In the latest of our weekly series, I’ll be bringing you the news from every Premier League press conference that impacts your Fantasy Premier League team selection for the upcoming gameweek 16
UPDATE: There will be NO press conferences on Christmas Eve/Day (GW20), then there WILL be press conferences for GW21 which we will cover and then there WON’T be any press conferences for GW22 down to the games being so close together and it being New Year’s eve and day.
As usual, feel free to give myself (FPL Connect) a tweet if you find there are any problems with this article.
Thanks again for reading and we hope you all have a brilliant Christmas with your families/friends. Very Merry Christmas from everyone at Team FPL Connect!
Toby Alderweireld commenced outdoor running this week but won’t return before February. Victor Wanyama [knee] continues his road to recovery by stepping up his participation in first-team training.
Pochettino says it won’t be difficult for his side to bounce back from the defeat at Man City;
“The reaction will be good, no doubt. We trust each other, the team trusts what we are doing. We are in a position where the ambition is to be as high as possible.”
Leon Britton took charge of the Swans as caretaker manager following the sacking of Paul Clement, but he states he’s not interested in taking the role on permanently;
“I am a caretaker at the moment, but I don’t think it’s the right moment for me to take the job on a permanent basis.”
Bony limped off in the first few minutes of Monday’s defeat at Everton, and scans have revealed a minor hamstring injury;
“Wilfried has a hamstring strain which will keep him out for seven to 10 days. We will see how he goes with that. He may be available for Watford, but that’s an outside chance.”
The Swans are hoping Ki Sung-Yueng will come back into contention for the Palace game after he missed out at Everton with a calf problem.
They are also monitoring Leroy Fer after he suffered a blow to his back at Goodison Park.
Britton, meantime, revealed he is not available for Palace because of a calf strain.
Sean Dyche confirms that Stephen Ward is likely to miss the next two games with a knee injury.
James Tarkowski undergoes surgery to pin a broken bone in his hand, suffered at Brighton. The defender is not expected to be out for longer than the three-game suspension.
Antonio Conte reports no new injury concerns.Embed from Getty Images
Alvaro Morata misses the trip to Everton through suspension after celebrating scoring the mid-week winner against Bournemouth by putting the ball underneath his shirt to signify his pregnant wife.
Alan Pardew has confirmed Nacer Chadli and Matt Phillips will be in his travelling party for Saturday’s trip to Stoke City.
And Pardew believes the return of his “creative forces” will help his side find better balance in attack;
“They’re both training, it’s early days for them, but it’s good news. The top of the pitch is where we’re dysfunctional a little bit, we just need to find a better balance.
With the players I have available I think they will both be taken [to Stoke].”
Marco Silva will make a late decision on the fitness of Will Hughes before deciding whether the midfielder comes into contention for Saturday’s trip to Brighton;
“There may be something new to report about Will, we will see. Tomorrow [Friday] we will work one more day, one more session, and we will see how he reacts.
He worked with the team this morning. It was a full session and he feels okay, so we will see tomorrow. We will work again and after that we will take a decision.”
Watford will welcome back Tom Cleverley at the American Express Community Stadium – the midfielder returns from a one-game suspension following his sending off at Crystal Palace.
Abdoulaye Doucouré is banned having collected his fifth booking of the season against Huddersfield, while Troy Deeney and Marvin Zeegelaar are also suspended following their respective red cards.
The Seagulls game has come too soon for Kiko Femenía, who remains sidelined by a hamstring injury.
Christian Benteke will not be available having been booked five times this season and Joel Ward remains out, but speaking at his pre-match press conference the manager confirmed that no new names have had to be added to his list of injuries;
Embed from Getty Images
“We are without Benteke as he is suspended, which is a pity because at the last couple of games he has been finding his feet again in the Premier League but these things happen, but he is the only one who is new on the list of people not eligible to play. Joel Ward still hasn’t recovered from his groin injury so will not travel.”
