Premier League Press Conference Round-Up: Blank Gamweek 31

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 Blank Gameweek 31

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

All the best for blank Gameweek 31 everyone – lets do this!

West Ham:

Manuel Pellegrini has confirmed he will be without Andy Carroll this weekend after the striker sustained an ankle injury.

The number 9 missed out on last Saturday’s Premier League match with Cardiff City and is the only absentee for this match, according to manager Pellegrini, apart from Carlos Sanchez, Winston Reid, Andriy Yarmolenko and Jack Wilshere, who continue their respective recoveries from longer-term injuries:

“We continue without the players without long injuries. They continue to recover. We have also Andy Carroll, who has a problem with his ankle. We need to wait for some medical examination, and then after that we will know. The rest of the squad is okay.”

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Marko Arnautovic, was a half-time substitute in last weekend’s match and Pellegrini has confirmed the Austrian is available and an option to start for the Irons against Huddersfield Town:

“Marko was out of the team for several reasons. First, because his mind was out when he had the option to go to China. Then he returned and didn’t work for about a week, so he needed time to recover his performance. 

After that, he was sick. He was going to start against Manchester City but he felt bad that day. There’s a lot of reasons why he was starting on the bench, but I think he is ready to return in his position.”


No new injuries for Fulham.

Andre Schurrle comes back into contention following a return to training after being out with a virus. Alfie Mawson is recovering after knee surgery – Parker thinks he could return in 2 weeks.

Marcus Bettinelli is the other out longer-term with a knee injury.

Leicester City: 

Only Daniel Amartey (ankle) and Marc Albrighton (hamstring) are currently sidelined for the Foxes. Brendan Rodgers says Matty James is training, but admits it will be difficult for the midfielder to play first team football this season.


Sean Dyche confirms there are no fresh injury concerns.

A severe calf injury will keep Stephen Defour out for the remainder of the campaign.


Phil Jagielka and Kurt Zouma (ineligible) are the only expected absentees for Everton this weekend.

Seamus Coleman has recovered from the illness which forced him out of the warm up at Newcastle last Saturday. Leighton Baines may also be back in contention after recovering from rib and back issues.


Jan Siewert confirms there were only 15 healthy players on the training pitch yesterday (Thursday):

“We will have a look at the squad in training tomorrow before we choose our team.

Unfortunately there [are] many injuries at the moment…. Adama Diakhaby (hamstring), Isaac Mbenza (calf), Jonathan Hogg (rib), Demeaco Duhaney (hip), Danny Williams (knee), Terence Kongolo (muscular) and Laurent Depoitre (foot).”

In better news, Tommy Smith returns after completing a three-match ban.


No pre-match Premier League press conference today down to their Europa league involvement, but here’s the line-up and report so you can make your own assumptions:

Chelsea line-up v Dynamo Kyiv: Kepa; Alonso, Rüdiger, Christensen, Zappacosta; Loftus-Cheek, Kanté, Kovačić; Willian, Giroud, Hudson-Odoi.

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– Eden Hazard was on the bench but was an unused substitute.
Gonzalo Higuain didn’t travel due to an illness and Olivier Giroud played instead and netted a hat-trick.
Willian went off on 74 minutes for Pedro.
Emerson was given the night off as Marcos Alonso played the full 90 minutes after missing the previous 2 Premier League matches.
David Luiz and Cesar Azpilicueta were given the night off.
– Both Loftus-Cheek and Hudson-Odoi played 90 minutes.


AFC Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe confirmed Adam Smith will miss tomorrow’s Premier League showdown with Newcastle United:

“Adam has a small grade hamstring strain so will be missing. Whether he will make the first game back after the international break, I’m not sure at the moment.”

Howe also said midfielder Dan Gosling and winger Junior Stanislas would be sidelined for the visit of Rafael Benitez’s team to Vitality Stadium:

“Dan Gosling is improving but he won’t make this game. Hopefully, the international break will see him in much better shape. Junior is doing well but is not quite ready yet. He hasn’t trained but he is improving.”

David Brooks’ withdrawal (at Huddersfield) was due to fatigue following his recent comeback from an ankle ligament injury:

“David has a bit of fitness work to catch up on.”

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Ryan Fraser picked up a knock during the win over Huddersfield which caused him to miss training sessions earlier in the week but “he should be okay [to face Newcastle].”


Jordan Henderson is confirmed out of Liverpool’s game against Fulham due to the ankle injury he sustained in mid-week however, Jürgen Klopp is hopeful that Henderson will be fit after the international break, along with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

Naby Keita missed the last-16 victory at the Allianz Arena due to a minor injury and the No.8 will be assessed ahead of the trip to London:

“With Hendo, we made further assessment and we know now that it’s serious enough probably to rule him out for the weekend and the international break will be long enough hopefully to bring him back. It’s a little one with the ankle, how it looked in the first place. It was the best scan we could get, I would say, but still not good enough. It’s not good but OK.

Naby, we have to see if he can train today. The boys come in a bit later today. [He had] a couple of checks – it was positive until now but we have to see if it stays positive when he goes outside.

Oxlade, I heard nothing new about it so there’s no rush now. Of course not for the weekend anyway, but in general after international break he will be 100 per cent fit.”


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Sean Longstaff and Rob Elliot are ruled out. Rafa also states he doesn’t want to take the risk with Jamal Lascelles however, Cieran Clark returns:

“Longstaff and Elliot are unavailable. We won’t take the risk with Lascelles – we’ll assess him in two or three days. But Clark is available – we have lost one, but we have another one available.”


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