Premier League Press Conference Round-Up: Gameweek 13

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 13

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 Gameweek 13 everyone – let’s do this.

Newcastle United

Steve Bruce has confirmed that Florian Lejeune is likely to return to action against Aston Villa on Monday night.

With Jamaal Lascelles out until the New Year and Ciaran Clark a doubt for Monday’s clash after picking up a knock while away with the Republic of Ireland, Lejeune could start alongside Fabian Schär, who has just overcome a knee injury. It must also be noted that Paul Dummett has been on the bench for the last four matches:

“The big one is obviously Flo, because he’s been out for so long, but he’s done everything – he’s played, he’s got minutes under his belt on the training ground and he’s ready to go. The same goes for Schär; as long as they come through the next two or three days unscathed then they’ll both come into contention, and that can only be a good thing.

There comes a point where you can’t keep training and training and training; you have to be thrown into the deep end, if that’s the right word. But (Lejeune) is a wonderful pro. He’s the first in, the last to go and he’s done everything he possibly can. He feels he’s ready, and I think that’s the most important thing – he knows his knee better than anybody. He’s done all his minutes and he’s ready to go. If there’s anywhere on the pitch we’re blessed, (it’s in central defence); we’ve got six of them who are very, very decent at what they do.

Touch wood, whatever combination we have put together have done OK. The competition there is very, very healthy and good, which is a good thing. We’re losing one – possibly two – but we’re fortunate because we can bring another two in, so it’s not a bad situation.”

Sean Longstaff serves the final game of his three-match ban and Steve Bruce is confident Miguel Almiron can replicate his international goal scoring form (2 in four) on Tyneside:

“It’ll come because he’s a multi-talented player. If he scores once it’ll open up.”

On Matt Ritchie:

Matt Ritchie went to see his specialist again yesterday. It’s a difficult one because he was so close a couple of weeks ago and unfortunately had a setback. It’s difficult and frustrating for him”

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On Jamaal Lascelles:

“Lascelles has a fracture of his tibia so he’s out for a few weeks, but his knee ligaments are okay so it’s not as bad as we feared.”

Southampton

Ralph Hasenhüttl has a full-strength squad to pick from for Saturday’s Premier League trip to Arsenal.

The manager confirmed that there are no fresh injury concerns following the international break, and the squad is further boosted by the return of Ryan Bertrand, who has now completed his three-match suspension:

“Everyone is back fit and with a few successful experiences for the players with their national teams. Jan Bednarek qualified, Pierre-Emile Højbjerg is qualified (both for EURO 2020) and a few others have scored, so they come back with some positive experiences and that’s good for us.

It’s also good that Ryan Bertrand is back after suspension from the Leicester game. I have the whole squad now available and I can pick the eleven that fits perfect to the shape which we play and the opponent we play against.”

West Ham

Manuel Pellegrini has confirmed that captain Mark Noble, Jack Wilshere and Michail Antonio will be available to play for West Ham United in this weekend’s Premier League match with Tottenham Hotspur. 

Antonio has been out of action since sustaining a hamstring injury in the Carabao Cup victory over Newport County in September while midfielder Noble hobbled out of West Ham’s last Premier League match away to Burnley with a twisted ankle:

“Both of them worked the whole week without any problem, they will be involved in the game on Saturday. Of course, they are important players for us. Antonio has had a long injury and he is a player that makes a difference in attack. Mark Noble is the captain of the team too. Both of them will be in the squad list and are able to play.”

Pellegrini also expressed his support for goalkeeper Roberto, who has played in the absence of Lukasz Fabianski, saying the Spaniard retains the support of everyone involved at the Club:

“Every player, when they are in a bad moment, needs the support of the fans behind them, especially in a special position like goalkeeper. Roberto is a player with a lot of experience in different countries and he knows that it was not maybe his best performance in the last game. I think, all of us – the fans, the players and the staff – must trust in him.” 

Brighton

Graham Potter has confirmed that the Seagulls will still be without Bernardo, Jose Izquierdo , Aaron Connolly (groin injury) and Lewis Dunk (suspension) while Leandro Trossard and Adam Webster could feature against Leicester on Saturday:

“Leandro Trossard rolled his ankle while he was away – it was more precautionary that he was left out of the Belgian squad. He’s trained with us and he’s fine for the weekend.

Shane Duffy and Davy Propper are also back fine. Steven Alzate got back late last night, but he’s okay too. Aaron Connolly will miss the game this weekend with the same groin problem from the Manchester United game, but hopefully he’ll be back for next weekend.

Bernardo has been back in training this week, but the weekend is too soon for him. Adam Webster has a chance of being fit for the weekend and it’s a lot earlier than expected. He’s trained today [Thursday] and we’ll see how he is tomorrow [Friday]. We have good options in that area of the field.”