Hodgson hints that Sako might be the one to replace Benteke;
“In training sessions I’ve seen a completely different person in Bakary to the one I saw when I came in. He’s taken on a new position and is working very hard on that move to centre-forward, worked very hard on his fitness.”
Another one ruled out is striker Connor Wickham, but the long term injury victim has been back out on the training pitch this week and the manager is waiting for news of his progress from the medical department;
“He has worked very hard on his way back and has done one or two initial training sessions with the under 23s before taking part in one with a smaller group of players but hasn’t been involved in any contact work as yet and we are really quite simply in the hands of the medical staff. They will assess and tell us when he is ready to join in and I must say he wants to but we don’t believe he is ready yet to step in and our medical team are worried that if he does come back too early he will have a set back and that will increase the amount of time he is missing from the game.”
Shane Duffy is unavailable for the match after collecting his fifth booking of the season against Burnley last week, which means Uwe Hüenemeier or Connor Goldson stand in line to make their first Premier League start.
Steve Sidwell (back) remains the only player out injured for the Seagulls, in an otherwise fully-fit squad that Hughton has to pick from.
Sam Allardyce had the following to say when asked about a Ross Barkley return;
“If everything continues the way it is, early January.”
Yannick Bolasie may also be very close to some game time for the first team;
“Physically he is ready, technically he’s a little rusty but we have to think about throwing him in at some stage. He could be on the bench tomorrow.”
Both Matty James and Robert Huth are nearing match fitness, but aren’t quite there yet and are thus unavailable for the United game;
“For this game, they [James & Huth] are not match fit but have made progress. We will see in the New Year.”
Bournemouth:Embed from Getty Images
Jermain Defoe and Harry Arter limped out of the Cherries’ midweek Carabao Cup defeat to Chelsea, while Charlie Daniels could miss the City game after coming off against Liverpool.
Howe added that Joshua King’s hamstring injury may be better than first feared, but will be “touch and go” for the Christmas period;
“We’ve suddenly been hit with injuries at the worst time, it’s not ideal for us but hopefully none of them are too serious.
Firstly we’re sending Jermain to see a specialist and we’ll know more on the back of those results, but we are concerned that it could be a more serious injury than an ankle twist, but we’ll wait and see. It’s difficult to speculate until we get a specialist’s opinion.
As for Charlie, he has a tendon problem which we don’t think is serious, it’s been niggling him for a week or so.
Harry came off against Chelsea with a calf problem, again something which we don’t think will be long term.”
Callum Wilson however, should be okay for the trip to City;
“Callum will be OK, he had an injection in his knee as he had small pain in one particular movement, but he’s had his jab and featured against Chelsea so he should be fine.”
Mauricio Pellegrino has confirmed that Cédric Soares and Ryan Bertrand are set to miss Saturday’s Premier League game against Huddersfield on Saturday.
The pair both picked up injuries following last weekend’s defeat to Chelsea;
“Both are unavailable to play tomorrow and they are the only two players that are not ready. Cédric hurt his ankle after his collision and Bertrand has a problem with his hamstring. Maybe Ryan will be back for the festive period, but Cédric maybe will need a little longer.
We have another three difficult games coming up in quick succession and we will need everyone to be fresh. We have a big enough squad to change players and still be competitive.”
No press conference was scheduled, but Ben Dinnery reports the following;
Francis Coquelin trains ahead of the Liverpool game after limping off in the Carabao Cup due to cramp. Alex Iwobi looks to have shaken off the knock he suffered during the win over Newcastle.
Walcott will be hoping to force his way into the matchday squad after recovering from illness and injury. Giroud could miss the entire festive programme. His [hamstring] injury “does not look very good” and the striker is certainly out of tonights game.
Ramsey [hamstring] was running [on Mon] but he will not be back. “For him, the beginning of Jan is more likely.” Mustafi was available midweek but Wenger decided not to risk the defender.
Jose Mourinho says that there are no fresh injury concerns ahead of Saturday’s game against Leicester City.
Marouane Fellaini and Michael Carrick are still not available and it seems their return will not be until after the festive fixtures;
“No timescales, but not for the Christmas period.”
