Our regular round-up of the Premier League team news returns ahead of the FPL Gameweek 34 deadline, which is at an earlier-than-usual time of 19:00 BST this evening because of the Friday night fixture between Leicester City and Newcastle United at the King Power Stadium.
We’ve watched all 20 pre-match press conferences and will bring you the headline updates on any stand-out medical bulletins in our game-by-game recap below.
Tottenham Hotspur v Huddersfield Town
Harry Kane will not feature against Huddersfield on Saturday having sustained “a significant lateral ligament injury to his left ankle” in the win over Manchester City on Tuesday.
No timeframe was put on Kane’s return and the Spurs striker will continue to be assessed over the next week.
Dele Alli faces a fitness test after fracturing his left hand in that Champions League tie in midweek, with Mauricio Pochettino saying:
We need to assess him this afternoon and tomorrow and take the decision. To be honest, I am not too optimistic. He broke his hand in two parts. I am not too much optimistic about tomorrow, I am more optimistic to be available for Man City.
Serge Aurier (hamstring), Eric Dier (hip flexor) and Erik Lamela (hamstring) are continuing on-field rehab and remain sidelined, while Vincent Janssen (ankle) is expected to return to training next week.
Despite the lengthy injury list, Pochettino hinted at rotation on Sunday:
Tomorrow is not to rest players but to take the best decision after the big victory over Manchester City. We have a lot of players that played 90 minutes who are maybe not in a condition to play for different reasons.
We have a strong squad, rather than rest tomorrow we want to provide the team good energy and fresh legs to be sure that we can approach the game in the best condition.
Of course, with our decision, we need to help the team to put the right players with fresh legs in. We have a strong squad and I think we need to rotate because it’s so important because we are at the end of the season.
Huddersfield boss Jan Siewert said that his squad has some “small problems” but that none of his players were definite absentees when the Terries head to north London on Saturday.
A few players are struggling with illness, however, including Isaac Mbenza.
Siewert also confirmed that Ben Hamer will start in goal.
Crystal Palace v Manchester City
Pep Guardiola provided updates on two of his injured players on Friday.
Speaking ahead of the Crystal Palace game, the City boss said of Bernardo Silva and Oleksandr Zinchenko:
They are better. We’ll see if they can play tomorrow. I don’t know if they are fit for Sunday.
The Eagles are short in the centre-back department, with Roy Hodgson confirming on Friday that James Tomkins (groin) will miss the rest of the season after coming off injured at Newcastle last Saturday.
Mamadou Sakho is still sidelined with a knee problem.
Liverpool v Chelsea
There were no injury updates from Jurgen Klopp in his presser on Friday but the Liverpool boss did share his thoughts on Joe Gomez, who made the bench on Tuesday against Porto.
He needs time, we have to make sure that he’s 100%. As long as the other boys are all fit, we can give Joe the time to train and maybe to get some match practise in other games, we will see how we can do that.
Maurizio Sarri’s pre-match press conference was a brief affair as it was held immediately after the 1-0 win over Slavia Prague on Thursday.
David Luiz, Emerson Palmieri, N’Golo Kante, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Callum Hudson-Odoi, Gonzalo Higuain and Eden Hazard were all handed breathers in the Europa League, although Hazard was thrown on with half an hour to go.
Speaking of the Belgian winger, Sarri said:
At the beginning of the match, I wanted him on the bench because I thought probably the match would be very difficult and probably I would need to use him. But if we were 1-0 up at the end of the first half, I wouldn’t have used him.
The Chelsea boss also commented on Callum Hudson-Odoi’s chances of featuring against Liverpool, saying:
In my opinion, he needed to rest. In this match, he was out. Emerson was also out. Of course, he is in my mind for the next match but I have to see the last two training sessions.
Leicester City v Newcastle United
Brendan Rodgers says Jamie Vardy is “absolutely fine” after being substituted in the win over Huddersfield Town as a precaution.
Speaking on Wednesday, the Leicester boss said:
He’s absolutely fine. He felt a slight niggle towards the end of the game. Rather than risk it, we just took him off. He’s recovered well in the early part of the week but trained absolutely fine. He’ll be ready for Friday.
Asked if Vardy’s groin problem needs “managing” or if it is no longer an issue, Rodgers added:
We’ll just have to see if there’s any more reaction to it. It was just something that happened within the game, so we’ll just assess that.
Rodgers also recapped the Foxes’ other issues, saying:
Harry [Maguire] is back in the squad which is great. Jonny [Evans] has recovered from his injury, so he came out and trained today. Marc Albrighton has been training now the last week or so, so he looks very, very good. Daniel [Amartey] is obviously with the medical and sports science team so we’ll see how that goes between now and the end of the season.
Florian Lejeune (knee) has joined Sean Longstaff (knee) on the long-term injury list but Rafael Benitez otherwise had positive news:
The rest of the players, Diame and everyone, is available.
Manchester United v West Ham United
There was plenty for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to discuss in his pre-match press conference on Sunday.
