Premier League Press Conference Round-Up: Gameweek 20

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 Gameweek 20

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

All the best for Gameweek 20 everyone and hope you have had a brilliant Christmas  – lets do this!


Neil Warnock confirms Callum Paterson missed the game on Boxing Day because of a knee injury but it is hoped that he will be fit to face Leicester. A thigh strain will keep Kenneth Zohore out for a “few weeks”:

“He’s done so well and worked so hard to get back the sharpness and when he came on I thought he looked sharp and then he pulls a thigh muscle. It’s such a shame because he is such an explosive player.”

Neil Etheridge will not be going to the Asian Cup:

“Neil wanted to stay and help us. He didn’t want to lose his place really. [Alex] Smithies is gutted! He bought him his ticket, I think, and [Brian] Murphy. We have three good keepers. We’re doing well in that department.”


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Right back, Serge Aurier, is back in training with the squad whilst Dele Alli will be assessed before their match against Wolverhampton.

Mousa Dembele (ankle), Victor Wanyama (knee), and Jan Vertonghen (thigh) are all in different stages of rehabilitation and will not play this weekend.

Eric Dier remains ruled out, with the midfielder being sidelined after having his appendix removed.


Brighton have no new injuries, heading into GW20.

Lewis Dunk returns after completing his 1 match suspension.

Maty Ryan heads to the Asian Cup this week, and Chris Hughton will decide who replaces him this weekend:

“I’ll make the decision as to who replaces Maty [Ryan] this weekend.”

Alireza Jahanbakhsh (thigh) and Jose Izquierdo (knee) remain ruled out.


Marco Silva has a decision to make on Ademola Lookman:

“Let’s see in the next few days. He hasn’t started training with the team yet. It is possible for the next match but it won’t be easy but let’s see about the other one.”

There are no other injury concerns for the Toffees.

Manchester United:

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Romelu Lukaku, Alexis Sanchez and Anthony Martial all took part in light training at the Aon Training Complex on Thursday after all of them missed the 3-1 Boxing Day win over Huddersfield.

Solskjaer also suggested Marcos Rojo and Scott McTominay might also be able to increase their involvement in training soon, but admitted that Chris Smalling is likely to be absent until the Tottenham Hotspur fixture at Wembley on 13 January, due to a foot problem:

“We’ve not had a lot of training since [the Huddersfield game]. We had yesterday [Thursday] off so today is the first day back. Romelu [Lukaku], Anthony [Martial] and Alexis were [in] light [training] yesterday so hopefully they can join part of the training today and let’s see after they’ve come through. Marcos [Rojo] and Scott [McTominay] look like they can take part very soon as well, so it’s looking better.

Smalling has got a sore foot, so I don’t think we’ll see him until the New Year anyway – maybe not even before Spurs [on 13 January] probably, around that time, but you never know.”

Of the players mentioned, only Anthony Martial has featured thus far under Solskjaer, but the Frenchman was forced out of the Huddersfield match due to illness.


Simon Francis is ruled out for Brighton ahead of their clash against Man United after picking up an ACL injury:

“He’s been our leader on the pitch and a role model and a big miss in the dressing room. As a team it’s a big loss and a big gap to fill.”

Adam Smith, Dan Gosling and Lewis Cook will also miss their match against Man United, as they are all ruled out with knee injuries.


Ralph Hasenhüttl has hinted that his squad may include a further sprinkling of young players against Manchester City this weekend, after an untimely injury to striker Michael Obafemi.

The teenager picked up a knock in training, and missed the midweek defeat to West Ham, while midfielder Mario Lemina, who has also been sidelined lately, returned to play 85 minutes, but wasn’t at full fitness.

The Austrian will however be boosted by the return of Pierre-Emile Højbjerg, who rejoins the fold after serving his one-match suspension, and is available to face the Premier League champions on Sunday:

“Michael Obafemi’s injury was picked up in training and is a real pity, because I need him. His speed can always make a difference. 

You saw yesterday that Mario Lemina was not 100%, he has problems with his stomach. It’s a possibility to rotate, and bring in a few more younger players, so I’ll have a look at that.

Pierre is a very intelligent player, and he is very important for me. He reads the game very well and we need that.”


