While we’ll be bringing you the usual team news video and article write-up on Friday, the earlier-than-usual Gameweek 27 deadline has prompted this initial summary of the press conferences and medical bulletins that have happened already.
Things We’ve Learned
The headline news came from Mauricio Pochettino’s presser, with talk of Harry Kane‘s (ankle) return dominating proceedings.
The Spurs boss said of his star striker:
He’s very good. I think we need to assess him one training session tomorrow and then decide but I think he’s doing well. I am happy with him and maybe he’s going to be available to be part of the squad.
He’s not ahead of schedule but everyone knows that Harry is an animal, he wants to be ready as soon as possible. He made everything to try to recover and, of course, the injury that he suffered is tough to recover but it’s more the possibility that when you push, you push. In some injuries, you cannot push too much, because always you need to be careful. When it’s a massive injury it’s completely different.
But of course, we’re so happy that in the last ten days he was fantastic, back in training again, and he can be available again. It’s going to be a massive impact for everyone.
I don’t care if he feels ready or wants to play or not, like another player. I’ll decide myself, with my coaching staff, with the doctor and the medical staff and the sports science staff. Always with every player that came from an injury or illness, always it’s about the structure, when it’s possible to play or not. Of course, if you ask him ten days ago, he was ready to play. But in the end, the last word is always myself. I take the risk, the decision and everything that is going on in the team.
Ben Davies (groin) has also returned to training this week, though Danny Rose (illness) is a minor doubt for the trip to Burnley.
One Spurs player who won’t feature this weekend is Dele Alli (hamstring), with Pochettino providing this update on the injured midfielder:
His progression is good, we are happy. This is the last part of the period of his recovery. Difficult to say: maybe one week, maybe ten days, maybe two weeks. We are going to assess him day by day.
Burnley will again be without Steven Defour (calf), Aaron Lennon (knee) and Jonathan Walters (Achilles), though Sean Dyche confirmed on Thursday that Johann Berg Gudmundsson and Robbie Brady are fit to feature.
Leicester’s fixtures are about to take a turn for the better but those Fantasy managers who were interested in James Maddison and Ben Chilwell might have been slightly deterred by Claude Puel’s comments on Thursday.
The Foxes’ boss said:
We have an issue with Chilwell and Maddison and we will make a point in tomorrow’s training session. It’s not serious but we will see tomorrow.
Manuel Pellegrini delivered his press conference on Wednesday and brought news that Manuel Lanzini (knee) and Samir Nasri (calf) have returned to training.
The West Ham United boss said the pair “maybe” have a chance of featuring against Fulham, though there was no update forthcoming on Fabian Balbuena (knee).
For this game, we have the squad which played most of the games and we will have the squad list on Thursday, and maybe Lanzini and Nasri can be included on that squad list.
They worked not only today but they worked the complete week. We will talk to the medical staff about whether we can use them.
All four playmakers in our squad were injured, which is always difficult, so the return of both of them injects more quality into the squad.
We will analyse Jack Wilshere next week, then we will be more clear about his future.
Claudio Ranieri meanwhile declared that, Alfie Mawson (knee) aside, Fulham have no injury worries – meaning that new signings Lazar Markovic and Havard Nordtveit could be match-fit enough to feature.
Kiko Femenia (hamstring) is Javi Gracia’s only injury-related absentee going into Friday’s game at Cardiff, though Jose Holebas begins a two-match ban for accruing ten yellow cards.
Roberto [Pereyra] and Isaac [Success] are both ready to compete. Roberto is a very important player, making the difference in a lot of games, scoring goals and assisting. Isaac hasn’t played the same minutes as other players, but the time he played, he played with quality and is helping the team. He’s a good option for us in attack with his power and pace. He is something different for us to help us manage different games.
Prödl is another option for us at centre-back where the players are playing well. It’s always good to have a player of his quality.
Kiko is feeling very well in all the training sessions. For the next game, it’s impossible [for him to play] but I think for the game after, he will be ready.
Sean Morrison (appendix) is back in training for the Bluebirds, but Neil Warnock cast doubt on whether the club captain would feature against the Hornets and provided an update on Victor Camarasa.
On Morrison, Warnock said:
He’s training, he had another tough session yesterday. He’s just got to have a bit of football in his locker. We’ve got three games in a week so it’s pointless rushing him. I’m hoping he’s going to be involved at some stage this week.
He has a medical team from Spain that look after him. Sometimes we don’t agree. It’s difficult for Victor because he’s got so many people talking to him. It’s [an ongoing] calf injury. He’s doing most things really well.
Huddersfield have been given a boost by the return of Jonas Lossl and Chris Lowe from illness, while Elias Kachunga has had a less-serious dose of the flu ahead of the trip to Newcastle.
Danny Williams (knee) won’t be ready to play despite a return to training, though Abdelhamid Sabiri (knee) featured for the under-23s last week and may come back into contention.
Managers Yet to Deliver a Press Conference
Unai Emery (Arsenal)
Eddie Howe (Bournemouth)
Roy Hodgson (Crystal Palace)
Jurgen Klopp (Liverpool)
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (Manchester United)
Rafael Benitez (Newcastle United)
Ralph Hasenhuttl (Southampton)
Nuno Espirito Santo (Wolverhampton Wanderers)
Injury News That May Be Updated on Friday
- Laurent Koscielny came off with a muscular injury in Arsenal’s win over BATE on Thursday night, with Unai Emery describing the defender’s substitution as “precautionary”. Ainsley Maitland-Niles missed out through illness.
- Callum Wilson (knee) and David Brooks (ankle) are thought to be medium-term absentees for Bournemouth and are not currently scheduled to return till March.
- Jurgen Klopp earlier in the week declared Dejan Lovren (muscle) a major doubt for the trip to Manchester United.
- Ole Gunnar Solskjaer ruled Anthony Martial (groin) and Jesse Lingard (hamstring) out for “two to three weeks” last Friday but reports in the media suggest the pair could possibly recover for the visit of Liverpool – this has yet to be confirmed by Manchester United, however.
- Jonjo Shelvey (thigh) has returned to training for Newcastle United.
- Danny Ings (hamstring) hasn’t been sighted in training this week, though Stuart Armstrong (calf) has been involved.
- Matt Doherty came off with a knock in the FA Cup win over Bristol City last weekend, though Nuno Espirito Santo appeared to downplay the severity of the injury. Diogo Jota missed out on that victory with a dead leg.
Predicted line-ups and in-depth team news on the eight teams who have held press conferences already can be found here.
Become a Member and access our data
Memberships for the 2018/19 campaign are now available for the price of just £10.
Join now to get the following:
- Plot your transfer strategies using the fully interactive Season Ticker.
- Get projections for every Premier League player provided by the Rate My Team statistical model.
- Use Rate My Team throughout the season to guide your selections and transfers.
- Get access to over 130+ exclusive members articles over the season.
- Analyse our OPTA-powered statistic tables specifically tailored for Fantasy Football Managers.
- Use our exclusive tool to build custom stats tables from over 100 OPTA player and team stats.
- View heatmaps and expected goals data for every player.
- Use our powerful comparison tool to analyse players head-to-head.