Jurgen Klopp confirmed on Friday that James Milner (£5.3m) and Sadio Mané (£12.2m) are in contention to return for Saturday’s clash at Carrow Road.
Such news may be of frustration to Fantasy Premier League managers who had to make a decision about the Senegalese international prior to last Saturday’s Gameweek 26.
Takumi Minamino (£6.4m), Divock Origi (£5.2m) and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (£6.2m) have all had a stint on the left flank while Mané has been sidelined he will surely return to the starting XI if fully fit, although there is the small matter of a Champions League clash against Atletico Madrid 72 hours after the encounter in East Anglia.
Minutes could well be managed as a result, although a two-week breather before the meeting with Daniel Farke’s side should ensure that there is little issue with fatigue.
Norwich centre-back Ben Godfrey (£4.4m) will return from suspension ahead of the visit of Liverpool, leaving Timm Klose (£4.3m) as the only confirmed absentee for the match against the runaway league leaders.
Godfrey is by no means a certainty to regain his place alongside Christoph Zimmermann (£4.4m), though, with Grant Hanley (£4.0m) having performed ably in his stead of late.
The fit-again Emiliano Buendia (£6.0m) will be pushing for a recall on the right flank after being overlooked in Gameweek 25, with Farke having hinted before the goalless draw with Newcastle that the Argentine winger hadn’t perhaps quite been at full fitness after his recent thigh injury.
Lukas Rupp (£4.5m) could make way, then, but the positive nature of the display at St. James Park – chance conversion again letting the Canaries down – could see changes few and far between elsewhere.
After a two-week winter break and with a six-day breather to follow after their meeting with Leicester, there is little reason for Wolves to be at anything other than full strength when the Foxes visit Molineux on Friday – injuries permitting, of course.
Ruben Vinagre (£4.2m) won’t feature at the King Power Stadium but Adama Traoré (£5.8m), who was in the wars against Manchester United, was passed fit by Nuno Espirito Santo in the Wolves manager’s pre-match presser, with the rest of the squad also available at the time of writing.
The fit-again Willy Boly (£4.7m) and Diogo Jota (£6.1m) were back in the starting XI in Manchester, with Leander Dendoncker (£4.4m) and Pedro Neto (£5.0m) making way. Boly capable of operating on either side of the defence, Dendoncker could still get a reprieve at the expense of Romain Saïss (£4.4m).
Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers said on Wednesday that Wilfred Ndidi (£5.0m) “probably is going to be doubtful” to face Wolves on Friday, so Hamza Choudhury (£4.3m) could continue to deputise in central midfield given that Nampalys Mendy (£4.3m) is still sidelined.
Youri Tielemans (£6.2m) has seemingly regained his place from Dennis Praet (£5.3m) in the middle of the park and two assists against Frank Lampard’s side will do his chances of another start no harm, while the superlative form of Harvey Barnes (£6.0m) ought to see the young winger as good as nailed on the left flank. Ayoze Pérez (£6.2m) is perhaps less secure on the right wing but still caught the eye at times against Chelsea and has now started six league games in a row.
Ryan Bennett (£4.8m) is ineligible to face his parent club while Jamie Vardy (£9.8m) came through a 79-minute run-out in Gameweek 25 seemingly unscathed, so there don’t seem to be any serious lingering effects from his recent glute injury and a fortnight’s breather may have helped him regain full match-fitness.
James Ward-Prowse (£5.8m) was stretchered off with a knee injury against Spurs last week but was subsequently only deemed to have suffered a bad cut, with Ralph Hasenhüttl expressing hope that his ever-present midfielder would be fit enough to return against Burnley in Gameweek 26.
The Southampton boss talked in terms of Ward-Prowse playing back in his usual “number six” role if he does recover so Kyle Walker-Peters (£4.4m) or Yan Valery (£4.6m) may get the nod at right-back (where Ward-Prowse had been deputising) for this weekend’s game.
Hasenhüttl didn’t consider Walker-Peters for the trip to Anfield as he needed to learn about the finer details of the Saints’ system but a two-week winter break has given him ample opportunity to do just that, so the Spurs loanee could very well be handed a start in what is otherwise a settled back four.
