Premier League Press Conference Round-Up: Gameweek 33

In the latest of our weekly series, I’ll be bringing you the important news from every Premier League press conference that impacts your Fantasy Premier League team selection for the upcoming Gameweek 33

As usual, feel free to give myself (FPL Connect) a tweet if you find there are any problems with this article.

Thanks for reading everyone and all the best for Gameweek 33!

Brighton: 

Dale Stephens is still a doubt for this weekend’s game, while Steve Sidwell (ankle and back) remains the only long-term absentee.

Anthony Knockaert will serve the final game of a three-match suspension after picking up a red card against Everton.

Burnley: 

Sean Dyche confirms Tom Heaton comes back into contention for Burnley this weekend;

“Tom [Heaton] is really close now, close to getting back involved. He’s going really well and feeling really good at the moment.”

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Gudmundsson is at risk of missing out at Watford;

“He is touch and go, but at this stage we’ll probably err on the side of caution unless he comes in and says he’s absolutely clear.”

Ben Mee is also in doubt and will be assessed ahead of this weekend’s clash with Watford.

Southampton: 

Stephen Davis returns to full fitness, meaning Mark Hughes has a full squad of players to choose from this weekend.

Swansea: 

Carlos Carvalhal has no fresh injury concerns, only long-term issues Bony, Fer and Sanches. Jordan Ayew will serve the final game of his ban.

Renato Sanches [hamstring] is still rehabbing in Munich but Carvalhal expects a return to Swansea next week;

“We are waiting for him. Last time we talked he said he would be back on the 10th of this month. After, we will see how long [before] he is ready to play.”

Angel Rangel returned to full training on Wednesday following groin surgery, but will need more time to build fitness.

Sam Clucas “is ready” for Saturday “one hundred per cent”. There were concerns that the Swans midfielder could miss the remainder of the season after limping off with a knee injury at Old Trafford.

Bournemouth: 

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Eddie Howe confirms that Junior Stanislas is out for the rest of the season, Adam Smith is also out and Simon Francis will be touch and go;

“Junior Stanislas is out for the season. He picked up a serious knee injury against Watford, so we’re looking at pre-season or the start of the season to get him back, we’re not sure yet. He’s a big miss for us. The medical team worried about his cruciate but it’s an anterior injury – the better of the two evils. He’s had an operation and we’re happy at how that has gone.

Adam Smith will also be out, he’s made good progress and we’re pleased with how he’s getting on. We hope to get him back before the end of the season.

Simon Francis has had a day’s light training so it will have to be a very late call on him.”

Newcastle: 

Aside from Islam Slimani, Rafa reports that he’ll have close to a fully fit squad available to choose from;

“We don’t have any (injury) problems. Slimani obviously can’t play, Joselu has recovered so he’s nearly fully fit, so more or less everyone is available.”

Despite putting a healthy 7 points between themselves and 18th placed Southampton, Rafa wants his squad to stay focused, with 40pts the target;

“We need to keep on winning and the target still is 40 points. Forty is the number.”

Chelsea: 

Conte says they have a ‘responsibility’ to fight for a Champions League place, and that they must show ‘pride, desire and will’ right up until the end of the season.

Thibaut Courtois [hamstring], Davide Zappacosta and Pedro “could” feature on Sunday – all three have trained.

David Luiz [knee] and Ethan Ampadu [ankle] have been ruled out for the season.

Ross Barkley is hoping to force his way into Conte’s plans following his hour long run out for the U23s last weekend.

Arsenal: 

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Wenger reports on the injury news ahead of Sunday’s clash with Southampton, featuring updates on Henrikh Mkhitaryan, David Ospina and Maitland-Niles;

“Micki came off and he will be out for Sunday. He has a scan and the fear is that his medial knee ligament has been touched. We’ll know more about that soon. For how long he will be out, I don’t know.

Ospina is out for two to three weeks and Ainsley is short for this weekend, but he might be back for Moscow.”