Antonio Valencia and Eric Bailly remain out.
Joel Matip and Daniel Sturridge are doubts for tonight’s game;
“Joel Matip was back in training yesterday. How it is always now we have these little reactions on the last game so we need to wait a little bit, we have different players but in this moment it looks like apart from Daniel Sturridge, who is a little bit ill, or was, but he could be back, I’m not sure and the long-term [injuries].
But Joel Matip, it’s positive. I’m not sure if he’s ready for Arsenal, but [will be] for the games coming up then, I’m pretty sure. That’s it, I think.”
Lallana is back and made only his second appearance of the season last weekend as he came off the bench for the final 20 minutes of the Reds’ 4-0 win at the Vitality Stadium, but consecutive starts might be too soon for him;
“It was aggressive! Was it 10 seconds until he had a yellow card or so?! He’s back and that’s good but he needs to collect minutes now, we will see how we manage that. He’s not ready for three games, 90 minutes in a row, but he’s ready to help us in specific moments and hopefully we can build up his match fitness step by step because that’s the only thing he’s missing now.
But even in the few minutes when he was on the pitch, everybody could see what a player he is and yeah, it’s very good news for all of us that he is back.”
On Alberto Moreno, who sustained an ankle injury against Spartak, Klopp said: “Unfortunately he is still not even on the pitch so that could still take a few weeks.”
Mark Hughes has three major injury concerns ahead of tomorrow afternoon’s home encounter with West Bromwich Albion. Erik Pieters, Kurt Zouma and Charlie Adam are amongst those that might not make it;
“We have a few concerns, unfortunately. Erik Pieters is a major, major doubt for us, and so is Kurt Zouma, who missed the game against West Ham United last weekend too.
Charlie has spent the week with the physios, but hopefully he is able to get out and train today.”
Kachunga looks to be set for a pretty hefty spell on the sidelines;
“It’s never nice to lose players through injury – Kachunga will be out for 8-12 weeks with a ligament injury and it’s a blow.”
Elsewhere in the team, Wagner reports that Löwe is back, whilst Hefele, Hogg, Billing and Stanković are out;
“Chris Löwe is back in training today & will be in the squad, Michael [Hefele] had a set back so won’t be in the squad but we hope he will train with us soon. We are without Jonathan Hogg and we expect Philip Billing & Jon Stanković back in mid-Jan.”
There is positive news for Vincent Kompany, who is nearing a return to full fitness, but Guardiola expects Phil Foden to be out for a while after picking up an injury against Leicester City;
“He’s [Foden] injured. It’s not good. He will not be able to play [against Bournemouth]. It’s a ligament. He’ll be out for a time.
“He’s [Kompany] much better. I think in the next days he will be ready. I don’t know if he will be ready for tomorrow. We will speak after the final training session and we will have to see.”
David Silva has missed the last two games due to a ‘serious family issue’ but Pep was reluctant to divulge any specifics on the matter and when asked about when he could be returning, Guardiola simply replied;
“I don’t know.”
Cheikhou Kouyate should return to the West Ham United squad for Saturday’s Premier League fixture with Newcastle United at London Stadium.
Mark Noble was hurt initially in the goalless draw with Arsenal and aggravated the injury after scoring in the 3-0 win at Stoke City last weekend.
Meanwhile, Michail Antonio is facing a race against time to be fit after returning to training on Friday after overcoming a minor calf problem;
“We have a doubt with Michail Antonio, who couldn’t play in the Carabao Cup tie at Arsenal in midweek as he had a bit of a calf injury. That gives us a question mark about him.
Cheik Kouyate has trained this week, so we’re hopeful that he’ll be available again.
After that, I think the big one is that Mark Noble won’t be available for the weekend as he has a bit of a hamstring injury.”
On the injury front, Rafa reports the following ahead of their away trip to the London Stadium;
“Mitrović still has a problem with his back. He will be out for around ten days. Jesús Gámez has had an operation on his ankle.
We have some injuries and not too much experience. I have to see if the players are fit and available and pick the best players for every game.”