We have only ten days to go before the start of the 2019/20 Premier League season and many clubs have just one or two friendlies remaining before Gameweek 1 gets underway on August 9.
We are starting to get a clearer picture of preferred systems and personnel but there are still numerous players yet to return to action, be it from injury or summer international duty.
Here we will go through all 20 top-flight sides and round up the latest availability news as we understand it.
The ankle injury that forced Alexandre Lacazette (£9.5m) off in Sunday’s friendly against Lyon isn’t thought to be serious.
Unai Emery said after full-time:
We are thinking it’s not important, he decided with the doctor and with me that it is better to take no more risk. He tried to continue playing but I think it was better in the pre-season to take patience.
The doctor said to me he is going to check tomorrow but the thinking is that it is not important. It’s in his ankle, a sprained ankle. He will probably be assessed over the next few days – but it’s not serious.
Hector Bellerin (£5.5m) and Rob Holding (£4.5m) are both recovering from knee injuries and are not expected to return before Gameweek 1.
Orjan Nyland (£4.5m) hasn’t played for Villa this year after suffering an Achilles injury towards the end of 2018.
The goalkeeper is yet to be involved in pre-season but did return to training in July.
Wesley (£6.0m) missed Saturday’s 4-1 win over Charlton but boss Dean Smith downplayed any fitness concern, saying:
Wesley played well on Wednesday and scored two goals. He also played 20 minutes against Kuwait in the week but suffered a small knock. It wasn’t worth the risk bringing him down today. He’s fine, though. He should be back training on Tuesday or Wednesday.
Dan Gosling (£5.0m) has today been ruled out for three months after having hip surgery and joins long-term absentees Lewis Cook (£5.0m), Junior Stanislas (£6.0m), Simon Francis (£4.5m) and Charlie Daniels (£4.5m) on the sidelines.
Steve Cook (£5.0m) has yet to feature in pre-season but boss Eddie Howe hopes the defender will train this week.
It’s the same one (injury) that he had at the back end of last season. He played with a groin problem for a long period of time.
We always knew, come the end of the season, that he was going to have a period where he needed to get treatment and to rest.
He’s gradually making his way back. We hope that he will train this week.
David Brooks (£6.5m) should recover from an ankle twist that he picked up at the weekend, meanwhile.
David Brooks took a slight twist to his ankle I think but hopefully he’s okay. Other than that, I think we’re fine.
Brighton and Hove Albion
Jose Izquierdo (£5.5m) and Yves Bissouma (£5.0m) are set to miss the start of the season with knee and shoulder injuries respectively.
Gaetan Bong (£4.5m) and Leon Balogun (£4.5m) have yet to feature in pre-season having been given a delayed break following their participation in the Africa Cup of Nations.
Sean Dyche is optimistic that Nick Pope (£4.5m), Robbie Brady (£5.5m) and Ben Gibson (£4.0m) will all be able to play a part in Burnley’s remaining two pre-season fixtures.
The trio have groin, rib and foot injuries respectively but Dyche downplayed the severity of their problems last week.
Steven Defour (£5.5m) is set to miss Gameweek 1 with a calf problem.
Steven’s not close, he’s still recovering, he’s had a couple of niggles and upsets so we’re just having to work with him and wait for his body to get strong enough to join in with us.
Frank Lampard was positive when asked about N’Golo Kante‘s (£5.0m) fitness yesterday.
The Chelsea boss said:
The signs are good. It was certainly the right decision for him to come home early from Japan and get the treatment he had.
He’s dipped into training with us over the last couple of days and I expect him to be training through this week to the point that he can be fully involved at the start of next week. There’s a lot more he needs to do physically without us but we’re hopeful.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek (£6.5m) and Antonio Rudiger (£6.0m) look set to miss the start of the season, while Callum Hudson-Odoi (£6.0m) also remains a doubt.