Bournemouth

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Eddie Howe has confirmed that Josh King will miss the visit of Wolves because of a hamstring injury. Ryan Fraser faces a late fitness test, while David Brooks remains out:

“Josh King will miss this game unfortunately. He picked up a hamstring strain very late in Norway’s second game. Difficult one to tell, a hamstring strain, a very minor one, but still enough to keep him out for probably a couple of weeks, minimum. David

Brooks won’t be fit. He’s still not training with us, he’s still not fully back out on the grass. Until we see that progression he’s still some way away. Ryan Fraser, we’ll have a late test.”

On Ryan Fraser‘s contract situation:

“We would love him (Fraser) to stay and commit to us but if not, we need to get the best out of him between now and the end of the season.”

On Jefferson Lerma:

“He’s OK, he’s fine, it was a long journey back, as you say. But no, he’s fine, he’s fit and healthy.”

Lloyd Kelly (thigh) is hoping to be available after missing out for #ENG U21s but Charlie Daniels and Junior Stanislas remain out long-term. There was no status update on Andrew Surman who has been sidelined for the last month with a knee injury.

Burnley

The Clarets could be without Johann Berg Gudmundsson (hamstring) and Matej Vydra (hip) for the trip to Vicarage Road while Danny Drinkwater is closing in on a return to action after playing 90 minutes in a bounce game on Tuesday (vs Preston North End) – his second outing since recovering from an ankle injury:

“Vydra had a little tear in his hip. It was a strange one, we didn’t think anything of it, but he had a scan and that showed up. We’ll see how it settles. He’s got a chance, but probably a slim one.

(Gudmundsson) is going well, he’s back on the grass with the physios, but I don’t expect him to make it.”

Arsenal

Unai Emery has confirmed that he has had a good conversation with Granit Xhaka and that a decision will be taken on whether he will play this weekend later today:

“Xhaka is coming back better. This morning I have a very good conversation with him. My objective is for him to come back helping us. We are going to decide tomorrow (if he plays) but I want to give him confidence and comfort.”

Holding, Saka, Kolasinac didn’t train. They could train tomorrow. Pépé arrived late because of travel and didn’t train with the group but trained inside. Will be ready for Saturday.”

Leicester City

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Brendan Rodgers has confirmed that James Maddison is fine and available for the away trip to Brighton. Rodgers also mentioned that Matty James is back in training and building fitness:

“James (Maddison) is fine (after calf injury). He’s ok. We’re all very happy for James (to make his England debut). We gave Chilwell, Ricardo and Tielemans a lighter day because they played two games (over the international break.”

On Matty James:

“He’s a gifted player. We’ll look at it in the new year and whether he needs a loan period. If we can get him fit and have a bit of luck and avoid injuries.”

Tottenham Hotspur

Tanguy Ndombèlé (groin) and Jan Vertonghen (hamstring) will be assessed ahead of Saturday’s game while Hugo Lloris (elbow) and Erik Lamela (hamstring) are still unavailable as they continue their rehabilitation.

Spurs have also confirmed that Michel Vorm has sustained a calf strain and will return to training in December.

Watford

Quique Sánchez Flores has confirmed that some players “are not quite ready” for Saturday.

Domingos Quina (groin), Tom Cleverley (heel), Daniel Bachmann (hamstring), Danny Welbeck (hamstring), Sebastian Prödl (knee) and Roberto Pereyra (hamstring) remain out while Christian Kabasele is suspended.

Ismaïla Sarr is in contention after recovering from the ankle injury he picked on international duty and Troy Deeney is edging closer towards his first minutes for this season after making it to the matchday squad for GW12:

“Sarr is okay, he has been training with us for two or three days, no problem. He looks well in training. He is ready.

“He (Deeney) feels much better, little by little, he is progressing. He is ready and he wants to play, of course.”

Manchester United

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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has confirmed that Scott McTominay and Paul Pogba are unavailable this weekend. McTominay could be back in GW15 or GW16, while Pogba is still a “little while” away:

“Scott (McTominay) will be out for a little while, still, he has not been training with us, he is still recovering and, hopefully, we can see him, maybe, around the time of Tottenham or [Manchester] City [next month]. We don’t know yet. he heals quickly, Scotty, but he is not going to be ready for Sheffield United or Astana, definitely. Probably not [Aston] Villa either.

Paul (Pogba) is improving. Obviously he has been out and, when you are in a cast for that long, you do lose your muscle, so gradually you have to step it up. He has not started on his football work yet so it will still be a little while before we see him.”

Axel Tuanzebe, Luke Shaw and Nemanja Matic are all training fully, but none are considered match fit, so a place on the bench seems most likely while Timothy Fosu-Mensah and Eric Bailly (both knee) have stepped up their recovery but they haven’t joined team training yet.

The manager also confirmed that Marcos Rojo has been struggling with a muscle injury:

“Rojo got a muscle injury in training or he’s been struggling with it, so he’s been trying to get back. He’s not ready yet. He had to pull out of the internationals. So maybe [he will be out for] a couple of weeks.”

“Of course, it is always helpful when players are coming back and we have numbers in training, we shouldn’t expect too much of them because they have been out for a long, long time. Axel, the last game he played was Newcastle. Nemanja was injured in the international break that week. Luke has been out for three months now, more or less. At least they are training, training hard, and if we can give them some game time then that will be good.”

