There is an earlier-than-usual Gameweek deadline of 19:00 BST on Friday this week, so with that in mind we are again bringing you up to speed on everything we know so far on the team news and injury front.
There were ten Premier League manager press conferences that took place on Thursday, with the remaining pressers to follow tomorrow.
The headline news from today was Marco Silva’s revelation that Lucas Digne (hamstring) is “available” for Everton’s Gameweek 3 curtain-raiser against Aston Villa.
The Everton boss said on Thursday:
He will be available to the match. Leighton (Baines) will be also. Just Fabian (Delph) out.
On when Fabian Delph (groin) might be back, Silva added:
It’s possible next week. He’s already started with the team, not full session. Will be a possibility for him to play a full match or during the two matches we have to play next week.
Asked if any of his new signings would feature on Friday,
Djibril [Sidibe] did all pre-season with his former club. Ready to play if I decide. Of course, now it’s just a matter of him understanding our ideas and philosophy.
[Alex Iwobi] started really late, just now his second week working with the team. Didn’t do the pre-season. If we need him during the game, he is able to help us. Of course, not [lasting] the 90 minutes.
[Moise Kean] is trying to settle as fast as he can. Working with him, not just on the pitch but outside the pitch, for him to understand what I want from a player in that position. If he will start or not, that’s for me to decide tomorrow.
Villa will welcome back reserve centre-half Kortney Hause (ankle) for this match, with Dean Smith saying:
Kortney Hause is back. I think there’s only James Chester that’s missing and not been on the training ground. Jonathan Kodjia is jogging now but this game will be too early for him.
Smith was also asked about his raft of new signings and replied:
Some of them have got in earlier than others, some are waiting their turn. You have to earn the right to play. You’ve got to prove that you’re better than the players who have already got the shirt.
John McGinn was namechecked by the Villa boss when asked about his side’s goal threat, with Smith saying:
I think our most likely goalscorer at the moment is John McGinn, he’s made some really deep runs into the opposition half.
Unai Emery teased the prospect of a start for Nicolas Pepe against Liverpool, saying:
The most important thing is, like a person, to help him and his family to feel comfortable here. He is now three weeks working here with us. He didn’t do with us the pre-season but he’s progressively feeling better.
Fifteen minutes in Newcastle, 45 minutes against Burnley. I think he is progressively getting better performances and feeling better. I think for Saturday, he is ready also, maybe, to have more minutes. I am going to decide tomorrow.
Mesut Ozil (illness/personal) and Granit Xhaka (leg/back) are back in full training but Emery said he would make a late call on the pair’s involvement at Anfield:
Tomorrow is the last training and we are going to decide tomorrow. Today they trained, but really, I need tomorrow to have the last training, to be really sure how we can be better there.
Ben Chilwell (hip) looks set to miss out for Leicester City this weekend, with Brendan Rodgers providing the following update:
Ben has had an injection last week. He’ll join in the training. We’ll see how he is for the weekend, but more than likely going to be ready for next week.
Rodgers was asked about Ayoze Perez‘s role on the right flank and replied:
He’s played there a lot at Newcastle. He can play from outside, he can play inside, his instinct is to be in the box. With players, whether they’re central or wide, they always end up in there.
Chris Wilder had mixed news on the injury front at Sheffield United, saying:
We’ve got a doubt about John Fleck for the weekend but Callum Robinson has trained this week so he’ll be OK. We’ll give John as much time as possible.
Luke [Freeman] plays a number of positions, Ben Osborn plays a number of positions, Basham does, Lundstram does. That gives us the ability to cover injuries, suspensions and loss of form.
Roy Hodgson confirmed that James Tomkins (groin) and Mamadou Sakho (match fitness) remain out but could hand a debut to Gary Cahill, saying:
Any place is a good place to give an experienced and good player like Gary Cahill his debut but at the moment I haven’t fully decided what our team line-up should be.
Manuel Pellegrini reported a clean bill of health other than Winston Reid (knee/match fitness), meaning that Mark Noble (dead leg), Felipe Anderson (thigh) and Sebastien Haller (knock) are all fit and available for the trip to Watford.
The Hornets have been dealt a blow with Javi Gracia revealing that captain Troy Deeney will be out for an extended period after undergoing knee surgery.
We have a problem with Troy. He had surgery this morning with a problem with his knee. I think he will be about at least two months. We’ll see his evolution.
Roberto Pereyra (thigh) and Abdoulaye Doucoure (ankle) are also doubts, with the Watford head coach adding:
They are not training and we’ll see if in the next days some of them can be available or not. But in this moment they are doubtful.
Asked if Ismaila Sarr and Danny Welbeck could feature, Gracia said:
Now both are training with the team. They are not in the best condition but most important in this moment is that they can help us. I’m sure they cannot play all the minutes, but they can help us in the next performance.
I think Sarr is a player who in this moment needs more training but from the first training session, you can see his qualities. I think he’s a good winger, sharp. I’m sure he will give us a good option. It will depend on the squad, the other players, but from now I think he can help us.
[Welbeck] needs more time to train and to recover his best condition but we’ll see [if he plays]. There are many circumstances can modify my opinion if he is better to start this game or the next one.
Asked about Leandro Trossard’s debut performance in Gameweek 2, the Brighton boss said:
He was a little bit unlucky not to start against Watford, Jurgen’s a bit unlucky not to start against West Ham. Both have done really well. You can see his (Trossard’s) quality in terms of how he linked the game.
You can view a video round-up or listen to the podcast summary of today’s pressers below, while the Team News tab will be updated over the coming 24 hours ahead of Friday’s deadline.
A further article will follow tomorrow afternoon rounding up the details of Friday’s press conferences.
Become a Member and get unrestricted access to our data and articles
Full-year memberships are now available for the price of £19.99. Monthly subscriptions also cost just £2.99. A FREE trial is now available during December.
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 150+ 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.
- Enjoy our brand NEW Flat-Track Bully feature which introduces an opposition filter to your tables.
- View heatmaps and expected goals data for every player.
- Use our powerful comparison tool to analyse players head-to-head.