Premier League Preview: Hull City v Everton
The battle for a place in Bruce's line-up when Hull chase the first major honour in the club's history against Arsenal at Wembley is sure to be intense, and the final top-flight clash of the season on Sunday will provide another opportunity to stake a claim.
Striker Matty Fryatt did himself no harm in coming off the bench to net a splendid goal against Manchester United in midweek and a number of Bruce's squad advanced their cases, despite a 3-1 defeat at Old Trafford in their penultimate league match.
But one man who will be relieved that his Wembley chances are still alive is midfielder David Meyler.
The former Sunderland player clashed with Adnan Januzaj during the closing stages of Tuesday's match, with television replays suggesting a stamp on the Manchester United midfielder.
But referee Craig Pawson submitted a report to the Football Association stating that he had a full view of the incident during the game, therefore preventing the ruling body from taking any retrospective action.
Hull are winless in four matches since their FA Cup semi-final triumph over Sheffield United and have only managed two victories in their last 10 league attempts.
Bruce's men can reflect on a satisfying first season back in the top flight, though, and a positive result this weekend would not go amiss heading into their showpiece final.
Everton had been in contention for a UEFA Champions League spot for much of the season, but Roberto Martinez's men head to the KC Stadium to contest what is effectively a dead rubber.
A stirring 3-0 Goodison Park victory over Arsenal a month ago put the Merseyside club in the driving seat to secure fourth place and an elusive Champions League place.
But last weekend's 3-2 home loss to title-chasing Manchester City was a third defeat in four matches for Everton and ensured Arsenal retained their place at European football's top table, with Martinez's men set to finish fifth.
The recent slump should not be allowed to take the gloss off a fine first season at the helm for Martinez, whose midfield options could be boosted by the return of knee-injury victim Steven Pienaar.
South Africa international Pienaar has not played since March's FA Cup loss to Arsenal, while Darron Gibson - sidelined for eight months following cruciate knee ligament surgery - is also back in training.
"Steven has been working with the team and that is very positive," Martinez told evertontv. "We will assess him before Sunday to see whether he can play a part or not.
"Darron Gibson has been working with the team as well. That is really good timing because he has been able to finish the season strong from his point of view.
"I don't know if Darron will make it in time to be involved with the squad but it is a positive sign nonetheless."
Hull could be buoyed by the return of Paul McShane, who is set for some pre-Wembley game time having suffered an ankle problem in late February. Fellow defender James Chester (hamstring) and forward Sone Aluko (ankle) miss out and face an anxious battle to be fit for the cup final.