Premier League Press Conference Round-Up: Double Gameweek 29

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 29.

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 double Gameweek 29 everyone – let’s do this.

Sheffield United

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Chris Wilder, has confirmed that both Enda Stevens and John Fleck are fully-fit ahead of Saturday’s clash with Norwich City.

 Both players missed out in midweek as United saw off Reading in the FA Cup. It was widely accepted that Fleck was left out as a precautionary measure.Stevens, on the other hand, had been withdrawn against Brighton through injury. 

“Yes…both fit. Enda is fit. Flecky is fit. No risks on Tuesday night. We wanted to look at Sander (Berge) playing in another position, too. The skipper’s (Billy Sharp) fit, scoring goals which is great.”

Burnley

Ashley Barnes is closing in on a return to the first team but won’t be ready to face Tottenham at Turf Moor on Saturday.

Matt Lowton remains under the care of the medical department as he looks to recover from the knee injury that has kept the right-back out for the last three games and winger Johann Berg Gudmundsson is still on the absent list with a calf problem.

“Barnesy is back on the grass with us now, which is another step forward for him, training with the first-team group. He’s not ready for this weekend but he’s back in full training, which will do him the world of good, and he’s happy to be out there, of course. Johann is still not quite there. It’s minor, but still a frustrating one for him and for us.”

Leicester City

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Brendan Rodgers confirms that Jamie Vardy is “on track” to be available on Monday. The striker has been “training well” but there are concerns over Ben Chilwell at the moment:

“He’ll be assessed over the coming days. It’s a slight twinge of his hamstring.”

Rodgers had expressed concerns over Vardy’s fitness after he suffered his third injury of the year:

“We’re hoping now, that other measures in place behind the scenes can help him. Him being available for this last section of the league will be very, very important.”

Arsenal

Updates from Arsenal’s medical team on Thursday:

Lucas Torreira – “Right ankle. Sustained fracture to right ankle during Portsmouth (a) on Monday. Awaiting further specialist reviews which will determine recovery plan.”

Sead Kolasinac – “Right shoulder. Significant strain to right shoulder joint during Everton (h) on 23 February. Aiming to return to full training by the end of March.”

Kieran Tierney – “Now back in full training.”

Cedric Soares: “Left knee. Aiming to be in full training next week (w/c Monday, March 9).” 

Calum Chambers: “Left knee. Ruptured anterior cruciate ligament of his left knee during Chelsea (h) on December 29. Successful surgery completed. Rehabilitation process expected to take between six to nine months.”

Mikel Arteta on Lucas Torreira:

“He was quite positive this morning. I spoke with him and he was in pain. We don’t really know exactly the extent of the injury. He needs to see the specialist tomorrow here in London and we will know more about it.

Mikel Arteta on Kieran Tierney:

“I don’t know when he will be ready to play but he’s done two or three complete sessions now. He’s feeling more and more confident now with contact around him and hopefully he will join the squad soon.”

Mikel Arteta on Pablo Mari:

He’s recovered really well from the game. He played 45 minutes with the under-23s four days before that game. He played 90 and he said he’s physically good. He trained well and I think he’s ready to play if we need him again on Saturday.”

Brighton

Graham Potter confirmed that only Jose Izquierdo would miss this weekend’s trip to the Midlands. Other than the Colombian’s absence, the head coach has no other injury concerns ahead of the game.

Wolves

Wolves have “some issues” heading into Saturdays’ game with Brighton. Morgan Gibbs-White is a concern while Jonny (ankle) is not yet with the team.

“He is getting better but it will still take some time.” 

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Adama Traore (shoulder) has been passed fit for the visit of Brighton on Saturday.

Southampton

Ralph Hasenhüttl has hinted that both Moussa Djenepo and Danny Ings are in line to return to the starting XI on Saturday, as Saints prepare for the visit of Newcastle United. The winger missed last week’s trip to the capital, following a family bereavement, while caution was exercised over Ings after an intense period of games.

“It wasn’t easy for him (Djenepo), but we’re trying to help him as much as we can. Let’s have a look what we do. Moussa is starting to get his laughter back again, he was not really in a good place after he came back but now it’s getting better and better. It was good that he [Danny Ings] was rested last week because the risk was too high. It was a good decision, although we missed him a little bit. He’s absolutely hungry to score again.”