The Norwegian said:
Matteo [Darmian] will probably be available or he will be available, Rojo is available. [Ander Herrera] is still out. I doubt Nemanja [Matic] is available because of his illness, maybe, to join in and help his teammates, let’s see after today because he trained individually yesterday.
I’ve still got options to rest one or two. We had players on the bench on Wednesday night like Jesse [Lingard] and Anthony [Martial] that normally start games. There will be a couple of changes.
[Alexis Sanchez] trained twice, he trained today. He’s injury-free. I’m not sure if he’s going to be 100% ready for tomorrow, more likely maybe the Barcelona game, so let’s see.
Ashley Young and Luke Shaw will also miss out through suspension.
Manuel Pellegrini said of West Ham’s injury situation:
The players that have long injuries, Yarmolenko and Carlos Sanchez, are continuing recovering. Andy Carroll has had surgery in his ankle and Samir Nasri has a muscle injury in his calf. Winston Reid also has a long injury. All the other players are fit.
Watford v Arsenal
There was little of note to come out of Unai Emery’s press conference, which, like Sarri’s, was held in the wake of their Europa League victory.
Sokratis misses out through suspension while Granit Xhaka will be assessed for a thigh problem.
Speaking of tiredness and cramp, Emery said:
I think we’re OK. The players finished tired because they worked a lot. But I prefer to finish like that and not finish matches with the possibility to continue playing. I know, and the players also, that we need every player to be ready to play and help.
On Monday, I am sure we are going to play different players but [try] to find the same performance. Some players after playing with this demanding performance physically, maybe we need something different.
Next week it will be the same in Naples. We’re going to prepare for Monday first, and also recover the players after the game today thinking that we are going to play a lot of matches [every] three days. We need every player with the commitment, with the behaviour and the performances.
Javi Gracia’s presser was embargoed until 5pm BST on Friday so the last to drop.
The Watford manager had the following to say:
Kiko [Femenia] trained all this week and Gerard [Deulofeu] as well.
I’m not sure about Holebas. We need time to see how he is. He will not be ready for the next game, for sure.
Tom Cleverley is injured and Domingos Quina as well. Yesterday he had a problem in a training session with his shoulder.
Some players have different pains so we will see in the next days if they are OK to play against Arsenal.
I think we had time to recover. The players had three days off and they were ready to start preparing for the next game. We have enough time as we play on Monday.
Brighton and Hove Albion v Bournemouth
Pascal Gross (hamstring) and Solly March (calf) have returned to training and will be assessed ahead of the visit of Bournemouth. Late decisions will be made on the involvement of both players in Saturday’s game, with Chris Hughton saying of Gross:
As regards the injury itself, he’s fine with the injury. He’s been doing some very good rehab work and trained this morning, which is a real plus. All the decisions [over his involvement] will be around that.
Two of Bournemouth’s left-backs have joined Steve Cook (groin), Simon Francis (knee), Andrew Surman (calf) and Lewis Cook (knee) on the sidelines.
Eddie Howe said:
Missing Charlie [Daniels] now for a long period of time. Diego [Rico], unfortunately, rolled his ankle last week right at the end of the game and we will miss him now for [the rest of] the season.
Burnley v Cardiff City
Neil Warnock had the following to say on Cardiff’s injury situation heading into Double Gameweek 34:
We got one or two knocks in the week but I think the selection will be pretty much from everyone. We’ve got the long-term injuries; Sol and Paterson, and Smithies is still injured. He has struggled the past six to eight weeks with his shoulder.
Peter Crouch (appendix), Steven Defour (calf) and Aaron Lennon (knee) remain sidelined for the Clarets while Phil Bardsley (gashed leg) was rated as “touch and go” by his manager on Thursday.
Fulham v Everton
Marco Silva provided an update on Everton’s injury situation on Thursday.
The Toffees’ boss said:
Michael [Keane] is OK. He started to work at the beginning of the week with us. Morgan [Schneiderlin] started also with the team, just now Mina has this problem. He has started doing some recovery on the pitch. Let’s see how he can recover the next few weeks.
For Fulham, Floyd Ayite (unspecified injury) returned to training on Thursday after missing the defeat to Watford but Alfie Mawson (match fitness) and Lazar Markovic (calf) won’t feature.
Southampton v Wolves
There were no injury updates from Nuno Espirito Santo on Friday.
In a very brief press conference, Santo was asked how his side would recover from the crushing defeat at Wembley and said:
It’s the same process, over and over again, all the weeks. We are a team, a squad, a group of people that want to play, that want to compete. Inside the competition there’s a bad result, but that doesn’t change the approach.
It’s our philosophy, our idea we have. All the games are important, Burnley, Man United, the semi-final, all the games we analyse, work on them and prepare for the next one. We just want to move forward, compete, grow and get better.
Ralph Hasenhuttl said of Southampton’s current injury situation:
We have Ingsy back. Lemina is still injured, he can’t train with the team. Jannik didn’t have any problems [after returning in the Liverpool game]. The rest, apart from the long-injured players like Obafemi, are in the group.
We have more detailed injury information and predicted line-ups in our Team News tab and in the podcast/YouTube video below:
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.