Premier League Press Conference Round-Up: FPL Gameweek 1

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 FPL Gameweek 1

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 first Gameweek of the new season everyone – let’s do this!

Liverpool:

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Jurgen Klopp has mentioned that Sadio Mané looks fit and is an option for tonight’s game. Sadio Mané returned to Liverpool on Monday and had his individual training session and joined the team training on Wednesday:

“Yes, he [was] now with the team for the first time and looks absolutely OK, in good spirits and looking forward to it. So, yes, he’s an option but we will see.”

James Milner also took part in full team training on Wednesday and is 100% fit. Nathaniel Clyne [knee injury] is the only Liverpool player sidelined for now.

Norwich City:

Daniel Farke has claimed that his team will look to play attacking football and not park the bus against Liverpool.

In terms of team news, Norwich have only 2 centre-backs available and midfielders Alex Tettey and Ibrahim Amadou are not likely to feature:

 “[Christoph] Zimmermann (knee) and [Timm] Klose (hip) are not available for tomorrow. Alex Tettey hasn’t played in pre-season so is unavailable and also Ibrahim Amadou.”

West Ham:

Manuel Pellegrini mentions that he expects goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski, who missed the last two pre-season fixtures, to return to the fold.

Captain Mark Noble however, will unfortunately not be available to face the reigning champions on Saturday as he continues to recover from injury:

“For the moment we have Mark still injured. He will not be fit for Saturday. All the other players don’t have any problems. All the other players are fit.”

Pellegrini also took the opportunity to explain the role he foresees for the Hammers’ new Swiss striker Albian Ajeti, who has joined the club from FC Basel:

“If you compare our squad this season with the last season, we lost three strikers. We bought first Sebastien Haller, and now Albian Ajeti. He’s a good striker to compete with Javier Hernandez and Antonio for that position.”

Manchester City:

Pep is hoping Leroy Sané will be back by February/March but admits he isn’t sure:

“I don’t know. Normally this kind of injury (ACL), I don’t know – six or seven months?”

David Silva will be the City captain for 2019/20:

“David Silva will be our captain and Fernandinho and De Bruyne second. He knows the Club, the league and has big respect.”

No start for new full back Joao Cancelo this weekend, but the City boss did mention that he can play left back, which could have implications for Oleksandr Zinchenko:

“I think for Kyle it’s important to have good competition. Both have to fight for the same position. Cancelo can play on the left as well.”

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City boss also confirmed that both Riyad Mahrez and Aymeric Laporte were okay to play. Fernandinho only re-joined the group this week, so is unlikely to start:

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Bournemouth:

Charlie Daniels and Steve Cook are fit and ready for their opening game of the season against Sheffield United. This could mean that Diego Rico’s starting spot is in immediate danger.

David Brooks, Lloyd Kelly and Dan Gosling are out injured.

Eddie Howe mentioned that the current squad is the best he has had at Bournemouth:

“When everyone is back, it’s the best squad that I’ve had the privilege of managing here, we’ll work to get everyone back and we’re excited by that.”

Sheffield United:

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Burnley:

Steven Defour is not likely to return to the starting line up for a few more months and Danny Drinkwater, on loan from Chelsea till the 6th of January, 2020,  has been brought in to cover for him.

Robbie Brady has fractured a rib and is also out for the game against Southampton. James Tarkowski and Kevin Long are fit and available for selection.

Bailey Peacock-Farrell is Burnley’s third choice goalkeeper behind Joe Hart and Nick Pope. Sean Dyche feels Bailey is at the same stage in his growth as Nick Pope was two seasons back.

Southampton:

Ralph Hasenhüttl reports no injury problems for his side but admits he has some tough decisions to make ahead of Saturdays’ opener. Ché Adams however, does look to be in pole position to line-up at Turf Moor.

“I think a lot of players deserve to be in this squad, and there are still one or two positions where I am not completely sure, but in the end, everybody knows their chance will come.