Wenger on his rotation policy;

“We are focusing on the Premier League and the Europa League with the squad. We rotate a little bit from one game to the other after considering the recovery and the slight injuries or risk of injuries. As well we consider that some people, like Aubameyang, are not available in the Europa League but they are available in the Premier League. So the rotation is quite natural.”

Watford: 

Christian Kabasele was on his way back to fitness last week and Gracia has now confirmed he has returned to full first-team training;

“Kabasele has been training with the team this week. He is in full training. We will see if he is available at the last moment, but he is training with the team and he’s in a good moment.”

Gerard Deulofeu and Nathaniel Chalobah have been sorely missed by Watford and when asked whether either would be seen again in a Watford shirt before the end of the season, Gracia was optimistic;

“I am confident he [Deulofeu] will play with us before we finish the season.

Chalobah is trying to recover, but in this moment I have no more news about him. He is not training with the team, but he is working in the gym.”

Craig Cathcart is back and available however;

“Cathcart is available. I think he is very happy because he is back with the team and he wants to help us in these last six games.”

Miguel Britos will return to the matchday squad after missing the 2-2 draw with Bournemouth because of illness.

Everton: 

Allardyce confirms Idrissa Gueye is available following his recovery from a hamstring strain. aside from that, no fresh injury concerns.

Gylfi Sigurdsson, Mason Holgate, Eliaquim Mangala, James McCarthy and Maarten Stekelenburg remain longer-term absentees.

Spurs: 

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Harry Winks continues his rehabilitation, meanwhile, Pochettino spoke about Harry Kane’s fitness in his press conference this morning;

“Harry is okay and after playing nearly 20 minutes against Chelsea this week has been good, he’s worked hard. We need to see him in one more training session, but he’s doing very well.

You know him, he’s so determined to help achieve all that the team wants and of course, he’s hungry to score goals.”

WBA: 

Darren Mooro reports on the injury news, including an update on Daniel Sturridge and Nacer Chadli;

“Nacer has been back involved in training. Daniel Sturridge isn’t quite there yet but he’s making real progress.”

Gareth Barry will have knee surgery next week.

Palace:

Christian Benteke limped off in training and is a doubt;

“Benteke limped off the training field feeling his groin so we won’t know how well he is until the night passes and he comes in tomorrow morning and he will be assessed again.

I asked the doctor to rate his chances and he is not prepared to and says we will have to wait and see tomorrow so if the doctor is not prepared to rate his chances then I can’t possibly do so.”

Alexander Sørloth is still unavailable for selection this weekend.

James Tomkins has not recovered from a calf problem, while Julian Speroni, Scott Dann, Jason Puncheon and Joel Ward remain out long-term.

Liverpool: 

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Klopp on Salah’s situation and chances of playing in the derby;

“I don’t think it makes sense to talk here about what we do with the boys in rehab. But, of course, you can imagine we have tried everything to make him available. [There are] still 24 hours to go pretty much, or 23 hours to go until we start. So let’s see what happens.

I cannot make Mo available because it’s the derby, I would never do it. It’s not possible. I don’t think any of our supporters want us to do that.

That’s our situation. We are used to playing every three days, that’s not the problem. It’s nothing to do with Mo or any other player – it would always be the same decision. If you are available you are involved; if you are not available you’re not involved.”

Liverpool will be without Joel Matip, Joe Gomez, Adam Lallana and Emre Can for the trip across Stanley Park due to respective injury issues. When asked for an injury update during his pre-Everton press conference at Melwood on Friday, Klopp said;

“I have not too much to say about it for two reasons. I don’t want to give any information away is the first one and the other one is we want to wait a little bit, that’s all. 

We have a few hours to go until we go into the hotel and then a few more until the ref starts the game. You will see who is available and who is not available when you see the line-up tomorrow. For us, it’s not about rotation or something like that. We need to find solutions, how it always is, but I don’t want to give too much information away.”

