We had a bumper crop of press conferences to wade through on Friday as preparations continue for the final Gameweek of 2019/20.
All but two of the 20 Premier League managers faced the media today, with Mikel Arteta and Graham Potter having held virtual gatherings on Thursday.
We’ll run through the headline injury news and stand-out manager quotes for each fixture, with a more detailed discussion to follow in our Team News tab.
Manchester City v Norwich City
Any concern that Fantasy managers might have had about seeing Raheem Sterling in Saint-Tropez in midweek were assuaged by Pep Guardiola on Friday, with the City boss confirming that he had given his squad Wednesday and Thursday off.
Talking of that decision and the motivation for Sunday’s dead rubber against Norwich City, Guardiola said:
I gave [the players] two days [off] because we had a tough period after lockdown with games every three days. If you play against an opponent playing for something maybe I would not have given two days.
We need to see how the players are ready for Madrid. I know them quite well but this game against Norwich and the way they are going to train this week, we are going to pay attention to how prepared they are for Madrid.
Every game there has to be a target, a focus, a desire to win the game, and maybe, scoring 100 goals is one of the reasons why.
Guardiola wasn’t asked about any injuries but opposite number Daniel Farke had plenty to report, confirming that Emiliano Buendia (suspended), Josip Drmic (suspended), Alex Tettey (knee) and Timm Klose (hamstring) will miss the trip to the Etihad.
Long-term absentees Moritz Leitner (hernia), Grant Hanley (hamstring) and Sam Byram (hamstring) remain sidelined.
Leicester City v Manchester United
Brendan Rodgers will again be without Ben Chilwell (foot), Christian Fuchs (groin), Caglar Soyuncu (suspended) and James Maddison (hip) this weekend but Marc Albrighton (knock) is expected to recover in time.
Rodgers said of Albrighton on Friday:
He will have a final fitness test tomorrow, but he should be okay.
The Foxes don’t have any fresh fitness concerns.
In an interview with MUTV, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said of Luke Shaw (ankle) and Eric Bailly (head):
We’re going to give them as much time as possible. I’m not going to rule anything out.
Newcastle United v Liverpool
There was nothing in the way of team news from the broadcast section of Jurgen Klopp’s presser, with the Liverpool manager’s media gathering dominated by talk of the title win, Jordan Henderson‘s player of the year award and a beef with Frank Lampard.
There was plenty to report in the north-east, however, with Isaac Hayden (hamstring) and Sean Longstaff (hamstring) potentially in line for a return but the Magpies still missing five of their six centre-halves.
Emil Krafth (knock) is also a doubt and Steve Bruce said:
We might have Isaac [Hayden] and Sean Longstaff. We’ve got a problem with Emil [Krafth], he took a nasty whack to his ankle, we’ll see how he is in the next 24 hours. If they come through, then Isaac and Sean might be available.
[Fabian Schär] has an operation this afternoon so we’re hoping 6-8 weeks and we’re hoping when the season is about to start that he’ll be there or thereabouts. That goes for Lascelles and all of the ones who are injured, Dummett, Clark.
Chelsea v Wolverhampton Wanderers
N’Golo Kante (hamstring) may return for Chelsea’s clash with Wolves on Sunday, with Frank Lampard saying:
There’s a possibility that he’ll feature. He’s trained for the first time towards a match pace this morning, so that’s a decision I’ll have to make – talking with him and the medical team – to see if he’s ready to start.
Not for the first time this season, Nuno Espirito Santo didn’t report any injury concerns in his pre-match press conference and said that Raul Jimenez was “ready to go” following the birth of his daughter earlier this week.
Burnley v Brighton and Hove Albion
Charlie Taylor (hamstring), Jack Cork (ankle), Ben Mee (thigh), Matthew Lowton (foot) and Ashley Barnes (hernia) remain unavailable for Burnley this weekend, with Sean Dyche confirming that he wouldn’t blood any youngsters in their clash with Brighton:
No, I doubt it. With all due respect, some of the young players here are good players but I still don’t think many of them are quite ready to start. They might get a glimmer from the bench.