Not every player was in as long as others. For example, Ché Adams was here from the first day and that helps us a lot, because we could work with him. For Moussa [Djenepo] it was a little bit more difficult, he was coming in very late now, so it will take time until he is an option for the starting XI I think, but he showed in these sessions he can help us and that he is an important player for us.”

Crystal Palace:

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Roy Hodgson confirms Wilfried Zaha took part in full training today and the winger will be available for selection on Saturday.

James Tomkins is still recovering from groin surgery. Mamadou Sakho and Jeff Schlupp will also miss the game with Everton – neither player was involved in last weekends’ final pre-season friendly:

“All three players who featured at AFCON (Cheikhou Kouyate, Jordan Ayew and Wilfried Zaha) will be available for selection.”

Everton:

Fabian Delph (groin) will miss the trip to Palace after a muscle injury sustained the friendly versus Werder Bremen. Leighton Baines is now working with the group but Saturday may come too soon for the English full back “We’ll see”.

Marco Silva on the signing of Alex Iwobi: 

“He is a quality player and this is the most important thing for me. He can play wide [or] behind the striker. He has come to improve our squad and gives us different solutions.”

No word on whether Moise Kean will start from the off – his first training session was on the 6th of this month.

Watford:

Gerard Deulofeu is fit and raring to go for the season opener against Brighton & Hove Albion:

“He is perfect. He had a little problem and it was two weeks ago. He’s had time to recover and has been able to train with the team from the beginning of the week. He’s ready.”

Roberto Pereyra is also in the mix to play some part after being eased back in after an extended summer break. Gracia and his medical staff have been keen to manage the playmaker’s load after he spent most of the summer training with Argentina for their Copa America campaign:

“Roberto was ready from the beginning but he needed time as he came late. He is ready but he just needs time because this is only his second week of pre-season. He’s not in his best physical condition but he can still help the team by playing some minutes.”

Unavailable to the Head Coach this week are Nathaniel Chalobah, Adalberto Peñaranda, Domingos Quina and Dimitri Foulquier:

“Foulquier has a problem in his calf because he picked up a knock. Peñaranda is training but not with the team. Domingos has a muscle problem and Chalo needs some time to recover after the work he has done in pre-season. Next week they will be ready.”

New signing Danny Welbeck will not play any part as his return to action is being carefully planned by the medical team as he works his way back from a long injury:

“He is in good condition and maybe if you ask me next week, I can tell you something more.”

Brighton:

New signings Leandro Trossard, Neal Maupay and Aaron Mooy could make their Premier League debuts for the club against Watford this weekend, after joining from KRC Genk, Brentford and Huddersfield respectively during the summer transfer window.

Potter will be without three players — Jose Izquierdo, Yves Bissouma and Ezequiel Schelotto — when he names his first 18-man Premier League squad on Saturday afternoon.

Totenham Hotspur:

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Juan Foyth is injured and is suspended but is continuing rehab and is expected to return to training in September. Serving second of three-game ban.

New signing Ryan Sessegnon is out with a hamstring injury sustained during the summer with England Under-21 team. He’s currently undergoing assessment and working through his rehabilitation programme.

Both Eric Dier and Victor Wanyama are back in full training and are available.

Leicester City:

Brendan Rodgers expresses his side don’t have any real injury worries ahead of their opening at the King Power stadium versus Wolves:

Wilfred Ndidi and Filip Benković have been working very well since coming back. Wilf’s naturally fit and will be in the squad this weekend. All the players have come through really well and there’s no real injuries.”

On new signing Dennis Praet, Rodgers said the following:

“He’s an outstanding player who fits the profile of what we want. We’ve got a lot of good defensive midfield players so I felt we needed two attacking players. Youri [Tielemans] we were able to get, then Dennis we tracked. We’re delighted to get him in.”

Wolves:

Adama Traore missed the game in Armenia last night and Nuno has explained why:

“He has a problem with his passport, so he couldn’t travel. He didn’t know and it was impossible for him to travel with his ID card outside the European Union. He’ll join us for the next game.”

