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 14
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 14 everyone – let’s do this.
Manuel Pellegrini has no fresh injury concerns ahead of Saturday’s Premier League derby at Chelsea.
Pellegrini will be without Lukasz Fabianski, Manuel Lanzini and Jack Wilshere for the trip to Stamford Bridge, where West Ham United will be seeking to end a run of seven top-flight games without a win.
Speaking in his pre-match press conference, the Chilean told the media he expects goalkeeper Fabianski and midfielder Lanzini to recover from their respective hip and shoulder injuries on schedule, if their rehabilitation continues to go to plan:
“One not available is Jack Wilshere. He continues with some problem in his movements. I hope that next week he will start working with the squad.
Lukasz Fabianski is continuing with his recovery from his surgery. The diagnosis of Lukasz is clear – after you have surgery, you need some amount of time to recover, so he’s working the same way we expected from the first day. We will see what the doctors say. In his last month, in one month more, you don’t know how he is, but the first date that was around was around Christmas, but we cannot give you an exact date.
Manuel Lanzini just started working yesterday on the pitch again, but he needs at least one month more without any problems with his shoulder – he cannot have any [physical] contact so needs at least one month more.”
The manager also revealed that Winston Reid will return to full first-team training next week after successfully playing his first 90 minutes for the U23s in Wednesday’s 3-1 Premier League International Cup win at Brighton & Hove Albion, saying:
“Winston Reid is playing already 90 minutes with the U23s, so next week he will start working with us.”
Fabian Balbuena could return to the side as Issa Diop serves a one-match ban after collecting his fifth caution of the season against Tottenham.
Jose Mourinho has been reflecting on the loss of Ben Davies – Davies damaging ankle ligaments against West Ham last weekend:
“That’s a blow especially for a boy that was feeling my trust to start my first game. He was playing well, he was adapting to our way of playing.
It is sad news for him but he will be back and we will survive without him. I trust the other people who can play in the same position, like Danny [Rose] did in the last match.”
Sean Dyche says Danny Drinkwater has “worked well” following his recovery from an ankle injury, and the Chelsea loanee comes into his thinking for this weekend:
“His sharpness is improving, so he’s in the mix.”
Meanwhile, Ashley Westwood must sit this one out after receiving his fifth caution of the season at Vicarage Road.
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Solly March (tight groin) is a doubt for the game at Anfield, but Aaron Connolly is back in contention after suffering a groin-related injury against Manchester United back in week twelve:
“We’ve got Solly March who has a bit of tightness in his groin so he’s doubtful at the moment for the weekend. Aaron Connolly is back in the squad and training now too. Bernardo got his first 45 minutes last night but Saturday will come a bit too soon.”
Lewis Dunk returns to the matchday day squad after missing the defeat to Leicester due to suspension.
Joel Ward had to leave the pitch against Liverpool early, much like he did in the previous game at Stamford Bridge however, unlike the Chelsea knock, Hodgson has revealed that Ward’s injury is a more severe one and will see him sidelined for a period of time:
“We’ve recovered well [over recent weeks]. It is of course only Joel Ward, who was taken off [against Liverpool], and his injury I’m afraid will keep him out for a number of weeks, but he’s the only one at the moment.”
Despite the Ward announcement, there was some positive news in regards to the defensive ranks with Hodgson commenting on Mamadou Sakho’s ever-increasing return to sharpness:
“Mamadou has been fine for a while. The last two weeks he’s been training so it’s just a question of getting back, if you like, to the full fitness level he wants to achieve and to do that he’s got to play some matches.”
Manager Ralph Hasenhüttl will be without midfielder Stuart Armstrong for Saturday’s Premier League meeting with Watford, as he recovers from a hamstring problem sustained against Arsenal five days prior.
Sofiane Boufal has also suffered a toe injury midweek, and will be unlikely to feature, while Jannik Vestergaard has been missing through illness, ruling him out of a chunk of this week’s training programme.