Lampard said of the latter:
He’s not training with us yet but the injury is coming on ahead of schedule. There will be a period for Callum where his injury is fine but then he needs to get fit to play in the team because it’s going to be very demanding with the way I want to play from front to back.
He’s not far away and I know he’s done everything throughout the summer with our medical team to get back quickly.
Willian (£7.0m) was handed a post-Copa America breather but has been also recovering from a knee injury picked up in the semi-final win over Peru.
The prognosis looks fairly positive for the Brazilian winger although he is yet to feature in pre-season.
Wilfried Zaha (£7.0m) and Cheikhou Kouyate (£5.0m) have yet to feature for Palace in pre-season after their participation in this summer’s Africa Cup of Nations, while James Tomkins (£5.0m) remains sidelined with a groin problem.
Mamadou Sakho (£5.0m) returned to action after a lengthy layoff in the 5-0 win over Bristol City on Saturday, however, playing the final 19 minutes.
Michael Keane (£5.5m) missed Saturday’s OPEL Cup double-header with an eye injury but is expected to play a part in Everton’s two remaining pre-season friendlies.
Leighton Baines (£5.0m) is reportedly carrying a small injury and hasn’t played in the last fortnight while Cenk Tosun (£6.0m) has yet to feature at all in pre-season, having had to recover from a knee problem.
Richarlison (£8.0m) reported back to training this week after his exertions at the Copa America.
Nampalys Mendy (£4.5m) limped off early in the second half of Saturday’s draw with Rotherham United, with assistant manager Chris Davies saying:
I don’t know, it’s very difficult to tell at this stage. It will have to get assessed in the next couple of days and see where he is at.
He has had a great pre-season, he has done very well, Papy. It’s a shame he’s got that knock and has had to come off, but that’s football.
Wilfred Ndidi (£5.0m) has yet to feature for the Foxes in pre-season after representing Nigeria at the Africa Cup of Nations.
Mohamed Salah (£12.5m), Alisson (£6.0m) and Roberto Firmino (£9.5m) are set to join up with their Liverpool colleagues ahead of Wednesday’s final pre-season friendly against Lyon.
Speaking the day after the 3-0 defeat to Napoli, Jurgen Klopp said:
We got the information a couple of seconds ago that everybody’s fine, everybody’s coming in time, they got their flights and everything so from this afternoon on Shaq, Naby, Bobby, Mo and Alisson will be in training, which is great.
So we have the game on Wednesday but obviously, we had to learn in this pre-season that we play the games pretty much always a bit in the wrong moment, but we had to play them anyway so it was just another training session.
But of course, you would like to get a bit more from training sessions than we got for example from yesterday. We play Wednesday the game against Lyon but we have to see how we do that, we organised it months back when we thought ‘OK, they come back, they can maybe play 10, 20, 30 minutes or whatever’.
We didn’t know in that moment it will be important for Shaq and Naby as well, but apart from that we have to prepare still the season and not only the game on Sunday, but of course the game on Sunday is the first proper game of the new season and so we try to be as good prepared as possible.
As Klopp alluded to there, Xherdan Shaqiri (£6.5m) and Naby Keita (£6.0m) will also be involved after injury and international duty, although Sadio Mane (£11.5m) won’t return to training until next week.
Nathaniel Clyne faces a lengthy spell on the sidelines after rupturing an anterior cruciate ligament.
Benjamin Mendy (£6.0m) is City’s only main injury concern, with the French left-back set to be out until September after undergoing knee surgery.
Sergio Aguero (£12.0m), Gabriel Jesus (£9.5m), Riyad Mahrez (£8.5m), Nicolas Otamendi (£5.5m), Ederson (£6.0m) and Fernandinho (£5.5m) were all in action at either the Copa America or Africa Cup of Nations this summer so didn’t play a part in any of City’s pre-season friendlies, although some of that group may feature in Sunday’s Community Shield against Liverpool.
Eric Bailly (£5.0m) was taken off with a knee injury in last Thursday’s win over Spurs, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer saying:
We’ve got to do some scans and checks on him. It doesn’t look great.