Stuart Armstrong will miss out having suffered concussion against West Ham while young midfielder Will Smallbone will be absent through illness.

“We have a few problems, especially in the No.10 position. Last week in the game Stu [Armstrong] got concussion after two minutes but played the game. Now he’s been out all week, couldn’t train, because he had symptoms. He has to take a break. Will Smallbone is sick and hasn’t trained all week so he won’t be available. Still Reddie (Nathan Redmond) is out, but Moussa is back. He seems to be in a better mode now.”

Watford

Gerard Deulofeu has ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament and tore the meniscus in his right knee following a challenge with Virgil van Dijk in the 3-0 win over Liverpool on Saturday. He is due to have surgery in Barcelona and will miss the rest of the season.

Apart from Deulofeu and Daryl Janmaat, who is making really good progress following knee surgery, Nigel Pearson has a fully-fit squad to choose from for the visit to Selhurst Park on Saturday.

Nigel Pearson is looking at Roberto Pereyra, Ignacio Pussetto and Danny Welbeck as options to fill Deulofeu’s shoes on the left side of the front three.

Manchester United

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer hopes Harry Maguire will be fit enough to feature in Sunday’s Manchester derby at Old Trafford:

“Well, he’s touch and go because he rolled his ankle but, hopefully, he’ll recover quickly. I wasn’t going to rest him today, I didn’t give him a day off birthday-wise but I hope he’ll be fit.”

Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Daniel James are also doubtful after missing the trip to Pride Park. When asked whether the pair would be fit for Sunday’s test, Solskjaer said it was too early to call:

“I hope so, yes, but none of them have been training yet since the last game, so we’ve got to look at them on Saturday probably because tomorrow is a recovery day.”

Liverpool

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Adrian is set to continue in goal for Liverpool with Alisson Becker ruled out of Saturday’s Premier League clash with Bournemouth.

Jürgen Klopp revealed at his pre-match press conference that Alisson will miss at least the next two games after suffering a muscle injury earlier this week:

“He is not available for the next week, not for tomorrow and not the next week. Then we have to judge the situation new. I would say after the international break he is back 100 per cent, whatever we can get before that we will see.”

Naby Keita could come into contention for Liverpool having returned to training this week but Jordan Henderson will not be considered as he targets a comeback against Atletico Madrid next Wednesday.

Xherdan Shaqiri is still sidelined, too.

Newcastle United

Wide-man Allan Saint-Maximin, who started at West Brom after coming off the bench against Burnley, is expected to be fit to face the Saints. Steve Bruce revealed he has a slight doubt about Javier Manquillo – who only returned from a two-month lay-off last week – though, otherwise, there are no fresh injury concerns for the United head coach.

On Miguel Almiron:

“He’s one of those delights to manage. He’s never a problem – he trains and plays with a smile on his face. You want people like that to do well, and he’s arguably our best player. I think it’s important he plays in his position. I think he’s played to a side to help the team and the balance of the team, but we’ve certainly seen the best of him over the past couple of matches.”

Bournemouth

Eddie Howe has hinted at the possibility of Lloyd Kelly being in contention for AFC Bournemouth’s clash with Premier League leaders Liverpool tomorrow.

Howe has confirmed Kelly had come through several sessions with the rest of the squad and described his return as “great news“, adding it had given everybody a “big lift”.

Howe also said long-term injury victims David Brooks, Arnaut Danjuma and Chris Mepham had yet to train with the first-team group but were making progress.

“They still haven’t trained with us but they are working hard in their respective rehabs and are getting closer. He (Brooks) is building his fitness and endurance levels and his ankle is feeling okay.

I hope he can be integrated into training quite quickly from this point. But when you consider the length of time he’s been out and the fact he hasn’t trained with the group and hasn’t had any games as such, there is still a little bit of work to do with him.”

Loan star Harry Wilson is ineligible to feature against his parent club due to Premier League rules.

Norwich City

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Daniel Farke says Norwichs’ injury situation is improving:

“Our injury situation is much-improved. Tettey & Pukki are both fine and they are available.”

