Premier League Press Conference Round-Up: FPL Gameweek 24

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 24

First up, let me explain, that not every club will feature every week, based on the fact that sometimes we’ll feel that the news isn’t of any importance from an FPL perspective and secondly, that sometimes, clubs don’t announce press conferences for whatever reason.

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 gameweek!

Arsenal: 

Wenger has updates on the fitness of Maitland-Niles, Koscielny, Monreal, Özil and Giroud;

“From the last game at Bournemouth, we have some uncertainties with Maitland-Niles, who was sick yesterday with flu. We should have Koscielny back, we should have Monreal back available for Saturday. Maybe Ozil will be back as well. That’s the good news.

Giroud is one week away.”

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Wenger, of course, was quizzed about his knowledge of the Sánchez and Mkhitaryan swap deal and here’s what he had to say;

“That is a story where you are well-documented in the media. I have not a lot to add to that. It can happen, it can as well not happen.”

When asked if Sánchez would play for Arsenal again, he responded with;

“Yes, of course. If it doesn’t happen, he will play on Saturday.”

He was then asked about the likelihood of the transfer and asked if Mkhitaryan was indeed involved in a potential swap transfer;

“I’ve worked on transfers for 30 years, so it is likely to happen. But at any moment, at any minute, things can break down. That’s how the transfer market is. As long as it’s not over the line, you have to accept that it can as well not happen. These kind of things are never guaranteed. 

That [Mkhitaryan coming to Arsenal] is my understanding, yes.”

Stoke: 

New Stoke City boss Paul Lambert spoke to the press for the first time yesterday (Thursday) and said the following on the injury news;

“I think everyone is OK in terms of injuries. They had yesterday off and will be back in today. We’ll have a closer look at them later.

Ryan Shawcross trained on Tuesday and we will see how he’s feeling today. Glen Johnson trained on Tuesday. Jese won’t be available at the weekend due to personal reasons.”

Stoke confirmed the capture of Greek international left-back, Costas Stafylidis on loan from German outfit Augsburg, until the end of the season. The manager had the following to say about him;

“I think he is a really good left back, he has a lot of energy which I think we need and he adds competition.

He is in competition with other lads, he knows that too, and that is important because it takes everyone’s levels up that little bit more.

I will have to see how fit he is and how he is feeling himself because he hasn’t played a great deal of football recently.”

Huddersfield: 

David Wagner also reports that Huddersfield are doing well on the injury front, with Kachunga the only long-term absentee;

“We had 22 players in training yesterday. If everyone stays healthy after Sunday we will have 23. It’s great to have this at the moment and this competition. Everyone has the opportunity to show what they’re capable of. Kachunga is the only long-term injury.”

Wagner says nothing specific about Quaner or Lowe, but given the above statement we can assume that they’re both in contention to play on the weekend, as confirmed by Ben Dinnery;

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New signing Alex Pritchard may have a chance at a starting role on the weekend, likely a battle between him and Quaner as they both operate from the right, whilst Martin Cranie is confirmed out of this weekend’s tie;

“Pritchard is a contender for a place in the squad and the starting XI. Martin Cranie is the only one out but he will be back in training on Sunday.”

Burnley:

The Clarets will again be without strikers Chris Wood and Jon Walters, while defender Stephen Ward is also not ready to return.

However, Scott Arfield is expected to be back in the squad after missing two games with a hamstring strain.

Heaton has returned to the training pitches but he’s not back with the first team yet;

“Tom is doing ever so well, he’s on the grass working with Bill Mercer [goalkeeping coach]. He’s in full handling mode, diving and stretching.”

Manchester United: 

Mourinho reports that Daley Blind picked up a knock in training, but aside from that, there’s nothing new on the injury front;

“Nothing new to report. A little problem with Daley in training today. It is an injury but nothing really important. Apart from that, Eric and Zlatan are still recovering. Everyone else is fit and good.”

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Mourinho was full of praise for Luke Shaw;

“Luke has done very well recently, played very well. I’m really happy with him. I can say in this moment, I don’t see many left-backs better than Luke Shaw.”

When asked by reporters for the latest regarding Alexis Sánchez, he said;

“There is nothing new. I think clearly everybody knows that we are there and especially when the Arsenal manager speaks so clearly like he did – there is no point in trying to hide or deny it.

But it is not done – not done at all. So, in this moment, Mkhitaryan is our player and Sanchez is an Arsenal player. With a match tomorrow, I want to switch off and focus on the most important thing.”

Later on in his first press conference, the manager was also asked whether Henrikh Mkhitaryan would be in contention to face Burnley. He told reporters;

“No, not selected but in very good condition, training really well, and in perfect condition like the others.”

