perform on the day.

"Of late, I think we’ve improved. Certainly we needed to, that’s for sure. We’re capable of going to Brighton and getting a result - that’s what we have to focus on, and see if we can pull it off."

The Seagulls’ win over Southampton last weekend lifted them out of the bottom three, with ten game of the campaign still to play.

Bruce believes Potter, who took over from former United boss Chris Hughton almost two years ago, has made Brighton "easy on the eye" - but insists it will be "all to play for" when the two sides meet under the lights.

"We all know they’ve changed dramatically since Chris," he said. "Chris set them on their way, and with what they’ve done over the last four five six seven eight years or however long - the training ground, the stadium, what they’ve done, how they play now.

"They’re very easy on the eye because Graham plays in a certain way, which is obviously possession-based, and they’ve had a couple of good results of late. It’s all to play for, a big, big game, so let’s hope we can grasp it and beat them on the night."

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Steve Bruce's pre-Brighton media briefing in full

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