Encouragingly, Moussa Djenepo, who had previously been sidelined for a month with a tendon problem, has returned to action unscathed and is available for the visit of Watford:
“We have a few issues. One is Stuart Armstrong, in the last game at the end he cramped a little. He has a few problems with his hamstrings. He isn’t able to play at the weekend. Maybe two weeks he is out – after Newcastle we will look again.
Sofiane Boufal hit his toe, and hasn’t been able to train for three days. It’s a bit swollen still. It will be a little bit difficult for the weekend.
Jannik was ill two days but today has been back in training. That’s the latest news.”
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Howe gave updates on Joshua King, David Brooks and Ryan Fraser. King will miss the game after returning from international duty with a hamstring injury last week which forced him out of the home game with Wolves as well:
“Joshua is still out. We haven’t seen David Brooks on the training ground just yet either and the long-termers are still unavailable.
Ryan Fraser got a knock on his leg, a dead leg really. We didn’t see him at training in the early part of this week, but hopefully he’ll be ok.”
Howe also gave the latest on Dominic Solanke, who was unable to come off the bench against Wolves due to a tweak at half-time against Wolves:
“He felt his hamstring in the warm up when he was having a shot on goal. He was then warming up again at half time and felt that he couldn’t sprint. He had a scan on Monday and that came back all clear, so he should be ok for the weekend’s game.”
As well injuries in and around the squad, Simon Francis and Philip Billing will also miss this weekend’s game at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium due to suspension.
Quique Sánchez Flores will be without Craig Dawson (head), Christian Kabasele (hamstring) and Daryl Janmaat (knee) this weekend. They join Tom Cleverley (heel), Danny Welbeck (hamstring) and Sebastian Prödl (knee) on the injury list. Daniel Bachmann (hamstring) and Domingos Quina (groin) have trained during the week:
“[Dawson] will not be available, he received a couple of cuts in the head and has had stitches. It would be a risk to play the player and we are not going to risk any player. We are not this desperate to risk a player, not now and not in the future. We need to respect the players.”
Captain Troy Deeney has continued to regain fitness during the week, while Roberto Pereyra’s inclusion in first-team training was a positive for the Hornets – although this weekend may come too soon for the Argentine according to Sánchez Flores:
“I’m not sure if he [Pereyra] is in a position to play in the first XI. It’s been two weeks now [since his injury] and we need to feel like the players are at 100 per cent to play. So, if I don’t feel like he is 100 per cent to play in the first XI then he will not play in the first XI.”
Steve Bruce says he was “devastated” to learn that Matt Ritchie required a second ankle operation:
“We did give him a period of rest; he went to see the specialist again and had the operation the next morning. We hope this time he’s back in training in early January.”
DeAndre Yedlin “has a (hip) problem” and may not make the early kick-off. Emil Krafth would be his likely replacement. Sean Longstaff returns after his three-match absence due to suspension.
Other than the skipper – Jamaal Lascelles (fractured tibia) – and those already mentioned, everyone else is fit and available. Florian Lejeune will be hoping to force his way into the matchday squad following a return to full fitness.
Scott McTominay could be involved when the West Midlands club comes to Manchester this weekend. The Scotland international has been missing since picking up a problem during the 3-1 win over Brighton & Hove Albion on 10 November:
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“We hope Scotty will be back as soon as possible, but he’s also been back home and I’ve not seen him. Maybe [he will be fit to face] Spurs but hopefully for Sunday.”
Paul Pogba is unlikely to return for the Reds this weekend, as he continues his recovery from an ankle injury which has kept him sidelined since the end of September:
“Paul is stepping up his recovery and let’s see how soon he’ll be match fit and available. Of course, he’ll be like a new signing for us. He’s not really been able to play for us and, when we get him back, it’ll be like a new world-class signing and world-class midfielder.
We want him back as soon as possible. Sunday? No. I can’t say now as I’ve not been home and seen him. Let’s see where he’s at when he comes back and he starts training with us.”
Chris Wilder confirms Lys Mousset has recovered from the hamstring issue that forced him off last weekend:
“We all feared the worst when Lys pulled up. He’s been outstanding. He just ran out of gas. The amount of effort he put into that game was phenomenal. He’ll be involved Sunday.”
