Eight Premier League managers held their pre-Gameweek 8 press conferences on Thursday, although none of the ‘big six’ contingent were among that number.
The remaining 12 top-flight bosses will deliver their pre-match pressers either on Friday or after tonight’s Europa League games and we’ll have the usual article and video round-ups tomorrow afternoon to summarise those.
The headline team news from today came from Leicester City, with Brendan Rodgers confirming that James Maddison (ankle) is fit to feature against Liverpool this weekend.
James is fine, he’s trained the last couple of days. He’ll be OK.
The Leicester boss added that he had no other injury concerns as he prepares to return to Anfield.
We may not see Lukasz Fabianski (hip) again this calendar year, with Manuel Pellegrini confirming on Friday that the Polish shotstopper is set for a spell on the sidelines.
A decision will be made today or tomorrow on whether Fabianski will have surgery or recover without an operation, with Pellegrini saying:
In both cases [with or without surgery], less than three months will be difficult for Lukasz to return.
Asked if he would move for a free agent to bolster his options between the posts, the West Ham boss added:
Roberto is a goalkeeper that I trust a lot. For the moment we are going to keep the two goalkeepers that we have. But we will decide after we have exact knowledge how long Fabianski will be out.
Sean Dyche looks set to be without Jack Cork (shoulder) for the first time this season, saying on Thursday:
Corky is the only doubt, he’s got a very minor fracture on his scapula. And although it’s not that painful, there’s obviously a precautionary element to that. Touch and go but I’m thinking we probably look wiser on it to make sure he’s ready for the next one.
Dyche heavily implied that Jeff Hendrick would cover for Cork in central midfield.
When asked if he could possibly move to a 4-3-3, the Burnley boss said:
It often comes down to what suits the players and I believe I know what suits the players, which is why we often do play with two strikers.
The flexibility we have been looking for has certainly been on show. In pre-season we morphed into a three on a couple of occasions and it had a positive effect, Brighton and last weekend it had a positive effect. It’s there should we need it.
Jay Rodriguez can play wide as a three, even though he’s a forward, and he’s done that many times. Ashley Barnes has done that many times, particularly before he got here, down at Brighton.
The Clarets are up against Everton this weekend, who are still without Jean-Philippe Gbamin (thigh).
There was more positive news surrounding Andre Gomes (ribs) and Theo Walcott (head), however, with Silva saying:
Really good news for us. Andre started since the first day of the week, Theo started to do some individual as well, and today did all the session with the team. They are good news for us. Both OK.
Like you know, Andre didn’t play the last month. He worked during the week, in some moments more tired than the other teammates, but that is something normal. Now it is up to us to keep working hard with him and to put him the same level as the others.
Dean Smith had mostly positive news for the weekend, saying of Aston Villa’s fitness situation:
Henri Lansbury has been back training now so he’s available for selection. Tyrone Mings is fine, he’s trained all week. Matt Targett has trained the last couple of days as well so he is available for selection.
The game will come too quick for Jonathan Kodjia, who has trained with us, but because of the nature of the facial injury, he’ll be available after the international break.
Graham Potter rounded up Brighton’s injury latest, meanwhile, saying:
Solly’s [March] been training back, Alireza’s fine. Davy Propper we’ll wait till tomorrow to make a decision. Shane Duffy is making really good progress, won’t make the game but diagnosis is probably a bit better than the original diagnosis.
Leo [Trossard] is making good progress but again too soon, same with Berny [Bernardo] as well. Leon Balogun, back in the squad.
Potter said he was “optimistic” that Trossard and Duffy will return soon after the international break.
Ahead of the match at Watford, Chris Wilder said of Sheffield United’s injury situation:
The game on Saturday has just come a bit too quick for Didzy [McGoldrick]. I think he might be going over with the Republic of Ireland squad, for them to have a look at him as well, to see where he is. He’s getting closer.
Billy Sharp returns from suspension for this clash, while the Hornets will again be without Troy Deeney (knee).
Predicted line-ups and more detailed information can be found in the Team News tab, which is being refreshed over the coming 24 hours.
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