Premier League Press Conference Round-Up: Gameweek 25

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 Double Gameweek 25.

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 25 everyone – let’s do this.

Sheffield United

David McGoldrick is the only doubt for this weekend’s trip to Crystal Palace. Callum Robinson and Kean Bryan have been loaned out to West Brom and Bolton Wanderers respectively.

The Blades have also confirmed the signing of Norwegian midfielder Sander Berge from Genk on a long term contract.

“David McGoldrick, we’re assessing this week. That took a little bit of a setback in the week. We’ll assess that today. Hopefully he’ll be OK for the weekend. If not, we’ll go with what we’ve got.”

On Callum Robinson:

“He started the season off in great fashion, he’s made starts against Liverpool and Man City and had some big cameos against the likes of Arsenal & Manchester United. It’s a good move for Callum and his development”

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On Sander Berge:

“He’s a Norwegian international who has played 20 times for his country, he’s also played Champions League football and we’re delighted he has decided to come to Bramall Lane. Sander is someone we have known about for quite a while now. We have tracked him over a sustained period of time, he was a player we highlighted as someone who could come in and really improve us and we are thrilled he’s agreed to come here.

When we sat down with Sander it was clear that he was really excited about coming here and that was great to see. I think this signing just shows how far we have come in a short space of time, that we are now attracting the likes of Sander to the football club. It’s a brilliant signing for us.”

Sheff United have also completed the signing of Ajax forward Richairo Zivkovic on a loan deal from Changchun Yatai.

Aston Villa

Dean Smith has confirmed on Thursday that his whole squad came through Tuesday night unscathed. Long-term absentees Wesley, Tom Heaton, John McGinn and Jed Steer aside, Smith has a fully fit squad to choose from.

“Pretty much the same as it was prior to the Leicester City game. Only the long-term injuries who are out. Pepe Reina‘s trained Wednesday and Thursday so he’s available for selection which is good news for everybody, especially having two quality goalkeepers.

Ørjan Nyland had a fantastic performance in the week, it’s great for me to be able to choose from two great goalkeepers.”

Brighton

Graham Potter has confirmed that the side will be without defender Shane Duffy for the game this weekend. Dan Burn and Jose Izquierdo also remain sidelined while Cameroonian defender Gaetan Bong has joined Championship club Nottingham Forest until June, 2022.

 “Shane (Duffy) had a collision injury on his shin and he just needed to clear that up, we’re hopeful he can be available next weekend against Watford.”

On Gaetan Bong:

“I have only worked with Gaetan for six months or so, but I do know all about the part he played in helping the club get to the Premier League and then establish itself at this level. I’m sure his contribution over the last four years will not be forgotten by our supporters.”

Manchester United

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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer on new signing Bruno Fernandes‘ debut:

“He’s fit enough to play and he’ll be involved definitely. He’ll be in the squad. Let’s get the training out of the way today. He’s had of course a few hectic days now and even with his little daughter’s three-year birthday yesterday, so I don’t know how much he will be involved, but he’s in the squad.”

On Marcos Rojo‘s loan move to Estudiantes: 

“Marcos is a lovely lad, he’s got the fire in his belly, he’s a winner and he wasn’t getting enough football here. It was important for him to start playing. He was in the away end against City, he was there at Liverpool, he’s such a passionate guy and he wants to support this team. He wants to come back a fitter and better player, hopefully having played well for Estudiantes and helped Seba [Veron] and his club and gone to the Copa America. So that was something we just had to do.”

Nemanja Matic is suspended for the game against Wolves while Scott McTominay (knee) and Paul Pogba (ankle) are working their way back to fitness.

Crystal Palace

Roy Hodgson has confirmed that Patrick van Aanholt, Joel Ward, Andros Townsend and Christian Benteke have all recovered in time for the game against Sheffield United.

Andros is back, he’s recovered from his injury as has Joel Ward and Patrick van Aanholt, as has Christian Benteke and Luka (Milivojevic) is no longer suspended. It’s very different to what we’ve had in the last few weeks. It’s better, the injury situation has improved enormously.

The manager also revealed that Cenk Tosun, Mamadou Sakho and Jeffrey Schlupp will be unavailable for the meeting with the Blades.

“Mamadou Sakho is still missing alongside Jeffrey Schlupp because it’s a long term injury [for both]. They’re both quite serious injuries and when it happened I was told to not count on them being back for months rather than weeks.

We’ve had to add Cenk Tosun to that list because he got a hamstring injury in the last game against Southampton. He’s been having treatment all week. The good news is he can’t play against Everton anyway so he’s got plenty of time to recover for our next game after that one.”

