After a relatively quiet day on the team news front on Thursday, there was a bit more to interest Fantasy managers from the pre-Gameweek 17 press conferences today.
There were some ominous quotes from Frank Lampard in his media gathering, with the Chelsea boss asked about whether the fixture congestion means that he’s more likely to rotate his midfield options over the coming weeks.
Slightly, yeah. I’m pleased with what we have in midfield. With the schedule that we’ve had, the amount of games we’ve played back to back, then I think rotation [is possible]. A little bit for the game and what’s in front of us, because sometimes you want to change the set-up, but also just for the fatigue factor and keeping people fresh. I certainly take that into consideration in midfield.
Sometimes [playing twice a week] takes a lot out of you, so I think there’s a genuine reason there. But we didn’t travel and we did play on Tuesday, so I think that’s less of an excuse for us.
On Fikayo Tomori (hip), Lampard added:
Tomori’s not fit for the game following on from the other day but he should train next week, hopefully.
Chelsea’s opponents Bournemouth have real problems, with Nathan Ake (hamstring), Steve Cook (wrist), Adam Smith (ankle), Charlie Daniels (knee), David Brooks (ankle) and Lloyd Kelly (thigh) all confirmed as out.
On Callum Wilson (hamstring), Eddie Howe said:
Callum, again I don’t think it’s a serious injury. He felt tightness in his hamstring, very minimal injury looking at the scans. Again, we hope to get him back very quickly.
Josh King (hamstring) could be back, with Howe adding:
Got a chance, yep. Josh has come through the various things that we need him to come through, hasn’t had a great deal of time on the training pitch but what he has done he has done well.
On the aforementioned injured players, the Bournemouth boss added:
It was relatively good news on Nathan’s scan. The trouble with hamstring injuries is it’s very difficult to give definitive timelines. We’re looking at about six weeks, that’s conservative, Nathan could come back sooner than that.”
Steve Cook injured his wrist against Tottenham and there was a fracture there. He’s had an operation, we hope to get him back reasonably quickly. At some stage [he could play with a cast], not immediately.
An operation [for Smith] would have meant maybe 10-12 weeks. Hopefully, he’s got away without having the operation, which halves the time.
Pep Guardiola confirmed on Friday that John Stones remains out with a muscular injury, while Sergio Aguero (groin) is still not training with the team.
On David Silva (knock), the City boss added:
Tomorrow, we’ll see. Yesterday and today, could not train. Maybe tomorrow is able to train.
It was a kick in some part of his leg that is painful, that’s why it’s painful.
The reigning champions will be up against Arsenal this weekend but we are yet to hear from Freddie Ljungberg or be provided with an injury update from the Gunners, so we will keep you posted if anything breaks this afternoon.
Across north London, Tottenham Hotspur reported that Ben Davies (ankle) is still continuing rehab in Qatar, while Erik Lamela (hamstring), Hugo Lloris (elbow), Michel Vorm (calf) and Tanguy Ndombele (groin) are undergoing on-field rehabilitation.
Harry Winks (ankle) has returned to training, meanwhile, but boss Jose Mourinho was unsure whether the midfielder would be fit to play.
The Spurs head coach said of Winks and his team selection for Sunday:
The players that didn’t travel [to Germany] are of course fine and we didn’t get any injuries from the Munich game. Harry Winks is the only player from the injury list that’s back. I don’t know if back to playing, but back to training with the team.
Ben Davies is going to be out for a long time. It’s kind of injury like Hugo, two, three months. You even lose the notion of the time and I get lost, I don’t know how many weeks more. I think Lamela is out for about two months. Ndombele, I think is a small injury. Normally he’s back for the Christmas period.
The team for Sunday was decided before Wednesday. So Wednesday doesn’t make an impact on the Sunday decisions. But, of course, in the same way I know some players had a very good performance [against Bayern].
Asked about the possibility of a rest for Harry Kane over Christmas, Mourinho added:
If you ask me, am I going to give him a rest on 26th December because then we have a match after two days or so, no, I’m not going to give a rest. The Munich match was one of these ones where the result was secondary.
Spurs are up against Wolves this weekend, whose manager Nuno Espirito Santo confirmed that his players came through the win over Besiktas unscathed.
Willy Boly (ankle) remains a long-term absentee, however.
Liverpool will be without Dejan Lovren (muscle), who joins Joel Matip (knee) and Fabinho (ankle) on the sidelines.
Jurgen Klopp said of the Croatia international:
Out. Muscle, this time, more serious than last time.
Asked about why Sadio Mane, Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez were not pictured in team training:
They did recovery [sessions], yeah. As far as I know [they are all OK].
Across Merseyside, the injuries are piling up for Duncan Ferguson – although he may have one or two bodies back this weekend.
The interim Everton boss said:
We’ve got Theo Walcott out for three weeks, calf. Morgan Schneiderlin, two weeks, calf.
We’ve got Fabian Delph, Seamus Coleman, Yerry Mina, light training, have trained the last two or three days.
[Digne] has trained this morning. A little bit tight but he has trained, so we’re hopeful of him.
Rounding up Manchester United’s injury situation, including providing us with the latest on Jesse Lingard (knock), Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said:
Next week, Eric [Bailly] will start training, Tim [Fosu-Mensah] will start training, Paul [Pogba] will probably start training next week with us properly. So let’s see.
I’m not sure about Jesse [Lingard], but I hope [he can feature]. He wasn’t training today, but we’ll check him on Saturday probably. He’s really come good now; he’s been fit, he’s been training well, so we hope so.
Aston Villa will be without one of their key defenders when they travel to Bramall Lane on Saturday, although another has recovered to make the trip.
Dean Smith said earlier today:
Matt Targett trained yesterday so he’ll be available.
Tyrone Mings hasn’t, he’s got a hamstring injury. Thankfully for us it’s not in the belly of the hamstring, hopefully he’ll be pain-free after this weekend and then can keep progressing.
Matt Ritchie (ankle) and Jamaal Lascelles (leg) have been joined on the sidelines by Allan Saint-Maximin (hamstring), Ciaran Clark (calf) and Ki Sung-yueng (unknown), who were all ruled out of Newcastle’s match against Burnley by their manager on Friday.
Saint-Maximin will be out for around a month.
Steve Bruce added that he also had concerns about Miguel Almiron (tight hamstring) and Jonjo Shelvey (sore calf) in his pre-match press conference, saying:
I don’t think with muscle injuries you can take that risk. If at all they are struggling with it then you can’t risk it. If they pull up and they’re out for a month to six weeks, we’ll all look stupid. We’ll err on the side of caution.
On Jetro Willems (unspecified injury), Bruce said:
Jetro’s ok, we think. He’s another one, but we think he’s ok. We’ll see how he is today.
Graham Potter says that Brighton will make a late call on Aaron Connolly (dead leg) but Solly March (groin) will not be available until the end of December or the beginning of January.
The Brighton boss said of the budget FPL forward:
We’re waiting on Aaron Connolly a little, so we’ll give him as much time as we can. At the moment he’s looking doubtful but we’ll see, we’ll give him up to the game to see where he’s at.
The Seagulls have no fresh injury concerns after last weekend but Dale Stephens is suspended.
It was all quiet on the team news front at Norwich City, for a change.
Daniel Farke reported that Grant Hanley (groin) has returned to team training but Saturday’s game against Leicester City comes too early for the defender.
A round-up of Thursday’s press conferences can be viewed here.
Predicted line-ups and more detailed information are found in the Team News tab, which is being updated this evening.
Our YouTube/podcast round-up can be viewed below.
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