With that good news, comes more, as John Egan has recovered:
“We should have John Egan Back. He’s got to oust Phil Jagielka who I thought was outstanding on Sunday. No issues, a full group travel down to Wolverhampton on Saturday, looking forward to the game on Sunday.”
Will update as and when news becomes available.
Grant Hanley is still on his way back from a groin injury. Timm Klose side-lined long-term, and there are no guarantees he will play again this season. Alex Tettey misses out due to personal reasons and Jamal Lewis has rejoined the group following a knee injury.
Good news is that Cristoph Zimmermann returns with Farke explaining how important that is for the Canaries:
“Zimmermann was our key player in defence last season. To have him back is always important with his skills. His experience helps the young players,”
Todd Cantwell left Goodison Park with his left foot in a protective boot. The midfielder wasn’t able to train from Monday to Wednesday however, he did return to training on Thursday:
“So, I think he’ll be available.”
Josip Drmic (hamstring) is not expected to play again this year. Physios have reported roughly 8 weeks.
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Frank provided a pivotal update on Tammy Abraham’s fitness:
“We’ll know by the end of the weekend. He’s got some pain so won’t be involved tomorrow and we’ll see by Monday.”
He says he has full confidence in the other centre-forward options in his squad. In particular, Lampard praised Michy Batshuayi’s attitude while he’s been out of the team:
“It’s not easy when you’re not playing as many minutes as you want. I’ve seen a great work ethic and quality.”
Antonio Rudiger is “getting closer” and the centre-back is “working very hard” as part of a mini-preseason to regain his fitness levels. No mention of Hudson-Odoi but Lampard had this to say ahead of Valencia:
“He is getting better, so hopefully he will be better for the weekend.”
The injury situation does not look good. Decisions will be made after the final session on Saturday. Morgan Schneiderlin and Theo Walcott are “big doubts” while Fabian Delph is struggling to shake off a hamstring problem:
“It will be tough for him to be fit for the match.”
Bernard is back in full training, but he needs time to build fitness and a place on the bench seems likely.
Seamus Coleman has been ruled out whilst Silva confirmed Richarlison will be okay.
No new injury concerns for Villa with the latest news revolving around Smith signing a new 4 year deal for the Clarets.
Update from Arsenal’s medical team:
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The heavy focus will be on Unai Emery being sacked however, with the club stating the following:
“Our most sincere thanks go to Unai and his colleagues who were unrelenting in their efforts to get the club back to competing at the level we all expect and demand. We wish Unai and his team nothing but future success.
The decision has been taken due to results and performances not being at the level required.
We have asked Freddie Ljungberg to take responsibility for the first team as interim head coach. We have full confidence in Freddie to take us forward.
The search for a new head coach is underway and we will make a further announcement when that process is complete.”
Speaking to the national media on Friday, Rodgers revealed that Jonny Evans has been in training at Belvoir Drive and will be available this weekend:
“He has trained. He had one day free because his wife, Helen, gave birth to a baby boy so he’s had an eventful few weeks! He’s fine. It’s a combination of being away with the international team. He’s been training for a few days so he’s fit and ready for the weekend.”
No other injury concerns for Leicester.
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Jurgen Klopp has been reacting to the news that Fabinho will be out until the New Year after suffering an injury in the game against Napoli:
“It’s absolutely bad news. I have nothing good to say about that. I’m not sure how long it’ll take but it’s looking like he won’t be involved in the Christmas fixtures.
It was my main problem after the game but we have solutions and replacements for him. We can play without him. We are not the only team with injury players. We have to deal with it and we will.”
Aside from that, Xerdan Shaqiri is fit, Naby Keita returns after illness, whilst Adam Lallana and Oxlade-Chamberlain are both ready.
Joel Matip is scheduled to have another scan on his knee this afternoon to see how his recovery is progressing.
No fresh injury concerns for City. “Normal situation,” said Pep. “Long injuries are long (Laporte and Sané).”
Sergio Agüero and Oleksandr Zinchenko remain side-lined during the short-term. “The others are fit.”