We have had eight Premier League manager press conferences today, following on from the dribs and drabs of Wednesday and Thursday.
On top of these, we have quotes to report concerning the three sides who were in Europa League action yesterday evening.
Jurgen Klopp gave us mixed news on Trent Alexander-Arnold (virus), Joel Matip (knee) and Andrew Robertson (knock), declaring the Scotland left-back fit to play but stopping short of doing likewise with the other two.
No, [Robertson] is fine. Trent is fine. With Joel, we’ll have to see.
Trent *looked* fine, if there’s no setback. Because you know how it is sometimes. He was ill, ill enough to not travel with us, which is not a good sign. Yesterday, a clearing session, if it’s as it was yesterday then he should be fine.
With Joel I don’t know, 100%. Shaq [Shaqiri] I saw this morning, spoke to him, will take time. Big muscles, unfortunately need a little bit longer to heal.
Spurs will only be without Hugo Lloris (elbow) for the trip to Anfield.
Oleksandr Zinchenko (knee) will miss Manchester City’s match against Aston Villa, meanwhile, having had knee surgery in Barcelona.
His manager explained:
He had a contact with a knee, felt something in the bone. He has to stop four weeks, five weeks, more or less. It’s not a big issue, but five weeks, six weeks, will be out.
Rodri (hamstring) is also set for a spell on the sidelines, with Pep Guardiola saying:
After the international break, maybe will be ready again.
N’Golo Kante (groin), Andreas Christensen (hamstring) and Antonio Rudiger (match fitness), Ross Barkley (ankle) remain sidelined for Chelsea’s trip to Burnley, with Frank Lampard saying on Friday:
Loftus-Cheek is well out, he’s still well into his recovery. Rudiger won’t be ready for the weekend but getting closer, is training outside. Christensen is still out and Ross Barkley is out – not majorly out, so hopefully fit for next week.
N’Golo won’t be ready, he’s training on his own, some physical work. He’s had a few issues and we need to get him right now because he’s been in and out through the season.
Asked whether Christian Pulisic deserved a start, Lampard replied:
The way he has played, he deserved a starting place regularly in the last few weeks – but so do others. It’s a nice problem that I have. It’s brilliant that he’s coming on making an impact. He’ll get his starts.
As I say, we’ve got Callum Hudson-Odoi who was top class against Newcastle last week in terms of creation. Willian, I think I declared him our best player in the great patch that we had. They’re good options for me.
Christian is getting stronger, he’s getting more in the group. Players that come here, some of them you have to give them a bit of time, particularly young players. He’s playing well, he’s certainly in strong contention.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was characteristically sketchy regarding Manchester United’s team news in quotes released this morning, saying of Paul Pogba (ankle), Luke Shaw (hamstring), Nemanja Matic (muscle) and Axel Tuanzebe (hip):
We’re working very hard to get them fit and, hopefully, we can get them back soon. I’m not going to put a deadline on it but it won’t be long, hopefully.
Solskjaer had earlier in the week ruled Pogba out of the trip to Norwich, while Shaw and Matic had missed the win over Partizan Belgrade to work on their fitness in Dubai.
Having played with wing-backs in Gameweek 9, the Red Devils were again in a 3-4-1-2 in the Europa League on Thursday.
Asked about the system change, Solskjaer said:
I think injuries have made us get into the position where the performances didn’t come and we had fit centre-backs, good centre-backs and quality centre-backs. It just made it easier to go to a back three against Liverpool and again in Serbia. It’s just injuries have made us go into this position but it’s working quite well.
On whether Marcus Rashford and the fit-again Anthony Martial could line up as a front two in the 3-4-1-2, Solskjaer said:
That could happen, definitely. I thought Marcus and Dan James caused Liverpool problems, so it depends on who’s fit. Mason could’ve played today as well. We’re looking more dangerous up front with two – at the moment.
There was also talk of formation changes in Nuno Espirito Santo’s post-Europa League presser, with Wolves having again moved from a 3-5-2 to a 3-4-3 mid-match against Slovan Bratislava.
It depends on a lot of things, the types of options you have, the players that you have. We have to analyse each moment we have and the players that were out and those coming in, so it depends on a lot of things.
With one shape we can get good results, good results with another shape, but what’s more important is the idea. [We changed] because what happened in the first half, we were allowing Slovan to press us and we needed width, that is why we changed.
Ryan Bennett (groin) and Pedro Neto (heel) were the two senior players to miss that win in Slovakia and we have had no update on the pair since.
Wolves are at Newcastle this weekend, with the Magpies set to be without Fabian Schar (knee) and Andy Carroll (knee).
Steve Bruce said of the pair:
They’re not serious at all.
Andy, unfortunately, picked up a groin strain last Saturday.
Schar has had a bit of a sore knee which he’s playing with for the last two/three weeks and last Saturday become too uncomfortable for him.
They’ll both miss tomorrow. They could be in contention for next week, we expect them not to be long-term.
Matt Ritchie (ankle) and Florian Lejeune (knee) have returned to training and Bruce said the pair were “close” to a playing comeback, although the club has since said they won’t be risked.
Isaac Hayden is still suspended, meanwhile.
Eddie Howe said Bournemouth had no fresh injury concerns going into Saturday’s meeting with Watford and looks set to have Jefferson Lerma (hip) available again.
The Cherries’ boss said:
I don’t think we’re too dissimilar to last week. Jeff [Lerma] has come through training this week, should be OK.
Dan Gosling (hip), Junior Stanislas (knee) and David Brooks (ankle) remain sidelined.
Arsenal take on Crystal Palace this weekend but there have been no fresh injuries reported by the Gunners.
Unai Emery made ten changes for the Europa League on Thursday, with only Joe Willock keeping his place.
Roy Hodgson said of Palace’s team news:
We’ll see tomorrow but Vicente and Martin Kelly trained today, so as long as there’s no reaction it means they’ll be both available to be selected at the weekend. But Mamadou Sakho is still out and Connor Wickham too.
Grant Hanley (groin), Timm Klose (knee), Christoph Zimmermann (foot), Ralf Fahrmann (groin) and Mario Vrancic (match fitness) remain out for Norwich, meanwhile.
A recap of Wednesday and Thursday’s pressers can be viewed here.
Predicted line-ups and more detailed information is to be found in the Team News tab.
David and Neale’s video summary of Friday’s breaking injury news can be viewed below.
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