Round up of the press conferences from injury guru Ben Dinnery ahead of FPL Gameweek 38+. All the latest team news for fantasy football managers to digest before making those all-important transfers.
Eddie Howe refused to rule Nathan Ake out of Sundays’ game despite the centre-back missing the last two after suffering a muscular issue. “Nathan’s a big part of our squad, whether he’s fit for the game we’ll have to wait and see. He’s got a very minor groin problem,” he said. Adam Smith is expected to return for the first time since suffering a head injury in the draw with Tottenham earlier this month. “He should be fit after his concussion, apart from that we’ve got a few knocks and niggles but nothing major to reveal.” Charlie Daniels, Chris Mepham and Simon Francis (all knee) will miss the final fixture, a game they must win to stand any chance of remaining in the top-flight.
There is no change in the Arsenal treatment room. Shkodran Mustafi (hamstring) has been ruled out of the “remaining matches”, and further details on his recovery programme will be announced in the coming days. Goalkeeper Bernd Leno has an outside chance of facing Chelsea at Wembley in the FA Cup as he aims to be back in full training next week. Mikel Arteta remains coy on whether Mesut Ozil or Matteo Guendouzi would play again this season, although the Spaniard confirmed that both players “are available” if required. Gabriel Martinelli will not feature again this year while Pablo Mari should be back in September. Reiss Nelson, who missed the loss at Villa Park due to a groin injury, is a doubt although an update was not offered.
Villa gave themselves a fighting chance with an unlikely win over Arsenal, and their survival hopes rest in their own hands. Victory at West Ham should be enough to see off Watford who dropped into the bottom three following the heavy home defeat to Manchester City. Dean Smith confirms Elmohamady will miss the final game and Frédéric Guilbert looks set to deputise: “Ahmed came off [Gameweek 37] with a hamstring injury, so he won’t be fit.” Neil Taylor is due to train on Saturday, and if the full-back comes through the session unscathed, then he will be included in the matchday 20 although Matt Targett is expected to retain his place. Elsewhere, Wesley, Tom Heaton and Bjorn Engels are the only other confirmed absentees.
Brighton and Hove Albion
Graham Potter is expecting the “same squad” from the 0-0 draw with Newcastle on Monday evening. Long-termer Jose Izquierdo remains out while Steven Alzate had surgery to remedy a persistent groin problem. Alireza Jahanbakhsh has recovered from a tight hamstring and is hoping to force his way into the squad for the final game.
Since the restart last month, only Manchester City (18) and Manchester United (17) have earned more Premier League points than Burnley (15). The Clarets take on Brighton at Turf Moor, and Sean Dyche confirms that Ashley Barnes, Ben Mee, Matt Lowton, Jack Cork and Charlie Taylor will all miss the final game of the season. “All others are fit and available for selection,” but Dyche is unlikely to call on his development players. “With all due respect, some of the young players here are good, but I still don’t think many of them are quite ready to start. They might get a glimmer from the bench.”
Frank Lampard reveals N’Golo Kante could be fit for Chelsea’s final fixture after missing the last five due to a hamstring injury. “There is a possibility he will feature,” the Blues boss said. “He’s trained for the first time towards a match pace so it’s a decision I will have to make.” Ross Barkley should return to the squad after missing the loss at Anfield because of illness – Billy Gilmour (knee surgery) will not return until later this year.
Luka Milivojevic “may have a chance” of recovering from a knee injury. “We’ll have to make a decision on his fitness tomorrow,” Roy Hodgson said during Fridays’ media briefing. No-one else is expected to be close… meaning the Eagles will have at least five missing. Tyrick Mitchell could deputise again after impressing the boss in the absence of Patrick van Aanholt. “He handled the game very well at Wolves. I think he must be quite satisfied with how he played.” Cheikhou Kouyate is an option to replace the injured Mamadou Sakho while Martin Kelly is also fit and ready.
Carlo Ancelotti confirms striker Moise Kean will be fit to face Bournemouth after missing the trip to Bramall Lane due to a knee injury sustained in training. “If he is in good condition, and recovers well, then he can start,” revealed the Italian. The Toffees will once again be without defenders Yerry Mina and Mason Holgate which means Jarrad Branthwaite looks set for another start. Midfielders Fabian Delph and Jean-Philippe Gbamin are sidelined along with Cenk Tosun.
Brendan Rodgers confirms that Leicester have no new injuries to the squad. Six players will be missing – James Maddison, Ben Chilwell, Caglar Soyuncu, Christian Fuchs, Daniel Amartey and Ricardo Pereira – with Marc Albrighton scheduled to have a final fitness test ahead of the game; he has a “chance” of making Sunday. Jamie Vardy remains in pole position – two clear – for the Golden Boot: “Jamie has been outstanding,” said Rodgers. “These are the occasions where he really comes to the fore. He’s a big-game player. He’ll want to finish the season strongly. We hope [he can win]. It would be an incredible achievement and would cap off a very terrific season.”
It remains to be seen which Liverpool side turns up at St James’ Park after the Reds were officially crowned Premier League champions on Wednesday. United will be hoping that Jurgen Klopp’s men are still celebrating their first title in 30 years although, publicly, at least, they will not “switch off” until after the final whistle. With no FA Cup or Champions League fixtures to consider, Liverpool have nothing to play for, and this may be an opportunity to rotate and involve those on the periphery of the starting XI. James Milner is back which leaves only Joel Matip and FWA Player of the Year Jordan Henderson in the treatment room.
