There were eight Premier League press conferences held on Thursday but the headline Gameweek 4 team news came from elsewhere.
Manchester United released a medical update this afternoon to confirm the rumours that Anthony Martial (thigh) and Luke Shaw (hamstring) would miss out on Saturday’s trip to Southampton, with further clarification on the severity of the injuries to follow in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s press conference tomorrow morning.
The Red Devils will also be without Diogo Dalot (muscle) and Eric Bailly (knee).
United’s opponents this weekend, Southampton, will themselves be without Nathan Redmond (ankle).
The winger had to be helped from the field midway through the EFL Cup win over Fulham, with Ralph Hasenhuttl providing the following update:
In the moment it looks that he seems to be out for two or three weeks, I think. The next ten days he has to wear a shoe that doesn’t move his ankle. It can be quicker, it could be worse.
Besides Nathan, Moussa [Djenepo] is injured, he has a problem with his muscle. He is also out for the weekend. Michael Obafemi doesn’t really have an injury but he cramped a little bit and so also for the weekend it’s maybe too much for him.
There was plenty to interest Fantasy managers in Unai Emery’s press conference, with the Arsenal boss first providing an update on long-term absentee Rob Holding (knee):
Rob Holding is training with us, playing with the under-23s but he is not 100 per cent to play on Sunday with us. We think now he is getting better, he can play one match but not with the intensity we want for Sunday, for example.
On Kieran Tierney (groin) and Hector Bellerin (knee), Emery said:
That international break is going to give us two weeks to test them better than before, because now my focus with the team is the players that will be available on Sunday and to prepare with them.
The Arsenal boss admitted that Nacho Monreal leaving the club is a “possibility” but said that he doesn’t expect Mesut Ozil to depart, giving the following update on the German’s condition:
This week he is training well, he is progressing physically better and training normal work for us. He is going to be more closer to us and available for Sunday I think.
Asked about the diamond formation that proved unsuccessful against Liverpool, Emery replied:
We won with the diamond last year; we lost with the diamond last year. The consequence of the result on Sunday was not the diamond, but really we are ready to play with different tactical decisions.
Last year we worked and used different [formations] with good performances because the players here worked on different systems. We are more rich tactically with different situations on the pitch and can change in each match and each moment in the 90 minutes.
The weekly question about whether Nicolas Pepe, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette could start together was again asked, with Emery responding:
Yes, but be calm. My decision before was, thinking in each moment how we are.
For example, with Lacazette we had some problem in his ankle. I think this week is the best week of the last three, getting better and feeling better with his ankle, it’s very positive.
Pepe, he came here later than the others and also progressively he is playing and getting better in each match. Aubameyang for us is very important, he scores two goals in the first two matches, he had two or three good options in Liverpool.
I think they can start together and they can play also during the match, it depends how we decide our gameplan. I can be also very optimistic for that situation, but not also with those three players, also with Reiss Nelson, with Willock, with Mesut Ozil.
Sean Dyche looks set to be without Johann Berg Gudmundsson (calf) for the visit of Liverpool, with the Burnley manager saying:
Just a minor, low-level calf strain. We’ve just got to be a bit careful hence why it’s highly unlikely he’s fit for Saturday. There’s a very strong chance that during the international break he’s fit and well.
Asked if Aaron Lennon, who was brought off early in the EFL Cup with perhaps one eye on Gameweek 4, could replace the Icelandic winger, Dyche was understandably noncommittal and said:
We were cautious with him last night [substituting him early]. We know Jeff Hendrick’s operated in the wide area and done ever so well. We’ve got a bit more flexibility with J-Rod and Vyds, we’ve got a chance to play a three.
At West Ham, Manuel Pellegrini reported that Michail Antonio will have an MRI scan tomorrow on his hamstring injury but added that Javier Hernandez has recovered from a knee problem.
Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder didn’t provide an update on John Fleck (hamstring) in his press conference but had previously said that he was “hopeful” of the Scotsman being passed fit.
Asked if Oli McBurnie could start this weekend, Wilder said:
He’s been pushing and he scored. I’m obviously not going to sit here and tell you my team but he’s well in the forefront of our plans going into Saturday. He’s knocking on the door to play.
Wilder hinted that rotation could be commonplace up front this season but there were more encouraging comments for those Fantasy managers who own one of the Blades’ defenders:
Goalkeeper and defenders you really want to keep that settled and organised and maybe not so much in the middle of the park but especially at the top of the pitch, it’s important that you have different options. We have to look at different ways of playing.
Dean Smith confirmed that Matt Targett (hamstring) is the latest addition to Aston Villa’s injury list.
Speaking on Thursday, Smith said:
Matt Targett has a slight hamstring problem from Tuesday night’s game, so he’s out this weekend. James Chester is still out. Jonathan Kodjia is probably unlikely as well. They’re the three that won’t make the game but everybody else is fit.
There will be a number of Fantasy managers – particularly those playing the Sky game – who will be keen to hear if Frederic Guilbert has now nailed down the right-back slot after his impressive showing in Gameweek 3.
Smith mentioned the French full-back when asked about Mohamed El Mohamady but there was predictably no definitive answer from the Villa boss, who said:
He knows he’s got a challenge now with Freddy Guilbert, who has put in a really good performance against Everton. What I want is people challenging for positions and he’s certainly got that challenge now.
Brighton boss Graham Potter reported no new injury concerns after Tuesday’s EFL Cup tie but offered an update on his three sidelined players, saying:
They’re making good progress. I’m hopeful Bissouma maybe the Burnley match, some involvement. Schelotto not quite sure, maybe a bit more time. But they’re both getting close. [Izquierdo] is going to take a bit more time.
Jurgen Locadia is no longer an option up front having signed on a season-long loan for TSG Hoffenheim.
In a press conference that was only released from its embargo this evening, Javi Gracia confirmed that Troy Deeney (knee) is his only absentee for the trip to Newcastle.
Asked if Ismaila Sarr and Danny Welbeck could again feature after their starts in the EFL Cup, Gracia said:
These two players, in my opinion, need time. They need time to show their best qualities, their best condition, but in this moment we need all of them. We will see, we’ll decide if they start, play some minutes or play other players.
We’ll have a round-up of the remaining 12 press conferences tomorrow, while our Team News tab will be updated over the coming 24 hours.
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