Sheffield United

Chris Wilder has mentioned that John Egan “has a chance” of making the Manchester United clash and will be given until the last minute to prove his fitness.

Wilder confirms that Phil Jagielka will replace Egan if he fails to recover. Chris Wilder will also be without Dean Henderson who is ineligible to play against his parent club.

Liverpool

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Jurgen Klopp will make a late decision on Mohamed Salah‘s availability for Saturday’s Premier League clash with Crystal Palace. The forward has been recovering from an ankle issue that ruled him out of international duty but is in training ahead of the trip to Selhurst Park:

“Yesterday he (Salah) trained, he’s trained the whole time since he’s here but only the things we wanted him to do. Today, another important session to see how it looks and then we can make the decision. It’s not that it got worse but it’s still kind of there. That’s the problem. We have to be sensible with things like this. I didn’t make a decision, I have to see the session today.”

Asked for an update on Salah, Andy Robertson, Joel Matip and Van Dijk at his pre-match press conference, the manager said:

“In the moment, yes, Virgil is 100 per cent available. But it’s the time of the year when players get out of the squad overnight, unfortunately, with some other things – getting sick or ill or whatever.

From the others, I cannot say 100 per cent, I don’t know 100 per cent. Today is a very important session to judge that, especially with the players who came back late.

Fabinho, Bobby (Firmino) and Ali (Allison) played on Tuesday, Gini Wijnaldum played on Tuesday, so we have these players where we really need to have a look at how they react and what makes sense for them or not. Nobody came back with a serious injury or something like that.”

On Joe Gomez in context to the incident with Raheem Sterling:

“He (Joe Gomez) is good, better than good. Everything is fine.”

On Xherdan Shaqiri:

He (Shaqiri) was five weeks injured. To get match fitness again, it takes time. He trained this week but not all the same things [as the others]. Apart from that now, he should be completely fine. There’s no reason to rush it now.”

Wolves

Nuno Espirito-Santo had a few words to say about the Wolves squad and their international duties: 

We’ve had a lot of players involved with their countries, achieving qualifications. They came healthy, that’s the most important thing.

In terms of direct injury news, the Wolves gaffer confirmed that they’ll need to make a late call re: Adama Traore who went into the international break with a hamstring injury. Ryan Bennett (groin) is “getting better”, though nothing else has been confirmed. 

Morgan Gibbs-White is still recovering from a back injury, while Willy Boly remains out for the long haul.  

Crystal Palace

There was no messing about in Roy Hodgson’s press conference, he confirmed that Palace have a full selection of players available for the weekend, with there being no injury issues:

(Re: Sakho) He’s fit. They are all fit, we were concerned about Wilfried Zaha but his foot has improved and we think he will be fit for tomorrow.”

Aston Villa

Villa’s main injury worry going into the weekend would be Jack Grealish, who has missed their previous two league games with a calf injury. He’s been training, though Dean Smith wasn’t particularly confident in his statement about Grealish’s fitness for the weekend: 

Jack’s been training with us, but I am a bit ill-at-ease to say he’s been available because I’ve said it the last couple of weeks and he’s not played.

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Another primary injury concern would be Tom Heaton, who’s also nursing a calf injury. He’ll be training throughout the weekend in preparation for Villa’s Monday evening game against Newcastle. 

Norwich City

Norwich have been ravaged by injuries over the past few months, and a few extra pieces of injury news have come in from Daniel Farke’s Friday press conference.

Jamal Lewis has been ruled out following a knee injury picked up over the international break, though with no further news as to how long he’ll be out. 

Club captain Grant Hanley (groin) has had an injury setback, with the hopes being that he can return to training soon. 

Josip Drmic (hamstring) is likely to be out for 8 weeks. Christoph Zimmermann is on the mend, and could be available for the weekend, having been out since August with an ankle injury. 

Kenny McLean and Teemu Pukki have recovered from slight knocks and are available for the weekend. 

Everton

Marco Silva confirmed that Cenk Tosun (groin) is fit for the weekend, though Bernard (knee) and Fabian Delph (thigh) remain big doubts:

He’s (Delph) [still] a big doubt but it’s possible. Bernard is the same. It’s possible next week we’ll have good news about him.

The only further update given was for Gbamin, whose thigh injury will keep him out until the new year. 

Chelsea

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Ahead of Chelsea’s trip to the Etihad, the main piece of news from Frank Lampard’s presser was with regards to Captain America, Christian Pulisic

Lampard confirmed that while Pulisic had been struggling with a knock, he has been in training as of late and is definitely in contention for the City game. 

Someone not quite as lucky would be Callum Hudson-Odoi, who picked up a hamstring issue during the international break – he’ll struggle to participate this weekend. 

Manchester City

Pep hasn’t reported any injury changes since their last Premier League game, stating: 

Same situation, players fit after Liverpool are fit, those injured are still injured a few more months.

Ederson is back in training, doing so over the past few days without feeling any pain, putting him back in the frame for a start this weekend. Leroy Sané (knee) will still be out for several months. 

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