There were seven pre-Gameweek 2 press conferences held on Thursday afternoon.
We heard from the managers of Arsenal, Aston Villa, Brighton, Burnley, Southampton, Watford and West Ham United, while Nuno Espirito Santo will hopefully provide us with any fitness updates after Wolves’ UEFA Europa League tie against FC Pyunik this evening.
Unai Emery said Mesut Ozil and Sead Kolasinac are “100%” mentally ready to feature against Burnley on Saturday after the events of the last seven days but will be further assessed on Friday before a decision is made on their involvement.
Both players have trained with their teammates, although Ozil had suffered with illness in midweek.
They came back training with us on Tuesday. They came to start training with us and really Mesut Ozil is a little sick, he didn’t train yesterday but today he trained with us.
I think each training gives us good information, good different options with them also for to take the decision if they’re going to be with us on Saturday, [if] they can play in the first XI. But we are going to wait until tomorrow, our last training.
When asked if Nicolas Pepe was ready to start after his substitute appearance against Newcastle United, Emery replied:
I am going to decide tomorrow because now is a small difference for my decision about the player. It depends how they will be tomorrow in the training.
Pepe is training with us, is improving with us, is knowing us, our idea, our style, is able to understand better his team-mates. Physically also, getting better. He’s more close to helping us at the beginning, after giving an impact for us during the match.
On his new signings in general, Emery said:
Each player is different and really after Newcastle this week the players they are working well. Today the same. We can decide and choose different options for each position in the squad.
We need to be competitive and we need different options to decide who is better [for] each match. If I have some doubt it’s good because it’s positive and after we are going to decide and it can depend on training tomorrow.
There was no update on Alexandre Lacazette‘s condition, with the Frenchman having watched on from the bench in Gameweek 1 after recovering from an ankle knock.
The Arsenal boss was asked about how often he plans to use Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang together, however, and said:
Last year they played a lot of matches both in the first XI, like a striker, sometimes Auba right or left as a winger. His capacity can help us also this year. They are strikers… but above all, I think we can use them in different situations.
Burney will be without Robbie Brady (rib), Steven Defour (calf) and Danny Drinkwater (match fitness) tomorrow but Charlie Taylor is back in contention.
The defender missed out in Gameweek 1 after a disrupted pre-season and will be involved in the travelling squad this weekend – although it seems likely that Erik Pieters will continue at left-back for now.
Sean Dyche said of Taylor on Thursday:
We crammed a lot of football into him at the end of pre-season. He missed the first two weeks when there was a lot of heavy work. I still think he needs a bit more football but he will come back into the thinking [as] a squad member. Erik’s got the shirt [at left-back] currently.
Dyche also seemed to suggest that Ashley Barnes and Chris Wood would continue up front, saying of Jay Rodriguez:
I still think Jay will still play plenty of football this season at some point.
Manuel Pellegrini has fresh injury concerns over Felipe Anderson and Sebastien Haller, both of whom picked up knocks in the defeat to Manchester City.
The Hammers’ boss said:
Mark Noble is recovering from his calf injury. I think that next week he will work with the team.
We also have small problems with Felipe Anderson and Sebastien Haller. They are recovering from the kicks that they had in the last game. That is the update on injuries. We’ll see tomorrow about Anderson and Haller, we have some doubts.
Jack [Wilshere] is working without any problems with our squad.
West Ham are this weekend up against Brighton, whose manager Graham Potter didn’t report any new injury worries in Thursday’s press conference.
Asked about whether he’d make any changes this weekend, Potter said:
Well, that’s the thing that I’ll ponder over in the next hours. We’ve got a group that’s ready to help the team, that’s the good thing, we’ve got options from the players.
The Brighton boss said of his new 3-4-3 system, meanwhile:
We want to try and build up our attacks from the back so that extra player can sometimes helps and it also fits the overall attributes of the group in a good way.
Discussing striker Neal Maupay, Potter added:
He’s adapted really well into the group. Really good lad. Desperate to play football. He’s a nine that can play in behind or he can link up the play well.
Aston Villa will be missing three of their fringe players on Saturday, with Dean Smith delivering the following injury bulletin:
James Chester is still missing, Kortney Hause is still missing – he got an ankle injury in Leipzig – and Jonathan Kodjia as well, he got injured early on in the Tottenham game. He’s got a bit of a high ankle sprain so he’ll be about 10-12 days out.
Ralph Hasenhuttl didn’t report any fitness concerns at Southampton on Thursday afternoon, meanwhile.
Javi Gracia says that Danny Welbeck is close to featuring against Everton having sat out Gameweek 1 due to a lack of match fitness.
The Watford boss said:
He is training with us all this week, with the rest of the team. He is training well and I think he can help us in the next games because what I see is he’s ready.
Ismaila Sarr looks less likely to be involved, with Gracia adding:
He has started to train yesterday. He needs time to be ready and after a time resting, he needs time to recover his best condition. He is training and I expect he will be ready as quick as possible.
The Hornets’ head coach also shed light on why Gerard Deulofeu was hooked at half-time last weekend, saying:
Gerard had a stomach problem the day before. He was at the hotel, he didn’t have dinner and he was in his room. At the end, we decided he can play but we know he made an effort and it wasn’t possible to play all the game.
Asked if he would ring the changes against the Toffees, Gracia said:
I think it’s not the main solution. The solution to play better is try to work during the week, try to improve with all the players, because all the players will be important in the next game, in different competitions.
The other 12 Premier League bosses will hold their press conferences on Friday and we will bring you the usual article round-up and video summary on those tomorrow.
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Lessons learned from Gameweek 1
- Liverpool 4-1 Norwich
- West Ham United 0-5 Manchester City
- Bournemouth 1-1 Sheffield United
- Burnley 3-0 Southampton
- Crystal Palace 0-0 Everton
- Watford 0-3 Brighton and Hove Albion
- Tottenham Hotspur 3-1 Aston Villa
- Leicester City 0-0 Wolverhampton Wanderers
- Newcastle United 0-1 Arsenal
- Manchester United 4-0 Chelsea