After a quiet day on Thursday in which only the managers of the three newly promoted clubs and Crystal Palace faced the media, there was a lot more activity on Friday.
A total of 13 Premier League managers held pre-match press conferences today, with the headline news below.
Ben Chilwell (heel), Hakim Ziyech (knee) and Christian Pulisic (hamstring) have all failed to recover ahead of the Liverpool match on Sunday, while Thiago Silva is still not match-fit enough.
Timo Werner has recovered from a dead leg, at least, while Mateo Kovacic returns from suspension in the middle of the park.
Frank Lampard told the media:
Ben Chilwell is not ready for the game, and Christian Pulisic is not ready for the game. We’re hope they’re training and progressing over the next week or so.
Hakim Ziyech is also not ready for the game, same story. Timo Werner is fit.
Thiago has been training with us for the last three or four days. We are just working with him on his fitness at the moment, so Liverpool will come too soon for him.
Manchester City look set to be without Aymeric Laporte (match fitness) and Sergio Aguero (knee) on Monday night, although Riyad Mahrez is in contention for a place in the matchday squad after returning to training in midweek.
Pep Guardiola told reporters:
[Aguero] still hasn’t made one training session with us. Riyad came back three or four days ago, he is training. Today is the first day that Aymeric is coming back to us. I think Riyad will be available to go there, Laporte not yet.
Phil Jones (knee) and Axel Tuanzebe (foot) are United’s only confirmed injury-related absentees for Saturday’s clash with Crystal Palace but Ole Gunnar Solskjaer did remind us that “some players are at different stages of their training programmes” and said of Luke Shaw and Paul Pogba:
Both Luke [Shaw] and Paul [Pogba] are available for selection – for how long we need them.
Asked about Mason Greenwood, Solskjaer added:
He’s part of the group. With the testing and the COVID protocols, he trained by himself for a little while, we had some tests done, and as soon it was possible, with us. He’s a big part of this group.
New signing Donny van de Beek also got a mention, with his manager saying:
He’s settled in really well. He played well [in a friendly] against Aston Villa so you’re likely to see him, but of course, I’m not going to name the team here today, I’ll have to do that to the boys after training.
Of course, [van de Beek, Fernandes and Pogba] can start together. Then again, you’ve got Scott McTominay, Fred and Nemanja Matic in midfield as well. I’m sure we’ll see them together, I’m not going to tell you if it’s tomorrow or not.
It was all quiet on the injury front at Liverpool, who announced the signing of Thiago Alcantara on Friday.
Jurgen Klopp said of the Reds’ fitness situation:
Intense week, a few little things here and there. In the moment, should be OK. Nobody is coming back and the rest, we have to see. Still two days to go, two training sessions, but for the moment, we seem OK.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (knee) remains out.
Arsenal reported this morning that David Luiz (neck spasm) is “making good progress and back in full training”, following his no-show in Gameweek 1
Calum Chambers (knee), Pablo Mari (ankle), Gabriel Martinelli (knee), Shkodran Mustafi (hamstring), Emile Smith Rowe (shoulder) and Sokratis (calf) remain out, however.
In good news for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang owners, Mikel Arteta also confirmed that the forward remains ahead of Willian in the penalty-taking pecking order.
Steve Bruce is still without a cluster of players for Sunday’s match against Brighton but Allan Saint-Maximin has shaken off a minor fitness issue and was declared fit by his manager.
It’s still a bit too early for (Paul) Dummett, [Matty] Longstaff, (Fabian) Schär and (Martin) Dúbravka. Everybody else seems to be OK. We got a clean bill of health from the other night which was refreshing. Allan Saint-Maximin is fine.
Budget FPL defender Jarrad Branthwaite (ankle) will be unavailable until after the October international break, joining Mason Holgate (toe) on the sidelines ahead of Saturday’s match against West Brom.
Carlo Ancelotti said of the £4.0m-rated youngster and of the Toffees’ overall fitness situation:
He had a problem on his ankle, he is out for at least three to five weeks. He doesn’t need surgery but he has to rest at least one month.
Mason Holgate, no news, he is out. The other players are all fit.
As well as batting away questions about Danny Ings‘ future, Ralph Hasenhuttl revealed that Nathan Redmond (ankle) will miss Sunday’s match against Spurs.
Stuart Armstrong (thigh) could be back, at least, with his manager saying:
At the moment we have Reddy [Nathan Redmond] from the game against Brentford with a light ankle ligament injury and isn’t available I don’t think for the weekend.
Stu [Armstrong] was for the first time back out on the pitch today, but if that’s enough to start at the weekend I don’t know. Maybe he will be part of the squad this weekend.
James Maddison made his return from injury as a substitute in Gameweek 1 and both he and Wes Morgan (hamstring) have been in full training this week.
Brendan Rodgers said of the pair:
James and Wes have been training with the squad all week. It’s another week further on for them, so that’s great news.”
He was out for a long time, James. It’s going to be a really, really long season for us. We don’t have to rush anyone back. We’ve got a good squad of players, we’re hoping to add to that.
Certainly, the players we have, we can’t afford to be risking any injury, if they’re not ready, so he’s been progressing really, really well and we’ll assess that over the next 24 hours.
If he doesn’t start, we have a midweek game, and as we know, we’ve got a run of games now which sees us through to Christmas, so there will be plenty of football for all the players.
Ricardo Pereira (ACL) is continuing his rehabilitation but unlikely to be available until “the end of October”.
Rodgers also assuaged any fears that Jamie Vardy was suffering any lingering effects from a fall in the match against West Brom, saying:
It looked a sore one at the time, but he’s training this week and looked sharp.
Jack Cork (ankle), Ben Mee (thigh) and Ashley Barnes (groin) remain unavailable for Burnley’s first Premier League match of the new season, having not recovered from the injuries that curtailed their 2019/20 campaigns – although Barnes will play for the under-23s next week.
Johann Berg Gudmundsson (knee) will join them on the sidelines, having been stretchered off in the Clarets’ EFL Cup tie against Sheffield United on Thursday.
James Tarkowski (toe) has a chance of featuring, however, with Sean Dyche saying after full-time against the Blades that his sought-after centre-half would “hopefully” recover in time.
Brighton and Hove Albion
Graham Potter confirmed that Adam Lallana and Ben White will rejoin team training today after limping off with knocks on Monday.
Brighton will make a late decision on their involvement against Newcastle.
Dale Stephens was forced off in midweek, meanwhile, but we’ve had no update on him as yet.
Dean Smith confirmed on Friday that new signing Emiliano Martinez was “ready to play” and while stopping short of naming the former Arsenal shot-stopper as his new number one, did say that “you don’t get many opportunities to get a goalkeeper of his calibre at this stage of his career”.
Bjorn Engels (thigh), Wesley (knee) and Tom Heaton (knee) are out.
West Ham United
Mark Noble (toe) and Jack Wilshere (ankle) were the only two names mentioned by David Moyes when asked about injuries, with the West Ham boss saying:
Mark Noble has got a bit of a toe injury and we just didn’t risk him today in training because we want to see how he is. He took an injection in it, so we’ll see how he is tomorrow and hopefully, he’ll be OK.
Jack had a scan on his ankle on Wednesday. He’s got a little bit of bone growth on his ankle which is causing him irritation. He rolled his ankle and felt it, so that’s why we got it checked, but he’s OK and he’s back out training.
More detailed information and predicted line-ups can be found in the Team News tab, which will be refreshed before the Gameweek 2 deadline at 11:00 BST on Saturday.
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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