Crystal Palace: 

Hodgson had fairly negative news to tell on the injury front, with Puncheon and Dann likely to miss the rest of the season, as well as Schlupp and Ruben Loftus-Cheek being out for the foreseeable future too;

“We’ve likely lost two players for the season [Punch & Dann]. On top of that Schlupp looks to be out for a while. Ruben Loftus-Cheek is facing another 2-3 weeks on the sidelines and then will be reassessed and that could be a negative assessment for him so that is a major concern.”

The slight positive is that Joel Ward and Yohan Cabaye are available again;

“Ward has been in training for 10 days now, so he’s available. As is Yohan Cabaye.”

WBA: 

James Morrison and Nacer Chadli are still around a month away from a return to action, whilst Craig Dawson and Hegazi should be okay for this weekend;

“We have had to monitor Craig Dawson and Hegazi this week. We are pretty confident that they should be ok, but we will find out tomorrow.”

Speculation has been mounting recently around the future of Northern Ireland international Jonny Evans, but Pardew insists there’s nothing in it;

“From my point of view there is no bid so there’s nothing to discuss. Jonny hasn’t come to see me this week so I’m in the dark a little bit. We haven’t had a phone call from another football club and that’s where it stands.”

Leicester City: 

Danny Simpson suffered a hamstring injury during the 2-2 draw with Manchester United and, ahead of the visit of Watford to King Power Stadium on Saturday, is back in training this week but unlikely to feature on the weekend;

“Simpson made his first training session with the team. He is playing in little games this morning, I don’t know if he is match fit for this game.”

Meanwhile, captain Wes Morgan, sustained a similar injury in a 3-0 success over Huddersfield Town on New Year’s Day, but is progressing well;

“For Morgan, he continues to make good progress. We will see.”

Robert Huth, on the other hand, played for 90 minutes for the club’s development squad during a 4-2 defeat by Oldham Athletic in the Checkatrade Trophy on Wednesday night.

Everton: 

Sam Allardyce confirmed defender Michael Keane is available again after recovering from a toe injury which has kept him sidelined since New Year’s Day, while Seamus Coleman continues to train with the first-team squad.

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Walcott is in line to make his Blues debut on Saturday when West Bromwich Albion visit Goodison, a match that will mark 1,000 competitive games in management for Allardyce;

“His goals (tally) is exceptionally good for a player from a wide position,” said the Everton manager during a press conference on Friday.

For us that’s a very important ingredient where we have been short in terms of creating and scoring goals. He adds great firepower to our squad.”

Baines [calf] and Funes Mori [knee] remain out.

Watford: 

Marco Silva will make a late call on Tom Cleverley before naming his team to face Leicester City at the King Power on Saturday.

“He felt a minor problem, a small injury in the last match. He is still in doubt, a doubt for the next game. We have one more session tomorrow and we’ll see how his physical condition is and then I’ll take a decision. It’s a small injury in his hamstring, nothing special.”

Everybody else came through the rousing draw with Southampton unscathed, meaning the Head Coach has no fresh injury worries;

“Nothing more after the last match. The list [of injured players] everybody knows. Some of them are improving but they are not ready yet. We still have a similar situation with Chalobah, Will [Hughes], Kiko Femenia, Kaboul and Britos and we’ll see when they are ready. We are doing our best to put them in a good condition.”

Isaac Success, who has been in full training this week, and Craig Cathcart are closer to a return to the action than the others. Indeed, Cathcart was the unused 19th man against Bristol City;

“Isaac, we will try to do our best to put him into a good fitness,. Cathcart has been training with us but he had a small problem, not the same knee. Nothing special.”

Bournemouth:

Eddie Howe reports that King and Stanislas are close for the weekend;

“Junior Stanislas and Joshua King are both getting closer, whether they’re close enough we’ll wait and see.”

Defoe remains out for the foreseeable future with an ankle injury, meaning that Callum Wilson will continue to lead the line for Bournemouth.

West Ham:

West Ham United manager David Moyes has confirmed the Club should be able to call on Chicharito, Declan Rice and Cheikhou Kouyate for this weekend’s match with Bournemouth, whilst Andre Ayew needs to be assessed and Winston Reid is still out;

“Chicharito looks as if he’s recovered from the flu, and he’s trained today. Andre Ayew is just feeling his hamstring a little bit, so we will need to assess it tomorrow.

Declan Rice also had a problem with his hamstring in midweek but I think he will be okay. He’s done a bit of training today so we’re hoping he will be okay.

