Ten Premier League manager press conferences took place on Thursday, though there was
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s appointment as permanent United boss couldn’t have come at a worse time for Fantasy managers as the Norwegian’s
Luke Shaw (£5.1m), Marcus Rashford (£7.6m), Romelu Lukaku (£10.6m) and Anthony Martial (£7.2m) – amongst others – all have yellow flags attached to their names in Fantasy Premier League but there were no injury updates provided by Solskjaer in his 17-minute conference today.
The hope for Fantasy managers is that the usual interview with MUTV still takes place on Friday morning, as there isn’t another formal press conference planned.
The manager’s exclusive chats with the club’s own television station have often been as helpful as the pressers in the past, so there is still reason to be optimistic of a bulletin on United’s walking wounded.
Things We’ve Learned
There was a sense that Thursday was the calm before the storm regarding the all-important injury updates for Double Gameweek 32.
The managers of the five other “big six” clubs, plus Nuno Espirito Santo and Roy Hodgson, are scheduled to hold their press conferences on Friday and there will be plenty of FPL bosses awaiting news on flagged assets from Manchester City, Chelsea, Spurs, Wolves and Crystal Palace.
Watford also have two fixtures in Gameweek 32 and Javi Gracia delivered his own presser late on Thursday afternoon, revealing that Tom Cleverley (calf) is his only injury-related absentee for the trip to Old Trafford on Saturday:
Holebas is available for the next game. All the internationals came back in good condition. We only have Tom Cleverley with a problem in his calf. We’ll see his evolution next week. The rest of the players are available.
Andre Gray had a small problem after the last game, but he has been training all week. He is ready to compete as well.
The Hornets’ head coach was asked about possible rotation ahead of the FA Cup semi-final a week on Sunday but replied:
In seven, eight days we are going to play three games and we have to take the right decisions but all the games are important for us.
Inthis moment, the most important [game] is United.
Some players [have been] playing with their national teams, and now with three games in a row in a short time, we need to
takedecisions about that. But, inthis moment, I am only focused on the next game. We try to choose the best eleven.
Gracia was never going to completely reveal his plans but he did at least hint in the above quotes that his international contingent may be carefully managed.
Not that many of his players were away on international duty over the last fortnight: only Craig Cathcart, Sebastian Prodl, Ken Sema, Roberto Pereyra, Pontus Dahlberg and Domingos Quina were away with their respective countries and four of those players are reserves.
Gerard Deulofeu was denied permission by the Hornets to represent Catalonia against Venezuela, meanwhile.
Florin Andone (thigh) is back in training, however, while Davy Propper has recovered from a minor problem he picked up over the international break.
From the internationals, everybody’s come back OK.
The two that haven’t been training are Gross and Andone.
Andonetrained today, Gross didn’t, so Gross will not be available. Andonewe will make a decision on but he did train today.
Davy Propper is fine. The right thing was done after the first [Netherlands] game which he played when he felt it.
Hughton was also asked about rotation in Double Gameweek 32 ahead of the FA Cup semi-final against City next Saturday and said:
It is very much taking one game at a time. We certainly can’t afford to start thinking of games in two, three games time or picking out specific games where we feel we have a better chance of getting something from. It will help if we have got as many bodies fit as what we have at the moment.
Not many Fantasy managers will be interested in Fulham assets in spite of their double-header in Gameweek 32 but the Cottagers do play Manchester City in the Saturday lunchtime kick-off, so the team news from Scott Parker is still noteworthy in that regard.
Alfie Mawson (knee) remains out despite a return to the training ground but Parker will make a check on two players who started in Gameweek 31 and who arrived back late from international duty:
There are slight concerns regarding a couple of the lads who have come back from long distances and will probably only come into the building tomorrow morning – Tim Ream and Mika [Seri] – so we’ll need to look at them.
Among the single Gameweek teams, there was mixed news from Marco Silva at Everton.
Yerry Mina (hamstring) will be out for some time after picking up an injury playing for Colombia in Seoul, but the Toffees will welcome back three players from the treatment table ahead of the trip to West Ham.
Silva was asked about Lucas Digne, Phil Jagielka and Andre Gomes and said:
They are all OK. Lucas, we have to take care of him in some moments. We have one more session but he looks in condition to play.
On Mina, Silva added:
Not good news, it’s serious. Let’s see how many weeks he will be out. We expect to see Mina training again with us [before the end of the season].
Everton are up against West Ham on Saturday evening and Manuel Pellegrini said that he has concerns about Samir Nasri‘s (calf) availability ahead of that fixture:
Samir Nasri has a problem in his calf this week so maybe he won’t be able to play this weekend.
I think the players with long injuries – Wilshere, Yarmolenko, Carlos Sanchez – continue with their recovery. Andy Carroll is continuing with medical tests. There is no other news.
One of Crystal Palace’s two Gameweek 32 opponents are Huddersfield Town, who are gradually welcoming back players from injury ahead of that clash.
Jan Siewert was asked about Jonathan Hogg, Christopher Schindler and Danny Williams and said:
They are all available and all of them will be a possibility for the squad at the weekend. We had 21 players today in training, which is a good number.
[Laurent Depoitre] just came back to the full team today. He still had problems with his foot. It was his first training session today so he won’t be able to play at the weekend but he’s in a good
Adama Diakhaby (hamstring) and Demeaco Duhaney (hip) remain out, while Isaac Mbenza (calf) looks unlikely to feature despite his recent return to training. Jason Puncheon is ineligible to face his parent club, meanwhile.
Sean Dyche’s only fresh concern for Burnley’s meeting with Wolves on Saturday is over Johann Berg Gudmundsson (calf).
The Clarets’ boss said:
We’ve got to monitor the fact that he missed some training, missed a game [for Iceland]. We looked at him today, he was on the grass, but we’ll have to make a call on that.
Ralph Hasenhuttl said on Thursday:
Shane Long is the only guy [from those away on international duty] who is not fit. Today is the first time training with the team.
It would be not so easy [for Long to play] without training for a week. We’ll have a look, we don’t have to decide it today.
Danny Ings trained for two weeks now with the first team. Last week we had this friendly game against QPR and he played 45 minutes without
problemso far. If he is an option for the starting XI, we will see.
Brendan Rodgers, meanwhile, said that his international contingent have “all come back fit and well” so apart from Marc Albrighton (hamstring) and Daniel Amartey (leg), Leicester have a clean bill of health.
Harry Maguire is suspended, however.
MANAGERS YET TO DELIVER A PRESS CONFERENCE
Unai Emery (Arsenal)
Eddie Howe (Bournemouth)
Neil Warnock (Cardiff City)
Maurizio Sarri (Chelsea)
Roy Hodgson (Crystal Palace)
Jurgen Klopp (Liverpool)
Pep Guardiola (Manchester City)
Rafael Benitez (Newcastle United)
Mauricio Pochettino (Tottenham Hotspur)
Nuno Espirito Santo (Wolverhampton Wanderers)
Predicted line-ups and in-depth team news on most of the teams who have held press conferences already can be found here.