Guardiola handed his players a few days off ahead of the game… “because we don’t play for anything and neither do Norwich.” That explains why Raheem Sterling was pictured in St. Tropez earlier this week. However, it doesn’t mean that the Citizens will go easy on Norwich with places up for grabs in the Champions League (vs Real Madrid) 12 days from now. Pep would also like his side to hit 100 goals again (currently three short) while Kevin de Bruyne is aiming to equal/surpass Thierry Henry’s assists record (needs at least one more). Sterling himself is hoping to score 20 Premier League goals. Good luck, Norwich!
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will give his players a few days off after the game at Leicester with United then due to play Austrian side LASK at Old Trafford on 5 August in the Europa League. A win at the King Power could mean a Champions League spot and Ole insists his side will not change their approach. “We want to go there and try and win the game.” Luke Shaw (ankle) and Eric Bailly (concussion) will be given as “much time as possible” to prove their fitness. “I’m not going to rule anything out,” said the United manager who confirmed that defenders Axel Tuanzebe and Phil Jones are the only players certain to miss out. Aaron Wan-Bissaka is fine after he was restricted to a role from the bench on Wednesday because of a minor knock.
Sean Longstaff and Isaac Hayden (both hamstring) “might” be available for the visit of Liverpool but Steve Bruce has concerns over the fitness of Emil Krafth who took a “nasty whack” on his ankle at Brighton. “We’ll see how he is over the next 24 hours.” Development player Kell Watts is available and could provide cover, although the United boss will err on the side of caution given his lack of game time since the shutdown. “There’s a possibility [he could make his debut]. He hasn’t played for something like five months so it’d be a big ask. He was out on loan [at Mansfield] and did very well, and we’re pleased with his progress.” Ciaran Clark, Florian Lejeune, Jamaal Lascelles, Paul Dummett and Fabian Schar are all ruled out, but it is hoped that they will be “there or thereabouts” when the team returns for pre-season in mid-August.
The Canaries will bow out of the Premier League at The Etihad on Sunday and away fixtures don’t get much tougher than the former champions. Norwich have added Emiliano Buendia and Josip Drmic after their red cards (GW37), plus Alex Tettey (knee) and Timm Klose (hamstring) to the missing register which already has Sam Byram, Moritz Leitner and Grant Hanley listed. However, ever the optimist, Daniel Farke insists his side will not rollover. “We have to play without so many players, but this is a similar situation to when we first played Manchester City. We know we’re the underdogs and a win won’t let us stay in this league, but we must present ourselves the best we can on the biggest stage.”
The Blades have a “few bumps and bruises” plus a few tired players following the loss to Everton which Chris Wilder will check on, and with United no longer able to qualify for Europe, there could be changes in the offing. “We’ll pick a side to hopefully get a result.” We’ve seen Chris Basham struggling in recent games and Wilder may consider the likes of Phil Jagielka, Jack Robinson and John Lundstram. Lys Mousset will not be a part of the squad on Sunday after he was permitted to return to France: “It’s been a tough time for the young foreign boys because of lockdown, being on their own. Lys has had a few knocks and niggles, and his girlfriend just gave birth to their first child. I made that decision to allow Lys to go home.”
Ralph Hasenhüttl confirmed Jan Bednarek is back in contention after he was sidelined for last weekends’ win at Bournemouth by a muscle injury. “He is in training, and available for the weekend,” the Saints boss said. “Injury-wise, we have Sofiane (Boufal) and Moussa (Djenepo) still out, but the rest are fit.” Danny Ings – 21 goals – has been sensational this season and the striker is still in the hunt for the Golden Boot award. “The development of Danny has made him something of a role model for our club,” Hasenhüttl eulogised. “I’m really pleased about his character, as a human and also as a football player.”
Jose Mourinho has the luxury of an almost entirely fit squad with Tanguy Ndombele the only player currently expected to miss out – the Frenchman picked up a muscle injury in training 11 days ago. Dele Alli returns to the squad after recovering from a minor hamstring strain, but given his lack of game time – just 78 minutes – since the restart, he won’t be risked from the beginning with Spurs looking to make it five wins from six. Eric Dier is also back after completing his four-match ban while Sunday could be the last time Tottenham supporters see Jan Vertonghen with his future yet to be decided.
Hayden Mullins remains hopeful that Étienne Capoue can train ahead of the must-win game at Arsenal. “He’s been having treatment,” said the caretaker boss. “So, we’re going to have a look and see if he’s available. If we get him back fit for the game, then it will be a boost.” No fresh concerns – Isaac Success, Gerard Deulofeu and Daryl Janmaat remain out – but Jose Holebas has been granted permission to leave the club. The full-back had signed a short-term extension but has only played two competitive minutes since the restart.
West Ham United
There was nothing from David Moyes on the fitness of Aaron Cresswell during the broadcast section of his press conference on Friday. The full-back picked up a knock at Old Trafford and Arthur Masuaku is waiting in the wings. With one more session on Saturday, any decision could be left until the last moment, although with their safety assured, Moyes will not be taking any chances. Jarrod Bowen should recover from a minor knock, but the status of Ryan Fredericks is unclear. Robert Snodgrass has been taking part in aspects of training, but having failed to play a minute since the restart, Sunday could come too soon.
Wolves need a win to guarantee a top six finish and secure another season in Europe, and Nuno Espírito Santo will arrive at Stamford Bridge with a fully fit squad. Raul Jimenez is available, and the threat of him missing out due to the birth of his child is no longer after his wife gave birth earlier this week. “Everything went well with the baby, so that’s good and he’s ready to go, like everyone else.”