Nuno states that new signing Patrick Cutrone is “integrating” with the squad and will take time:

“Every new player that comes to our team needs time. We need to keep going. He has been received well into the group and it’s important that he continues to improve.” 

Newcastle:

No DeAndre Yedlin on Sunday as he continues his recovery from groin surgery. A calf injury keeps Dwight Gayle on the sidelines and Christian Atsu won’t be considered just yet because of a niggling knee problem. Aside from that, Bruce reports that “Everybody else is okay.”.

That would suggest that Matt Ritchie (hamstring) has recovered, despite being expected to miss the opener.

Florian Lejeune (ACL knee) is a long-term absentee while Jack Colback (groin) is also struggling.

Arsenal:

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Unai Emery will make a late decision on Alexandre Lacazette (right ankle) – he will be assessed ahead of Sunday’s match at Newcastle. Nicolas Pepe (match fitness) is another doubt following his late return due to the Africa Cup of Nations.

Dani Cellabos has recovered from the knock he picked up at the Camp Nou, but new signing Kieran Tierney won’t be ready:

“I had a double hernia op in the summer. I’m just getting fit now – involved with a ball and back running. So hopefully it’s not going to be too long.”

Hector Bellerin (ACL knee) continues with his on-field rehab and is targeting a return to full training in October.

Rob Holding played for the U23s last weekend and will build fitness with the group before being considered for the first-team. Mavropanos (groin) is expected to be another 6-8 weeks

Manchester United:

New signings Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Harry Maguire and Daniel James are all available to make their debuts.

Mason Greenwood is a contender for a striking spot after his impressive pre-season campaign but Eric Bailly and Tim Fosu-Mensah are both sidelined through injury.

Paul Pogba is fit to start, after nursing a back problem, while Alexis Sanchez may not be ready to feature this weekend, despite training well after sustaining an injury with Chile at the Copa America:

“Alexis has come in and trained well. Of course, he’s four or five weeks behind the boys and he’s not played apart from a one behind-closed-doors [friendly] here, so I think he’ll see this as an opportunity, as well, to make his mark.”

Paul joined in, actually, the day after [the AC Milan match]. I wasn’t going to risk him, travelling down with the flight, but he joined in the game against Blackburn the day after, behind closed doors here. He is available. All of the boys are fit. It was always our aim to get to the starting line with as many players as fit as possible. Of course, Eric’s injury is bad news but the rest of them are available.”

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On the situation of no replacement signing for Rom Lukaku, who left the club to join Inter Milan, Solskjaer mentions the following, including how Mason Greenwood is set to be heavily involved for United this season:

“Of course, Rom [Lukaku] has a good record and good stats,“ added Ole. ”He’s one of the top number nines around, when you want to play with that kind of striker, and he’s that target man. For me, I’m very confident that we’ll get goals from [Anthony] Martial, [Marcus] Rashford. Dan James will come in and create. I’m sure Jesse Lingard will get more [goals], so we do have a different attacking set-up this season.

You do have players that you think are going to make an impact and Mason Greenwood’s pathway would have been a lot more difficult, of course, if we had another forward there. So, for me, I believe that Mason’s going to be playing and involved a lot, and, when he is, he’ll score goals.”

Chelsea:

N’Golo Kante is available but lacks ‘match fitness’ due to an ongoing knee injury which disrupted his pre-season.

Willian is working with the group, but Frank admits this weekend might be too soon for him.

Antonio Rudiger has only been training with the group a few days and is probably a few weeks away. Hudson-Odoi, Loftus-Cheek and Reece James are progressing well, “Everyone else is fit.”

Frank says that youth is an important part of the squad this year and he is expecting the younger players to deliver this season. The door is open for them and he wants to see them do it.

Aston Villa: 

Other than Douglas Luiz, and James Chester who is ruled out with a hamstring injury for 2-3 weeks, Dean Smith confirms Villa have no doubts:

“We’ve had a great pre-season and thankfully not too many injuries as well.”

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