Sunderland will be without suspended skipper Lorik Cana for their Barclays Premier League clash with Manchester City.
The Albania international picked up his 10th booking of the season in Tuesday night's 4-0 win over Bolton and will sit out the City game and Birmingham's visit to the Stadium of Light next weekend.
Lee Cattermole is battling to shake off a hamstring problem, while Kieran Richardson (calf) and Jordan Henderson (ankle) are struggling.
Andy Reid (hamstring) will not make the game, but David Meyler is available again after completing a three-match ban.
City will be a very different proposition to Bolton as they arrive on Wearside with their expensively-assembled squad, including Sunderland-born winger and former target Adam Johnson.
Black Cats chairman Niall Quinn has spent much of the last week outlining his club's financial situation and the debt of gratitude it owes to owner Ellis Short.
Money, of course, is not an issue at Eastlands, although Bruce knows that cash alone does not guarantee success.
He said: "We have just seen Real Madrid knocked out of the Champions League, it doesn't necessarily buy it.
"You have got to work at it and work at it but it obviously helps the situation.
"We have just had a meeting about how they are going to play and what they have got at their disposal, and they just trip off your tongue, the attacking options they have, the size of the squad, the depth of the squad, the good players they have.
"It will be a tough game, and they have got an outstanding chance of getting into the Champions League, which is what they want."
Manchester City defender Kolo Toure is pushing for a place in the starting line-up after recovering from a knee injury.
Toure had to settle for a place on the bench in the victory over Chelsea in the club's last outing.
Emmanuel Adebayor is absent through suspension while Martin Petrov is injured as City aim to continue their push for a top four place.
Carlos Tevez believes it is imperative Manchester City maintain the level of performance which saw Chelsea demolished if a top-four place is to be achieved.
The Argentina striker scored a brace in the 4-2 victory at Stamford Bridge to take his tally for the season to 21.
And after two weeks rest Tevez is anxious to get going again.
He told www.mcfc.co.uk: "We've been playing very well and we've had some great results against the top sides.
"But with the so-called weaker teams we have not done so well, not necessarily because we have not played so well, but because the result has not gone our way.
"The thing now is for us to make sure we keep calling on the spirit that we showed at Chelsea and continue to play the way we are doing.
"We must show that same character and personality so that we can win the game at Sunderland and keep up our challenge for fourth place."
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