Leicester City

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Jamie Vardy could ‘potentially’ start for Leicester City in Saturday’s Premier League clash against Chelsea at King Power Stadium according to Brendan Rodgers.

Wes Morgan, who picked up an issue following the Emirates FA Cup victory at Brentford last Saturday, remains unavailable.

“We’ve still got Wes Morgan out, he’s unavailable. We got a couple of minor knocks from the game in the week but it’ll be the same squad.”

On Vardy:

“He was okay, we found no side effects after the game. He’s trained today and was good.”

Southampton

Southampton will be without midfielder Stuart Armstrong for ‘two to three weeks’ after suffering a hip injury last weekend. Ralph Hasenhüttl reported an otherwise clean bill of health for the Anfield clash. 

“Cédric is out and Stuart [Armstrong] is injured and cannot train at the moment. It’ll take two to three weeks, I think, until he’s back in the team. It’s not the worst but he has a little bit of a problem with his hip muscles so he is out. The rest look good, Yan Valery is back in training since the beginning of the week and Jannik Vestergaard is back from his concussion and also training. Everyone is fit.”

Hasenhüttl also confirmed that new loan signing Kyle Walker-Peters will not be included in the matchday squad this weekend.

“He will not be in the squad and this is normal, I’m happy he’s here since yesterday and has had two sessions now, plus he’s in all our meetings as it’s important for him to see how we want to play and to know all the principles in our game. It’s important for him to learn as quickly as possible. He can’t play at Tottenham next week so it gives him two weeks to prepare for the Burnley game, which he’ll need.”

Everton

Carlo Ancelotti says Andre Gomes could be in contention for Arsenal after the winter break. He re-joined the group in training this week just 86 days after a dislocation-fracture of the ankle:

“He has had a fantastic recovery, because he’s almost fit, but we need to be careful with him.”

Jean-Philippe Gbamin is set for more surgery following a setback in training. Ancelotti “hopes” to see him before the end of the season. 

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Richarlison is back after missing the last two fixtures with a knee injury. A groin issue also forced Gylfi Sigurdsson to the sidelines for the same period but he returns as well. Alex Iwobi (hamstring) has been passed fit.

Watford

Nigel Pearson has confirmed that the time is right for Danny Welbeck to be involved in the squad to face Everton on Saturday.

“Welbeck is in the squad. He is a really good player and a big character in the dressing room. He gives us another option and his track record is excellent. He has been training with the team for three weeks and has looked really good from his first day with us.”

Kiko Femenía and Ismaila Sarr are ruled out for this weekend but Will Hughes returns to the squad.

“Sarr won’t be available this week, It’s disappointing to lose Ismaïla. He is making good progress, but he won’t be available for Saturday. Will [Hughes] will be back in the squad, he has trained this week and looks good. It’s great for us when he’s playing as he’s done exceptionally well for us. Tom Cleverley has trained today with the squad and he looks really good. He won’t be included this weekend but he has made really good progress. It’s great to have talented players back in the fold. We know what Tom is capable of and he’s desperate to be back involved.”

Newcastle United

Steve Bruce feels that Newcastle United’s three January signings will have a “big part to play” between now and the end of the campaign.

The Magpies have added Nabil Bentaleb, Valentino Lazaro and Danny Rose to their ranks over the past month, the latter having arrived from Tottenham yesterday for the remainder of the season. Newcastle are still missing a clutch of players – including Paul Dummett and Jetro Willems, neither of whom will play again this season.

With the three new lads, it’s essential they’ve come into the squad and they’ll have a big part to play over the next three or four months. Very quietly, we’ve gone about it in the right way. I think the three players that we’ve brought in have brought that little bit of quality to the squad.

That’s what I was always, always trying to do. Whether we’ll do anything more today (Friday), I doubt, but I’m delighted with what we’ve done. There’s one or two we tried for and couldn’t quite get, but that’s always the case. I’ve always said that if we can’t get the right one, we’ll wait and keep our powder dry for the summer, until the market is far easier than it is for all of us in this crazy four weeks.

On other team news, Dwight Gayle, Yoshinori Muto and Andy Carroll are among those still sidelined, while Jonjo Shelvey has been added to the injury list and will be out for a couple of weeks.

“In two weeks, probably for the Arsenal game, we’ll have Andy Carroll, Dwight Gayle and Muto all available.”