Ashley Barnes (£6.1m) and Johann Berg Gudmundsson (£5.9m) will miss Burnley’s trip to Southampton, while Matt Lowton (£4.2m) and Charlie Taylor (£4.2m) will both be assessed before Saturday’s game, with the left-back looking more likely to recover given his manager’s comments on Thursday. Phil Bardsley (£4.3m) and Erik Pieters (£4.3m) will both be on standby to deputise should the first-choice full-backs fail to recover.
Aston Villa’s long-term absentees John McGinn (£5.4m), Jed Steer (£4.3m), Tom Heaton (£4.4m) and Wesley (£5.5m) will remain sidelined for the visit of Spurs but we are in the dark regarding the availability of Danny Drinkwater (£4.4m).
The former Leicester midfielder missed the 2-1 defeat to Bournemouth but could very well threaten the midfield pairing of Douglas Luiz (£4.4m) and Marvelous Nakamba (£4.4m) if passed fit given that Smith has shown a lot of faith in the Chelsea loanee since his arrival in the Midlands. Conor Hourihane (£5.7m) and Henri Lansbury (£4.4m) are further options in the middle of the park but look to have fallen down the pecking order in recent weeks and may only be among the substitutes at best this weekend.
Harry Kane (£10.8m), Juan Foyth (£4.8m) and Moussa Sissoko (£4.8m) are unavailable for Spurs as they travel to Aston Villa on Sunday, while Erik Lamela (£5.7m) will be assessed ahead of the game.
Giovani Lo Celso (£7.3m) and Ben Davies (£5.3m) are back in training, at least, and should be in contention to feature in the Midlands. Davies’ return perhaps puts Japhet Tanganga‘s (£4.1m) security of starts in some doubt given what Jose Mourinho had said previously about the importance of the Welshman to his system.
Tanganga could still continue as the two-in-one left-back/centre-half while Davies gets up to full speed, with Mourinho again declaring that Ryan Sessegnon (£5.4m) “is not a left-back” after his run-out in that position in the FA Cup fourth round against Southampton.
Sead Kolasinac (£5.2m), Bukayo Saka (£4.5m) and Reiss Nelson (£5.3m) were all passed fit by Arsenal on Friday, with Kolasinac potentially in line to displace Saka at left-back as he had done at the start of the calendar year.
Newcastle’s long-term absentees Jetro Willems (£4.5m), Paul Dummett (£4.4m) and Emil Krafth (£4.3m) won’t feature at the Emirates on Sunday, while Andy Carroll (£5.4m) and Jonjo Shelvey (£4.9m) aren’t yet ready for a return.
Dwight Gayle (£5.0m) and Yoshinori Muto (£5.1m) will be assessed after a return to training but will likely be among the substitutes at best as Joelinton (£5.5m), who picked up a rib injury in the win over Oxford United last week, was passed fit on Thursday.
New signings Valentino Lazaro (£5.5m), Nabil Bentaleb (£5.0m) and Danny Rose (£5.3m) also bolster Newcastle’s squad depth, with Bentelab having already made two competitive starts for the Magpies.
Rose, ineligible to face Oxford in the FA Cup, could very well be handed his first Newcastle start in London at the expense of Matt Ritchie (£5.3m), who is a possible option on the other side of the pitch given that DeAndre Yedlin (£4.4m) has failed to really impress of late.
It remains to be seen if Bruce sees Lazaro more as a wing-back or a winger, meanwhile, with the right-sided Austrian another alternative to Yedlin if it’s the former.
Tammy Abraham (£7.7m) is still feeling the effects of a recent ankle injury according to Frank Lampard, who said in his latest press conference that the player has had to be pulled out of training a few times over the Winter Break but managed a full session on Friday. As things stand, he will have to be assessed over the weekend ahead of the visit of Manchester United on Monday night.
Christian Pulisic (£6.9m) and Ruben Loftus-Cheek (£6.3m) have both been ruled out of Gameweek 26 but are both approaching a return to full fitness.
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