Having brought you up to speed on the ten pre-Gameweek 9 press conferences to be held on Wednesday and Thursday, we now turn our attention to the remaining Premier League manager pressers.
There were a number of well-owned Fantasy assets who we were seeking clarification on, one of whom was Kevin De Bruyne (groin).
Asked about the Belgian, John Stones (thigh) and Benjamin Mendy (hamstring), Pep Guardiola said:
Yeah, some of them are better. Kevin is back and John trained the last two days good. Mendy as well. Mendy a little bit later, but as well.
FPL bosses hoping for clear-cut information on Alisson (calf), Mohamed Salah (ankle) and Joel Matip (knock) were left disappointed by Jurgen Klopp’s press conference, meanwhile, with the Liverpool boss saying of the Reds’ injury situation:
Better – how good, we have to see, that’s the truth. There are two more sessions to come from this afternoon and we have to see. Then we’ll make decisions, that’s how it is. Nothing is fixed.
The players from international duty all came back healthy which is very, very important, so we have now three or four days with the full squad to prepare.
Matip had declared himself fit a day earlier, while a scan on Salah has at least shown no lasting damage.
Frank Lampard has been left counting the cost of the international break, with N’Golo Kante (groin), Andreas Christensen (hamstring) and Mateo Kovacic (thigh) having picked up injuries – although the Croatian midfielder looks set to recover.
The Chelsea boss said:
N’Golo is not fit. He had a small groin issue [with France] and we didn’t get him back until after the second game.
Kovacic had a knock on his thigh but has trained the last couple of days so is in contention. Ross [Barkley] is fine.
Andreas Christensen has got a hamstring injury which will see him out probably for the next two weeks. Rudiger is training outside with the physios. A bit of work to be done for him for match-fitness but really positive for us that he’s back outside.
There were no updates on Reece James (ankle) and Emerson Palmieri (hamstring) in the broadcast section of Frank Lampard’s press conference on Friday but both players have been involved in training this week.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s injury list in early-October was almost as bad as Daniel Farke’s at Norwich and David de Gea (groin) is the latest casualty, having hobbled off while playing for Spain.
Solskjaer said on Friday:
I don’t expect him to play but it wasn’t as bad as feared. When I saw the game I thought, ‘that’s him out until the next international break’. But it’s not as bad as feared.
Much like Klopp, the United boss was frustratingly ambiguous about the wider fitness picture, saying:
Of course, I would like to tell you positive news, we’ll see on Sunday who’s come through the last two sessions. There are players who have just started training, just on the verge of coming back.
His quotes from an interview with Sky Sports on Wednesday may give owners of Aaron Wan-Bissaka (tonsillitis) and Anthony Martial (thigh) some hope, at least, although Paul Pogba (ankle) is definitely sidelined.
While United’s injury situation remains unclear, Norwich’s is looking much rosier.
Farke revealed on Friday that Tim Krul, Kenny McLean, Todd Cantwell, Max Aarons, Sam Byram, Alex Tettey, Tom Trybull, Jamal Lewis and Onel Hernandez are all fit after their respective issues, with Mario Vrancic back in training and working on his fitness too.
Grant Hanley will be out for seven to eight weeks after groin surgery, however.
Farke’s opposite number this weekend, Eddie Howe, may have Adam Smith (hamstring) back after a hamstring problem.
The Bournemouth boss said:
He’s trained. We’ve had to take our time with his hamstring injury, it wasn’t an absolute clear low-grade strain. We’ve had to be careful with him. He’s close.
Dan Gosling (hip), Junior Stanislas (knee) and David Brooks (ankle) remain out, while Howe was annoyingly vague about a few other fitness issues that the Cherries have.
I think we’ve seen everybody now, there’s a couple of slight concerns. You’re always slightly fearful how they’re going to come back but we can be relatively pleased.
Nuno Espirito Santo was similarly non-committal about whether a cluster of his injured or ill players would return this weekend, saying:
We had some issues. Players that came from their national team, Leander [Dendoncker] struggling with some problems, Romain [Saiss], Diogo [Jota], Pedro [Neto], Jordao, we have some problems that we had to manage.”
We’ll give them space and time to recover well so they can help the team. Some of them will be inside of the game, the others not. We’ll have to wait and see.
Mamadou Sakho (muscle) and Connor Wickham (match fitness) will again miss out for Crystal Palace this weekend, while Roy Hodgson said on Friday that a couple of other unnamed players will be assessed ahead of the visit of Manchester City – although did say that he expects those in question to recover.
Steve Bruce confirmed that Matt Ritchie (ankle) and Florian Lejeune (knee) are his only two injury-related absentees for the trip to Chelsea.
Finally, Marco Silva brought us news of Everton’s injury latest.
The Toffees’ head coach said:
Fabian [Delph] is still in doubt. We have 24 hours until the game and still in doubt, let’s see how he will react. He did not a full session with the team but he’s getting better.
Like you know, JP [Gbamin] will be out long-term. Cenk Tosun as well, he came from the national team with a small issue in the muscle in his groin. Nothing special, not too long, but will be out of tomorrow’s match.
For a round-up of yesterday’s press conferences, click here.
Predicted line-ups and more detailed information can be found in the Team News tab, which is being finalised this afternoon.
You can view a video round-up or listen to the podcast summary of Gameweek 9’s press conferences below.
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