Alexis Sanchez (£7.0m) was given a rest after his efforts in the Copa America but is also recuperating from a hamstring problem that Solskjaer previously said wasn’t serious.
The Chilean winger was not part of United’s squad for the friendly against Kristiansund on Tuesday.
Florian Lejeune and DeAndre Yedlin (both £4.5m) remain sidelined with knee and groin injuries, while Christian Atsu (£5.5m) hasn’t featured since pulling out of Ghana’s Africa Cup of Nations squad in early July with a hamstring injury.
Teemu Pukki (£6.5m) missed his second pre-season match in a row with a slight toe problem as Norwich beat Luton on Saturday.
Daniel Farke downplayed the issue, however, saying:
We didn’t want to take any risks with Teemu’s toe and get another hit. I am pretty sure he will be available for these last two tests.
Emi Buendía (£5.5m) also missed the Luton game, with Farke adding:
Emi has been out with a few little injuries and he needs some more game time but with no setbacks, he will get that.
Christoph Zimmermann (£4.5m) is a major doubt for Gameweek 1 with a knee problem, while Alex Tettey (£4.5m) may need surgery on a calf issue.
Mario Vrancic (£6.5m) hasn’t played a single minute of pre-season but may be involved against Atalanta on Tuesday.
Mario is back in team training but, yes, Alex had a little setback in the past week. A small calf injury. We had just planned he would be out for seven to 10 days but there is still some blood in the calf.
We have to get that out and we either use some traditional methods or maybe a small surgery. That is a decision to make in the next day or two. It is very rare with this injury you have to do that. It is a shame for Alex. He was looking sharp and unbelievably fit at this level. Let’s see how it develops.
Grant Hanley (£4.0m) and Marco Stiepermann (£5.5m) were substituted with injuries at Kenilworth Road but Farke said:
Just a dead leg for Marco. He got a knock in the first half and it got more painful. Grant went to make a tackle and stretched his groin a little. The initial diagnosis was not too bad, but we got him off and now we see how he will react.
Jack O’Connell (£4.5m) hasn’t featured for Sheffield United in their last two pre-season friendlies, with a minor injury being reported.
The Blades have no real other serious fitness concerns.
Oriel Romeu (£4.5m) and Jack Stephens (£4.5m) missed out on Sunday’s win over Feyenoord but the injuries are not thought to be serious.
Moussa Djenepo (£5.5m) has yet to make his Saints debut having represented Mali at this summer’s Africa Cup of Nations.
Son Heung-min (£9.5m) and Juan Foyth (£5.0m) will be suspended for Spurs’ first two league fixtures after picking up red cards towards the back-end of last season.
Spurs have only played two pre-season fixtures to date so the first-team picture is a little unclear but Ben Davies (£5.5m), Eric Dier (£5.0m), Serge Aurier (£5.0m) and Victor Wanyama (£5.0m) are reportedly set to miss Tuesday’s match against Real Madrid through injury.
Gerard Deulofeu (£6.5m), Jose Holebas (£5.0m) and Nathaniel Chalobah (£4.5m) all missed Saturday’s game against QPR but Javi Gracia said none of the injuries are particularly serious:
Little problems all of them. Chalobah, even Holebas, Gerard – our players today who we preferred to rest. But, in a couple of days hopefully, they will be ready. In this moment we prefer to be prudent.
Roberto Pereyra (£6.0m) hasn’t featured in pre-season yet after representing Argentina in the Copa America.
West Ham United
Mark Noble (£5.0m), Angelo Ogbonna (£4.5m) and Ryan Fredericks (£4.5m) all missed Saturday’s friendly against Fulham with minor injuries.
Matt Doherty (£6.0m) is back on the training pitches as he recovers from a knee injury, while Ruben Neves (£5.5m) looks to have shrugged off an abdominal injury that he picked up against Crusaders in the Europa League.
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