Zimmermann returned to training yesterday.

“We have to see how his body reacts, but he could be involved. There’s a chance.”

Timm Klose is working with the team:

“Next week we will see how his body adapts to the load but he looks alright and it’s good to have him in the dressing room. Perhaps after the next international break, he could be in contention to be picked for one of the games.”

Buendia’s withdrawal vs Tottenham was fatigue-related.

“It was just cramp. He played two games in quick succession so it was a lot for him. We’ll go in a good mood to Sheffield.”

Aston Villa

McGinn is getting closer said Smith:

“He trained with us – non contact – he’s been involved in possession and shape work. He’s getting to where we want him to be. Had a CT Scan to make sure there’s a full union of the fracture. He feels really good which is important.

He’ll be pushing me for Chelsea, that’s for sure. Once he gets on that training ground he’ll move quickly and he’s certainly progressing quickly now.”

Crystal Palace

Roy Hodgson described Tosun’s situation as a “massive, and cruel, blow”, expressing huge sympathy for the Turkish forward who had settled in well in South London.

He said:

“It’s a real blow, it’s a massive blow in particular for him. He was starting to really find his feet at the club, and was hoping to play a much bigger part than he’s had in the last couple of years at Everton.

 

He was looking good in training – we were really thinking it’s going to be great having him with us for the latter part of the season – because he would have brought something we don’t necessarily have within our squad.

For him to get this really bad knee injury, it’s come at a really bad time for everybody – most importantly of all for Cenk. He takes his international football very seriously – he wants to play for his country, so to be hit by this cruel blow, it’s very difficult for him – and we have enormous sympathy for him here at the club – and we really do wish him well with the surgery and hope to see him back very soon. It’s a massive blow to us and to the player.”

Whilst the Tosun news “hit us for six”, elsewhere it was a very positive picture painted by Roy:

James Tomkins has recovered and trained with us this morning [albeit] in a lighter way, but he’ll be back in full training on Monday.”

He also confirmed that Jeffrey Schlupp and Mamadou Sakho were back in full training with the squad this week, and suggested that all are “fit and raring to go”.

Chelsea

Lampard reveals Loftus-Cheek and Pulisic featured in a behind-closed-doors game:

“I just watched it and they are trying to find match fitness.”

Frank hopes Tammy Abraham will return before the end of the month but Callum Hudson-Odoi suffered a setback in training on Thursday “which is frustrating”.

An Achilles injury rules Matteo Kovacic out of Sundays’ game while Willian has been flagged as a doubt.

Tottenham Hotspur

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Eric Dier will play this weekend:

“I don’t think there is any reason for him not to be in the right frame of mind. He played two fantastic matches. He showed me things I couldn’t probably imagine if I had taken over in July.”

Hugo Lloris has returned to full training and in contention for Saturdays’ trip to Turf Moor. The France international has missed Spurs’ last two matches with a groin injury.

Everton

Carlo Ancelotti confirms that Seamus Coleman (thigh) will be out for at least two games. Republic of Ireland boss Mick McCarthy said earlier this week that the full-back could miss between 4-6 weeks.

Cenk Tosun is scheduled for knee surgery next week while Lucas Digne is fit for the trip to Stamford Bridge.

Manchester City

Leroy Sane is making “big progress” but the winger is still not 100 per cent.

“He has to be ready and fit. Every week he is getting better and after I will try to give him minutes to get back ASAP, but for this game, no.”

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Pep says Kevin De Bruyne is “getting better” but when pushed on his involvement this Sunday, he remained coy:

“De Bruyne is getting better, training and tomorrow he will improve. He feels better. We will see (for Sunday).”

West Ham

In terms of the team news, David Moyes reports that he nearly has a full squad to choose from again as Tom Soucek and Andriy Yarmolenko near full fitness: 

“We’re getting much closer to a full squad. Tomas Soucek’s doing very well and he’s just about match-fit, very close to it now, so he’s recovered very quickly. Yarmolenko’s back training, so we’re very close to getting everybody back fit.

Andriy’s not available this weekend, he’s only just started training, but Tomas has got a very good chance [of featuring].”

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