Sarri reports two injury problems. Pedro has a hamstring injury and will have to rest for 10 days. Callum Hudson-Odoi also has a problem and although it’s not serious he is unlikely to play on Sunday.

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He goes on to state that he is very happy with Eden Hazard’s performances up front. He adds he was confident when he arrived at Chelsea that Hazard would be able to score more goals. He thinks Chelsea can become more solid with Hazard playing a false nine position, but it depends on the moment. There is a chance in the future Hazard will play alongside a striker.


Fulham report good news on the injury from, as only Frank Anguissa is unavailable:

“Only Frank Anguissa is not ready. The rest are all available.”


It’s mainly good news for Wagner as he too reports no fresh injury concerns:

“We still have a training session this afternoon, but we have no new injury concerns after the game at Old Trafford as I sit here now.”

Aaron Mooy, Danny Williams, Tommy Smith and Abdelhamid Sabiri are all sidelined.


Steven Defour (knee) and Robbie Brady are major doubts for the visit of West Ham on Sunday.

Gudmundsson had no adverse reaction to his recent hamstring injury after coming on as a substitute against Everton.

Aaron Lennon and Stephen Ward remain sidelined.


Nuno confirms that this weekend comes too soon for Diogo Jota who is working his back from a hamstring strain.

There are no other injury concerns for Wolves.


There are no fresh injury concerns for Leicester.

Crystal Palace: 

Hodgson reports no new injuries for Palace.

Christian Benteke is progressing following a minor setback, likely to return after the FA Cup:

“He’s the only one still unavailable, the rest [Wayne Hennessey and Martin Kelly] have recovered.”


James Milner is out of Liverpool’s game against Arsenal on Saturday, but Alberto Moreno is available for selection. Dominic Solanke, Joel Matip and Joe Gomez are also ruled out:

“Millie is Millie and that means he is again ahead of schedule. He had, yes, a little bit with the [hamstring] muscle. He will not be available for tomorrow, that’s not possible, but hopefully the game after that he will be available again. 

Alberto trained the first time really pain-free yesterday so he will probably be in contention. Dom Solanke has muscle problems and will not be involved. Joe [Gomez] obviously not, and Joel [Matip] not. Both are doing well and making big steps but it will take some time.”


Jonjo Shelvey is available again after recovering from a thigh strain. Ciaran Clark (ankle) and Karl Darlow (elbow) remain out for Newcastle who take on Watford at Vicarage Road. Rafa Benitez comfirms “the rest are available”.


Will Hughes and Adalberto Peñaranda are both available for Watford, Gracia confirms:

“Both are ready. Maybe Will has trained with the team more times. He doesn’t need to train a lot to be ready. Peñaranda needs more time because he had to stop for longer.”

Watford will definitely be without Christian Kabasele. The centre-back did not sustain any broken bones following the heavy collision with the post in the first-half against Chelsea, but the left-hand side of his upper body remains very sore and he will be given the weekend off to recover:

“He’s not training with the team. After the game he didn’t feel very well. He is feeling some pain, but he will be ready soon. I can’t tell you when he’ll be ready as he has some pain in the shoulder, arm and back.”

The absence of Kabasele means Adrian Mariappa is almost certain to start alongside Craig Cathcart, but the Head Coach has to decide who will provide centre-half cover on the bench as Sebastian Prödl is injured – Miguel Britos is also ready:

“We have other centre-backs injured and it will be a good chance for someone. Britos is ready. He is training with the team for a long time and I think he is ready.”


When asked about his team selection for the Liverpool game, this is how Unai responded:

“We are playing a lot of matches in [the space of] a few days, and we need each day to test how the players are. Today, only we trained with the players who didn’t play yesterday. Mustafi may also be close to training with us, but today he worked alone but with good feeling. Tomorrow is the last training before we travel to Liverpool and we need to know who can play in training.”

In terms of the absentees, report that the following players will miss out:

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Manchester City: 

Pep Guardiola on the team news:

“Everybody is fit, we have some problems and we will decide tomorrow. Fernandinho, Gabriel Jesus and Vincent Kompany are in training.”

West Ham: 

No press conference scheduled yesterday or today. 


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