Bournemouth

Eddie Howe expects Jefferson Lerma and Diego Rico to be in contention to face Aston Villa tomorrow. Howe confirmed Rico has been “carrying a couple of injuries” and said Lerma had been playing through a groin complaint:

“We needed to manage them rather than running the risk of losing them long term. Hopefully, the rest will have done them good.”

Howe said the visit of Villa to Vitality Stadium would probably come too soon for Joshua King, Jack Stacey and Junior Stanislas:

“We are not too dissimilar to how we were for the Brighton game. We will see who’s fit for this game.”

Tottenham Hotspur

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Harry Winks is available although he continues to manage an ongoing issue:

“I’ve had pain in my ankle for the last year or so and I can’t catch a break as I keep rolling it and having problems with it. I’m learning to deal with it and getting through the pain.”

Jose Mourinho confirms that new signing Steven Bergwijn will be in the squad to face Manchester City on Sunday.

Wolves

Nuno Espirito Santo says Willy Boly is fit enough, and could start against United on Saturday evening, while Diogo Jota has fully recovered from his calf injury:

“Both have been back in training for more than a week.”

Burnley

Gudmundsson (hamstring) and Ashley Barnes (hernia) will not be available for the game vs Arsenal Sean Dyche confirms. Aside from that, Dyche reports no other injury concerns. 

New signing Josh Brownhill could be involved.

Norwich

Team news at Norwich is more positive this time around:

Buendia is back, and has been since Wednesday.”

Todd Cantwell and Ibrahim Amadou also return to boost options for Daniel Farke however, Ben Godfrey is suspended.

Arsenal

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Arteta will have Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and David Luiz back available: 

“Yeah we missed them. It’s good to have top players back in the squad. They’ve been training well so we have more bodies available.” 

On Shokdran Mustafi’s injury: 

“Yes. It’s not as bad as we thought. He’s been having treatment, he’s been doing a little bit of treatment, and we’re feeling positive about him.”

Arteta on new signing Cedric Soares: 

“He’s a player who’s got a big experience. He’s played in different countries, he’s played in this league, he knows what it means. He’s very willing to go to another top club and he’s got that desire, that commitment.

I followed him a few seasons ago, I started to follow him and I really like what he can bring. They were the right conditions for us as well to try to improve the squad.”

Arteta on new singing Pablo Mari: 

“For me, it’s very important. He balances what I want to do from the back line, he gives more options, more solutions, he opens up the pitch more. Again, he’s a player that we’ve been following for the last few months. We are really happy to have him.”

Chelsea

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Tammy Abraham did train today, but Lampard admits the striker is still in pain. A late decision will be made on his involvement this weekend. 

There are no new injury concerns ahead of tomorrow’s game. Aside from questions marks over Abraham, Reece James has been on the training pitches but Christian Pulisic and Ruben Loftus-Cheek remain out.

Liverpool

Adam Lallana and Divock Origi are in line to be available for Saturday’s clash with Southampton, but James Milner and Xherdan Shaqiri are not yet ready to return.

“Not for this game but then afterwards, hopefully. Adam trained normally, Divock was cramp. He didn’t train yesterday because it was not a day for him to train. But I heard nothing else so he should be in training today.”

As mentioned from Klopp mid-week, the game this weekend comes too soon for Sadio Mané

Manchester City

On team news, Pep had the following to say: 

Aymeric Laporte is okay, he had fatigue – he wasn’t injured. Maybe he can play against Spurs. Leroy Sané has started to train [with the team] and is doing really well; it’s nice to see him back.”

There was no mention of Fernandinho or Benjamin Mendy. Pep said that neither were “completely fit” mid-week, and although he was sure they would return in GW26, he couldn’t guarantee anything for Sunday.

“I don’t know for Spurs. We don’t take risks.”

West Ham

On the subject of team news, Moyes had the following to say about his squad: 

“We still have a few injuries but we’re beginning to get one or two back. We were glad to have Fabianski back. The likes of Felipe Anderson are on the grass but not quite ready at this moment in time.”

Jack Wilshere has had surgery to remedy an ongoing groin issue, and Moyes is not prepared to take any chances with Michail Antonio who is still “feeling his hamstring a little bit.” It could be after the break before Andriy Yarmolenko and Ryan Fredericks return.

On new signing Tomas Soucek

“He’s only had a few days’ training but he’s been at a training camp in their winter break. He’s got an ability to get forward and cover a lot of ground for us during the season.

“We’re just trying to weigh up where he is. I’m going to have him involved tomorrow but it could be a bit quick for him. We’ll assess that.”

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