Round up of the press conferences from injury guru Ben Dinnery ahead of FPL Gameweek 22. All the latest team news for fantasy football managers to digest before making those all-important transfers.
Eddie Howe reveals there are a "couple" of players who are closing in on a return. "They will strengthen us greatly [and] we will make late calls on them." The Bournemouth boss was giving nothing away but based on initial timelines - Adam Smith and Lloyd Kelly - should be among those while Nathan Ake won't be too far away either. Joshua King and Jack Stacey aren’t due back until next month, and Arnaut Danjuma has just completed a short stint at the Aspetar clinic in Doha.
Mikel Arteta named a strong side in the FA Cup on Monday making only four changes for the visit of Championship leaders Leeds United. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was one of those omitted from the squad, but his absence was due to illness, which he has now overcome. Héctor Bellerín will not feature this weekend, but he has taken part in aspects of training, meaning a return won’t be too far off. Only long-termers - Kieran Tierney and Calum Chambers - are currently listed as injured, which means the Gunners should be close to full strength as they look to make it three wins on the spin.
Jonathan Kodjia remains a doubt after missing the midweek cup clash with Leicester City. The forward fell ill on the eve of the tie and has not trained since; however, he could still feature as Villa have an extra recovery day. A decision will be made after the final session on Saturday. Keinan Davis (hamstring) is still a few weeks away from a return while John McGinn, Wesley and Tom Heaton remain out long-term. Jed Steer (Achilles) could be back next month.
Brighton and Hove Albion
Glenn Murray is back in contention after missing the FA Cup defeat to Sheffield Wednesday due to a minor knock. "He's been training as normal,” but with only three league starts under his belt, and none since September, a place on the bench is the best the veteran striker can hope for. Aaron Mooy is a slight doubt after missing training “for the last few days" reveals Graham Potter. The Aussie midfielder has picked up an unspecified knock, and he’s the only one facing a late test. Jose Izquierdo (knee) and Dan Burn (fractured clavicle) are targeting a return next month, but Solly March is available following his recovery from groin surgery.
Ashley Barnes will meet with a specialist ahead of GW22 as the striker continues to manage a niggling groin issue. “He could figure at Chelsea,” but Sean Dyche says that it is highly unlikely. “He was getting through games, but it’s an overuse injury, and it’s taken its toll." Johann Berg Gudmundsson will not feature at Stamford Bridge; the winger suffered a setback in his first start having been sidelined for over two months. “It’s a straight-forward hamstring injury, nothing too bad, but he still won’t be involved. It has to settle down." Dwight McNeil is expected to shake off a knock, and Chris Wood should recover after complaining of a tight hamstring. Aaron Lennon (groin) is being monitored but looks to be okay, and Ben Gibson is close following a full week of training. However, Dyche believes the defender could do with a game "to get his eye back in” first. Phil Bardsley and Jay Rodriguez have both missed sessions this week through illness and a decision on their involvement will be made on Friday.
Olivier Giroud will only be allowed to leave the club if it is "right for everybody." Frank Lampard is yet to decide on the strikers' future who has been linked with a move to Italy. Ruben Loftus-Cheek is still a while away and is expected to feature for the development side before coming back into first-team contention. Christian Pulisic is out for a "few weeks" due to a "nasty" tendon injury which he suffered in training last Saturday. Marcos Alonso is improving, but he won't be ready, so Emerson will continue to provide cover.
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