One factor that will not come into consideration for Klopp when deciding upon his line-up at Goodison is Tuesday’s return meeting with City in the Champions League quarter-final;

“You cannot do it like this because you have no clue, anything can happen overnight – a player can get ill or something like that. The only way to really work in this job is to be focused always on the next game – and that is Everton. Then after the game, you have to see what you can do with that.

I said it before, the next game is never the reason for rotation, it’s always the last game. If I think after the last game we have to do this or that then we will do it, but it is never anything to do with the next game.”

Huddersfield: 

Elias Kachunga will have surgery on Monday after suffering ankle ligament damage at Newcastle last weekend;

“He will be back for the start of pre-season.”

Danny Williams and Michael Hefele are Huddersfield’s only other injuries at the moment.

Manchester City: 

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Sergio Agüero will undergo at fitness test to see if he is fit enough to return, while it remains to be seen whether Benjamin Mendy is at a level that allows him to be available for selection.

When asked about rotation, Pep responded;

“We have three massive games coming up – United, Liverpool and Spurs – we have to see the players condition. We have training later and we will see later. We will prepare the team to win the game.”

West Ham: 

Manuel Lanzini is struggling to shake off the knee injury which he suffered playing for Argentina and could miss out again. West Ham will seek a second opinion on whether Michail Antonio [hamstring] will go under the knife following his setback last weekend;

“He’s [Lanzini] got a medial ligament injury. He’s able to run in straight lines at the minute. I wouldn’t completely rule him out but he’s a doubt.

Michail is going to have an Op on his hamstring and the biggest thing now is to get him ready for next season. We’ll miss his great strength and pace. He picked up a hamstring injury at the end of last season and has never really recovered from it.”

Elsewhere in the team, Moyes reports that Javier Hernandez is over his recent illness, but James Collins [hamstring] could miss out again.

Leicester: 

Claude Puel is to consider his options, as Matty James [injury] and Wilfried Ndidi [susp] are ruled out this weekend;

“We have three solutions with Iborra, Silva and Choudhury. We will see for Saturday. We cannot replace Wilfred’s attributes, but we can with a collective response.”

Daniel Amartey is hoping to rejoin the group in training from next week. A hamstring strain has kept him sidelined since the 1-1 draw with Bournemouth at the beginning of March.

Manchester United: 

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Phil Jones, Marcos Rojo and Ander Herrera have trained fully over the past week, while Daley Blind rejoined the group on Friday morning. Sergio Romero is expected to be missing for a “few weeks” following his collision with Diego Costa when playing for Argentina.

Jose’s comments on the upcoming derby;

“In the end, the points are the most important thing. In the end, it’s always a match of three points and not a match of seven, eight or nine points but there is also a little bit of the emotional difference in relation to other matches. But, in my case, I always try to play every match with the same mentality and responsibility and not try to make a derby an El Clasico as we used to call it in Portugal and Spain – a special match.”

Stoke: 

Paul Lambert goes into this weekend with a fair few worries to some key players in his squad, namely Kurt Zouma, Mame Diouf and Maxim Choupo-Moting;

“It’s been a frustrating period in terms of injuries, as we have a few guys missing. Kurt trained this morning which is positive for us, but we will have to see how he is over the next 24 hours, whilst Mame hasn’t been able to train because of a kick he received at the weekend.

Choupo-Moting is still missing and we have one or two other little issues too, but right now the biggest doubts are over Kurt and Mame.”

Greek international Stafylidis is likely to remain sidelined after sustaining a broken rib whilst in action for his country recently, whilst Charlie Adam serves the second game of his three-match suspension.

One last word before you go! 

Nominations for the Football Blogging Awards are underway and we are bidding to make the shortlist in the category ‘Best New Football Blog’. If you feel we deserve your vote, then you can vote for us here >> https://www.footballbloggingawards.co.uk

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