Kouyate also trained today so we’re hoping he will be fit. Kouyate is back but Winston Reid, at the moment, is not training yet.”

Moyes also elaborated on Andy Carroll’s condition, after the Scotsman revealed in his Evening Standard column that the England forward is suffering from an ankle complaint;

“Andy is injured. We only found out yesterday when he went for a scan. It showed up that he’s got a problem and we’re not quite sure yet if it’s going to need an operation or not. We’re getting two or three specialists to look at it and get their opinions. When we’ve got that we will be able to make the correct decision.”

Tottenham: 

Hugo Lloris (illness) is being monitored to assess his availability for Sunday’s game against Southampton.

Toby Alderweireld (hamstring) is coming towards the end of his rehabilitation before commencing integration into First Team training. Pochettino says there’s a chance that he could return ahead of schedule and feature in the FA Cup next weekend.

Danny Rose (knee) & Harry Winks (ankle) continue their rehabilitation from injury.

Manchester City: 

Pep Guardiola revealed Fabian Delph is out of contention for City’s Premier League clash with Newcastle. Guardiola also provided an update on Vincent Kompany’s progress.

“He [Delph] will be out for a while but we don’t know how long for yet. 

[Vincent is] much better. We don’t know right now [if he will be fit to face Newcastle] but hopefully for the next games, he will be ready.

We decided to start the season with just one full-back. We knew about the problem with Delph but in this kind of situation, we with see the reaction of the players, as it may not be their natural position. We are going to discuss many issues about positions.”

David Silva, who was on the bench at Anfield, trained on Friday.

Chelsea: 

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Conte says Ross Barkley is in a good physical condition. Yesterday he played 70 minutes in a friendly game at Cobham, and he will be in the squad for the trip to Brighton.

Cahill and Fabregas ruled out with hamstring injuries. Conte needs to “check a couple of situations” ahead of the game with Brighton.

Chelsea will be without both Morata and Pedro for the trip to Brighton, following both getting second bookable offences in their FA Cup tie against Norwich in mid-week.

The Telegraph report that Thibaut Courtois has suffered an ankle injury that is expected to rule the goalkeeper out Chelsea’s trip to Brighton.

Southampton: 

Mauricio Pellegrino confirms that his only injury concern is over centre-half Maya Yoshida, in an otherwise fully fit squad ahead of Sunday’s crucial Tottenham clash;

“I think Maya will be a part of Saturday’s training session, maybe – but that will be decided tomorrow. If Maya is able to make the squad, maybe Charlie Austin will be the only one on the injury list. So we’ll be fully ready in this important moment.”

Newcastle: 

Dwight Gayle faces a fitness test for Newcastle after picking up a knock in the 1-1 draw with Swansea.

Florian Lejeune is doubtful with a foot injury and Jesus Gamez remains out.

Liverpool: 

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Jürgen Klopp was hopeful earlier today that Mohamed Salah and Ragnar Klavan would return to training today following illness, but as you can see, Salah is pictured training with the first team.

Liverpool will check on the condition of Dejan Lovren.

The trio missed Thursday’s double session at Melwood due to sickness, though Virgil van Dijk was involved once again after missing Sunday’s victory over Manchester City due to a hamstring complaint;

“Virgil was back yesterday and completely fine. We have a few problems with players feeling ill or unwell.

“Raggy was out, but hopefully back today. Dejan was out. Mo Salah was out, but hopefully back today. Mo and Raggy are on the good side of it already, but with Dejan we are not 100 per cent sure [if he will be back today].

Hendo will today have a clearing session. He was part of training yesterday morning and today is clearing, then he should be OK from tomorrow onwards. It is close, but maybe close and not enough time for Swansea – but [after that] Hendo is back and that’s good news.

Alberto is back in training a few days longer and we have to see. Because it is Alberto, he trains all the time and feels it still a little bit – in one or two movements you can see. We will not put any rush on him, but he will be back for sure after Swansea as well – or even maybe Swansea, I’m not sure.”

Meanwhile, Klopp confirmed Nathaniel Clyne continues to make good progress in his rehabilitation;

“Clyney is doing well but still a little way to go until he is back in completely normal training. He is doing well, really good.”

Swansea: 

van der Hoorn has been declared fit, following a knock he picked up in the FA Cup match against Wolves.

Renato Sanches is set to join him on the training field today and could therefore play some part in the Liverpool clash having missed the Swans’ last two matches with a hamstring complaint.

Carlos Carvalhal is also keeping his fingers crossed that Tammy Abraham (hip) will be fit to play some part.

Angel Rangel, meantime, is closing in on a comeback having suffered a calf injury earlier this month.

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