Premier League Press Conference Round-Up: Blank Gameweek 35

In the latest of our weekly series, we’ll be bringing you the important news from every Premier League press conference that impacts your Fantasy Premier League team selection for the upcoming Blank Gameweek 35

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

Thanks for reading everyone and all the best for Blank Gameweek 35 – we hope to see some big Free Hit scores!

Crystal Palace:

Jeffery Schlupp has returned to training;

“Jeffrey Schlupp trained today, which is great news and is much earlier than we expected him to train after his nasty injury at Huddersfield. It’s probably a bit close to think about including him in the game on Saturday, and even though not out of the question, in an ideal world I would like him to have at least another weeks training before we put him back in but at least he is back in training and we have a big squad at the moment.”

For those considering a punt on Patrick van Aanholt as part of a Free Hit squad, it remains safe to go there. View PVA’s stats in the latest Free Hit article in the attacking defenders section >>

Jason Puncheon says he is ready to get back into the swing of things;

“Without putting pressure on myself, I am hoping that in two to four weeks I will be in a position to go out and train with the rest of the squad.”

Scott Dann and Bakary Sako have been confirmed out for the rest of the season.

Connor Wickham has stepped up his recovery from a groin strain and hopes that he can return to action before seasons end. He will not partake in the action this weekend.


In terms of injuries, here’s what Arsene Wenger had to say about the Gunners side:

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Regarding Ramsey’s cut leg; 

“He has not participated in full training but he’s practising in non-contact, so he will be available for Sunday.”

Regarding Jack Wilshere;

“It’s a short-term one, a little ankle problem.”

Regarding Henrikh Mkhitaryan;

“Mkhitaryan is running again. He has to progress in the next three or four days to see how much intensity he can have in his training sessions. Possibly Thursday is the earliest.”

The boss also mentioned that this week will act as preparation for Thursday, and he will play his Europa league side, including the likes of Mesut Özil, Laurent Koscielny and Hector Bellerin.

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Arsene also suggested that Aubameyang may miss out, promoting Alexandre Lacazette as a safer forward option for those on Free Hit:

“He cannot play on Thursday. I am not sure to play him at the moment.”


Sam Clucas has a chance of returning, and may face Man City at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday;

“Sam trained today. He had a test with the physios which was positive and if he trains well tomorrow, he can be involved at Manchester City.”

Luciano Narsingh will not face Man City after having twisted an ankle during their clash against Everton, last week;

“Luciano will not be available this weekend, although we believe it is not a serious injury and during the next week he can recover.”

Sanches, is also not yet ready to fully train despite returning to Wales at the start of the week;

“Renato has been with the physios and next week he can be involved with the team in training. But his physical condition, as you can understand, is very poor because he has been out for a long time. He is trying to recover and to get ready to play, and you never know if we will need him in the last week of the season – we could have some other injuries then. But we don’t expect too much from him at the moment and he doesn’t expect too much.”

West Brom:

Jonny Evans and Hal Robson-Kanu are back in contention to feature against Liverpool;

“We have Jonny Evans and Hal Robson-Kanu back for the Liverpool game. They are welcome additions.”

Nacer Chadli is improving and is still recovering from a thigh injury. Nacer will not feature this weekend;

“Nacer is building up his fitness. He is getting stronger.”

Daniel Sturridge will also not play this weekend. He is ineligible to face his parent club Liverpool.

James Morrison [Achilles] and Gareth Barry [knee] are the only West Brom players who remain sidelined with injury.


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It seems that Klopp will not rest players ahead of their Champions League semi-final tie on Tuesday and mentions that Mo Salah has no physical problems with starting on the weekend and then starting again on Tuesday against Roma;

“Mo has no physical problems in the moment and hopefully it stays like this, that’s what we need. We need the boys for all the games. I know that the next question will be around line-up and selection for West Brom because Roma is coming afterwards, but we never did it like that.

We have to line-up with a really, really strong line-up. We respect always the intensity of the season so far and all that stuff, but in the end we respect West Brom, we respect the competition of the Premier League, we know that we need points to be in the top four.”

Nathaniel Clyne is expected to miss out this week;

“Clyney struggled a little, he had a little muscle issue – unfortunately after a completely normal session. He is probably not available for tomorrow.”

Joe Gomez and Dejan Lovren are back in contention and may feature this weekend;

“All the rest are available. Joe is back in full training, Dejan had only a little bit longer recovery but he trained yesterday as well. Nobody else I think, that’s it.”

In response to questions about the availability of Emre Can and Adam Lallana, Klopp responded with the following;

“There is no real news about Adam and Emre; they are in a good way [but] we will see what that means at the end. Everything is possible that they will be part of the squad again this season, or not.”

Joel Matip is confirmed out for the rest of the season;

“The only thing that is 100 per cent sure is Joel Matip will not be in the squad anymore, he will start pre-season with us, that’s clear.”

Confirmed team news from the reliable and accurate Twitter account Anfield Express;

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During his presser, Javi Gracia stated that Nathaniel Chalobah and Younès Kaboul are edging closer to a return after recovering from their long-term injuries.

“Chalobah is in light training. He’s doing something with the team, warming up. He’s not available yet. Kaboul is in full training, but he needs to improve his condition.”