Jose Izquierdo (knee) and Steven Alzate (groin) are the only definite absentees we know about for Albion, with Alireza Jahanbakhsh (hamstring) and Bernardo (eye infection) thought to be fit.
Arsenal v Watford
Arsenal confirmed in a medical bulletin on Friday that Shkodran Mustafi (hamstring) will miss the remaining league and cup matches of this season.
Bernd Leno (knee) is aiming to be back in full training next week, so Emiliano Martinez looks set to continue between the posts.
Calum Chambers (knee), Pablo Mari (ankle) and Gabriel Martinelli (knee) remain out.
Watford will make a late check on Etienne Capoue (knock), with interim boss Hayden Mullins saying:
No more fresh injury worries. Étienne [Capoue] is going to train tomorrow. Étienne’s been having treatment so we’re going to have a look and see if he’s available tomorrow for us to train and have a look at him.
Southampton v Sheffield United
Chris Wilder said that Sheffield United have got “a few issues” heading into Gameweek 38+, with the Blades boss citing fatigue and knocks.
Jan Bednarek (muscle) should be back for the Saints, meanwhile, with Ralph Hasenhuttl saying:
He is back in training, and fit and available for the weekend. Injury wise, we have Sofiane (Boufal) and Moussa (Djenepo) still out, but the rest are fit.
Crystal Palace v Tottenham Hotspur
Jose Mourinho confirmed that Tanguy Ndombele (unspecified) is his only injury-related absentee on Sunday with Dele Alli (hamstring) now fit.
Eric Dier also returns from a four-match ban.
Mamadou Sakho (muscle) has joined Gary Cahill (hamstring), James Tomkins (thigh), Patrick van Aanholt (shoulder) and Christian Benteke (suspended) on the sidelines for the visit of Spurs but Luka Milivojevic (knee) could make a swift reappearance, with Roy Hodgson saying on Friday:
The only one who may have a chance is Luka. He missed training yesterday and trained today. We’ll wait and see if there’s any reaction to the knee when we get together tomorrow.
Everton v Bournemouth
Carlo Ancelotti confirmed on Friday that Yerry Mina (thigh), Jean-Philippe Gbamin (knee), Fabian Delph (muscle) and Mason Holgate (shin) will miss the visit of Bournemouth, so teenager Jarrad Branthwaite looks poised to continue alongside Michael Keane at centre-half.
Moise Kean was passed fit by the Toffees so he could be line for a start based on Ancelotti’s comments last Monday.
Eddie Howe revealed that Bournemouth will have to “wait and see” on whether Nathan Ake (groin) will be able to feature at Goodison Park but Adam Smith (concussion) should return.
On Ake, Howe said:
He’s got a very minor groin problem, so we’ll wait and see whether he’s available, that’s still undecided.
Whether he’s fit enough to play from the injury side and also from the fact that he hasn’t trained or really done anything between the injury and now, we’ll make a very late call on him.
West Ham United v Aston Villa
Neil Taylor (hamstring) could be back in contention after making a return to training but Ahmed Elmohamady (hamstring) will miss Aston Villa’s all-important match with West Ham United, which will force Dean Smith into at least one change for the trip to east London.
David Moyes didn’t provide any update on Jarrod Bowen (knock) or Aaron Cresswell (knock) in the broadcast section of his presser but the former was spotted in training ground photos and his manager had previously said that he “didn’t think” there was anything to be concerned about.
More detailed information and predicted line-ups can be found in the Team News tab, which will be refreshed before the Gameweek 38+ deadline at 15:00 BST on Sunday.
Keep an eye on our Twitter feed, too, for any late-breaking updates.
A video round-up with Andy and Neale can be viewed below:
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