Only half of the Premier League teams are in top-flight action this weekend due to the clash with the FA Cup quarter-finals.
Friday afternoon hasn’t quite been as frenetic on the press conference front as a result, though there is plenty to recap in our usual round-up.
We’ve watched all ten pre-match press conferences ahead of Blank Gameweek 31, with our updated Team News tab containing detailed injury news from each club and predicted line-ups for this weekend’s fixtures.
Our video round-up of the Premier League pressers held on Thursday and Friday, meanwhile, can be viewed at the bottom of this article.
Fulham v Liverpool
Liverpool look set to be without Jordan Henderson (ankle) for the trip to west London, although the prospects of Naby Keita (muscle) recovering in time for Sunday’s match appear more positive.
Speaking on Friday, Jurgen Klopp said:
With Hendo we made further assessment. It’s serious enough, probably I would say, to rule him out for the weekend. The international break will be long enough, hopefully, to bring him back. It’s a little one with the ankle.
We have to see if [Naby] can train today. The boys come in a bit later today, we will make a couple of checks. [He] was positive – we have to see if that stays positive when he goes outside.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (match fitness/hamstring) and Joe Gomez (leg) are aiming to return after the international break.
Klopp meanwhile highlighted the fine margins between Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah in front of goal at the moment.
The Liverpool boss said:
I think [Salah] is in outstanding shape. The situation he had, when in the last second Sule came… that’s a goal. Mo did everything right and nobody can know that Sule is still there and put the foot in. That’s the situation he has.
For Sadio, it’s different. The first goal he scored in Munich, probably if you didn’t score for five or six games you will not score that goal. It was just world class from Sadio.
Andre Schurrle (virus) has returned to training for the Cottagers but Alfie Mawson (knee) and Marcus Bettinelli (knee) remain out.
Bournemouth v Newcastle United
Eddie Howe appeared positive on the prospect of Ryan Fraser (knock) featuring against Newcastle this weekend.
Speaking on Friday, Howe said:
I think [Ryan Fraser] had a few knocks after the [Huddersfield] game. He missed the early part of training but should be fine.
We’re as we were, really. None of the longer-term injuries are back, so pretty much the same squad as last week.
Adam Smith (hamstring) is ruled out until after the international break, while the Cherries’ boss provided updates on some of his other sidelined players:
Dan Gosling is improving but he won’t make this game. Hopefully, the international break will see him in much better shape.
Junior [Stanislas] is doing well but is not quite ready yet. He hasn’t trained but he is improving.
Howe also had positive words to say on Callum Wilson after his comeback from injury against Huddersfield:
Callum’s good. He did incredibly well physically, played the whole 90 minutes and didn’t look tired or fatigued at any point. He has trained well this week, so he’s in a good place.
Ciaran Clark returns for the Magpies but Fabian Schar is suspended and Jamaal Lascelles (knee) will not feature on the south coast.
Rafael Benitez said of his skipper:
Lascelles is still feeling a little bit on his knee so we will not take any risk and we will wait two or three days to see how he reacts.
Everton v Chelsea
Leighton Baines and Seamus Coleman are fit to play for Everton on Sunday, although Phil Jagielka (minor injury) and Kurt Zouma (ineligible) are unavailable.
Yerry Mina looks set to deputise at centre-half.
Davide Zappacosta (muscle) limped out of Chelsea’s win over Dynamo Kyiv on Thursday, a match that Gonzalo Higuain (illness) missed after suffering a fever and stomach ache earlier in the week.
The Argentinean striker is anticipated to recover ahead of the trip to Goodison Park, with quotes expected from Maurizio Sarri once the embargo is lifted on his press conference later.
West Ham United v Huddersfield Town
Andy Carroll (ankle) joins Andriy Yarmolenko (Achilles), Carlos Sanchez (knee) and Jack Wilshere (ankle) on the sidelines for the visit of Huddersfield, with Manuel Pellegrini providing the following vague update on Carroll on Thursday:
We don’t know at this moment, I cannot tell you. We need to wait for some medical examination.
Far more pertinent for Fantasy managers were Pellegrini’s quotes on Marko Arnautovic:
Marko was out of the team for several reasons. First, because his mind was out when he has the option to go to China. After that he returns, then he didn’t work for about one week. After that he was sick. He was going to play against Manchester City but was ill, so there are lots of reasons why he is on the bench. If he’s ready, I think that he will return to his position.
Demeaco Duhaney (hip), Adama Diakhaby (hamstring), Isaac Mbenza (calf), Jonathan Hogg (rib), Danny Williams (knee) and Laurent Depoitre (illness/foot) remain sidelined for Huddersfield this weekend, while Terence Kongolo (hip) is also a doubt having not trained as of Thursday.
Erik Durm (muscle) picked up a minor strain in midweek but was expected to train on Friday.
Burnley v Leicester City
Not much injury news to report ahead of Saturday’s meeting at Turf Moor, with only long-term absentees unavailable to Sean Dyche and Brendan Rodgers.
Marc Albrighton (hamstring) and Daniel Amartey (leg) again miss out for the Foxes, while Steven Defour (calf), Aaron Lennon (knee) and Jon Walters (Achilles) remain sidelined for Burnley.
Lennon could be back after the international break, however.
Rodgers had more positive words to say about Jamie Vardy in his pre-match presser:
As a footballer, he’s tactically very, very good. He’s not just a boy that scores goals. He will really be the focus of when we press the game.
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