Gerard Deulofeu should be back before the end of the season, but he will most likely not be back this week:

“He was recovering. He was in the process but this week he was ill and he was two or three days with a throat infection. Now he needs to come back and see, but he’s in a good condition. I would like to see him play with us this season.”

Sebastian Prödl was one of many who were sick this week, but Gracia expects them “to be available and in the best condition.”

José Holebas is also available for selection;

“He had pain in his back last week. He’s an important player for us. At this moment we need all the players available. It’s better for us.”

Tom Cleverley remains sidelined and will not play this weekend;

“Cleverley is looking for a solution to his recovery because he’s out of the team.”

Man City:

Pep targets a strong finish;

“When I won the league early [in Germany and Spain], the next few games were not good. But a good argument to keep going [are] records. The important thing is to win the title, but maybe the records can help us be focused against the teams battling to avoid relegation.”

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Sergio Agüero looks set to miss the rest of the season, promoting Gabriel Jesus as a prime target for City’s remaining fixtures;

“It’s four or five weeks. We will try and get him ready for the World Cup. He’s in Barcelona now. The first part of his rehab is there.”

John Stones missed the Manchester derby due to discomfort in his adductor muscle, which also led to him sitting out recent fixtures against Liverpool and Tottenham.

Benjamin Mendy continues to build his match-fitness, making an appearance for the Under-23s during the recent EDS Manchester derby.

Fernandinho is out again, serving the second of his 3-match ban.


Sam Allardyce says the return to action of Ramiro Funes Mori is a big boost for Everton and the defender adds valuable experience to the Toffees squad;

“I am very enthusiastic [about Funes Mori’s comeback], he has trained with the first team since returning from his injury. He came off the bench and, when needed, I feel we will give him his opportunity. It is good to have a player of his experience back in his squad.”

A minor injury forced Dominic Calvert-Lewin out of the trip to Swansea, but he’s likely to be fit to face the Magpies;

“Dominic had a hip problem which has cleared up and he took part in a full training session on Thursday.”

Gylfi Sigurdsson [knee] and Mason Holgate [ankle] are the only two injured players who could feature before the end of the season. This rules out James McCarthy [broken leg], Eliaquim Mangala [knee] and Maarten Stekelenburg [hernia].


James Tarkowski will be assessed ahead of the trip to Stoke. He picked up a knock against Chelsea last night;

“Hopefully, it’s nothing too serious.”

Regarding Ben Mee and Scott Arfield, Dyche had the following to say in the pre-match press conference ahead of the Chelsea game (will provide further update if anything else becomes available);

“Both are settling down and Scotty is making good progress now. Ben maybe for Sunday. Ben’s is a stress reaction in his lower shin, towards his ankle. That can settle down quickly sometimes, which it seems to be doing at the moment but it can equally flare up very quickly. It is nothing too drastic at this stage but it needs to be kept an eye on.”

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Sean Dyche gives another update on the goalkeeper situation, with Nick Pope continuing to put great performances in goal;

“Tom [Heaton] totally understands it. Nick just keeps performing. It’s really simple when they are playing so well. He is having a very good season, delivering very strong performances so I have got no reason to consider changes.”


Maxim Choupo-Moting [groin] and Kostas Stafylidis [fractured rib] and are unlikely to feature, but Glen Johnson could return to action against The Clarets;

“Maxim Choupo-Moting and Kostas Stafylidis are still struggling with injury. Glen Johnson trained this morning and should hopefully be fit for the weekend.”

On handing Peter Crouch a start;

“I think Crouchy gives us something different on the pitch and he is certainly in contention for Sunday’s game.”

Lambert also mentions potentially playing defender Moritz Bauer as a winger again;

“Moritz Bauer started his career as a wide man so I know he can do it. He gives us great legs and is a superb professional.”

West Ham:

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Moyes had positive news to say about the fitness of his squad, with Andy Carrol, Manuel Lanzini making a return to action against Stoke;

“We have a few back, Carroll and Lanzini came back for the Stoke game. James Collins [hamstring] isn’t ready yet, so it’s probably as it was on Monday night.”

Angelo Ogbonna looks to be okay despite a knee problem and Pedro Obiang looks set to return before the end of the season after responding well to knee surgery;

“We are in good shape regarding our squad for the game. Angelo Ogbonna has had a bit of tendonitis in his knee but we’re hoping he will be okay while James Collins was undergoing an epidural procedure in an effort to cure a hamstring problem.

The good news also is that Obiang could just be back before the end of the season. We thought initially, following his knee operation, that he would be out for the rest of the campaign but he has responded very well.”

Michail Antonio, Winston Reid and Sam Byram remain long-term absentees.

In terms of the goalkeepers, Moyes says he has a decision to make;

“I have a decision in goal. I have to say Joe played really well against Chelsea – he’ll be disappointed with the goal against Stoke, but that’s the life of a goalkeeper.”


Christian Atsu has been ruled out of Monday nights game, but aside from that, Rafa reports a fully fit and available squad for now;

“Everybody else is fit for now”

On the remaining fixtures left, Rafa had the following to say;

“It is important to stay calm and no complacency. We go to Everton with respect and will try to get three points again.”

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