With there being a freakishly early Fantasy Premier League deadline at 16:00 GMT today, there is little time to digest the goings-on at the pre-Gameweek 8 press conferences.
The media gatherings that were held on Wednesday and Thursday at least gave us a bit of time to absorb any stand-out injury updates but we have only heard from the likes of Pep Guardiola and Frank Lampard in the last hour or so, leaving many FPL managers with some last-minute decisions to be made.
Our team news summary below rounds up the headline injury news and stand-out manager quotes from the conference calls that were held over the last 48 hours or so.
MANCHESTER CITY V LIVERPOOL
Fabinho (muscle), Virgil van Dijk (knee) and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (knee) are all definite absentees for the clash with Manchester City and Thiago (knock) looks set to join them on the sidelines, with Jurgen Klopp citing his lack of training time as being a hindrance to his involvement on Sunday:
Thiago is probably not ready to return. No surgery needed but it was still an injury. The longer he is out, the longer he has to train until we consider him again. That’s obviously the case with Thiago, that means he will not be available for us Sunday.
Klopp wouldn’t be drawn on who will start up front, with Diogo Jota now a serious threat to Roberto Firmino:
It’s very good for us that Diogo could settle that quick and gain confidence that early.
We have more than three offensive players, they’re all good, that’s why they are all on contracts here!
Benjamin Mendy (muscle), Fernandinho (muscle) and Sergio Aguero (muscle) remain out for Manchester City.
EVERTON v MANCHESTER UNITED
Everton have been handed a huge boost ahead of Gameweek 8, with James Rodriguez (muscle), Seamus Coleman (hamstring), Lucas Digne (suspension) and Mason Holgate (toe) all declared available.
Carlo Ancelotti told reporters:
We have practically all the squad available apart from Richarlison and Delph, who has a little problem. Just for a few days he is out. All the others are available.
Alex Telles (illness) is back in training for the Red Devils, while Victor Lindelof will be assessed for a back problem.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said:
We’ve not lost any [players] from the Istanbul trip. Same group, same squad. Alex has started training with us, which is good. Victor has still got the issue that he’s been struggling with. He’ll have to be checked tonight [Friday] in the hotel.
Anthony Martial returns from suspension.
SOUTHAMPTON V NEWCASTLE UNITED
Danny Ings could be out for up to six weeks after Ralph Hasenhuttl revealed that the striker would undergo surgery on a knee injury he picked up in Gameweek 7.
The Southampton boss told reporters on Wednesday:
It could be much worse, when you see the scene, it is horrible to watch. At the moment it looks like he’s out for 4-6 weeks. He will have surgery tomorrow morning, a small one.
The scan was not too bad. It showed little issues with the meniscus, it could have been an older injury or a new one.
We started running yesterday, a little bit of jogging on the pitch and his knee was a little bit swollen and he had pain. It was definitely a situation where we immediately stopped so it didn’t get worse and then it was clear we needed to have another look.
We’ve decided to go for the surgery because it was the safest way to have a 4-6 week break only. The historic knee problem is not the issue, it’s a small surgery but a necessary one. Hopefully, it’s not getting worse than this.
Jan Bednarek (head), Ryan Bertrand (hamstring), Ibrahima Diallo (dead leg), Jake Vokins (knee), Will Smallbone (quad) and Mohamed Salisu (match fitness) are all also doubts or ruled out, with their manager explaining:
Jan Bednarek, I don’t know if he can train today, it was a horrible crash on the ground. Ryan Bertrand is out maybe for the weekend. Diallo has a dead leg from a hard kick.
Ryan has a low-grade injury on his hamstring. It definitely wouldn’t make too much sense to take this risk as we have a two-week break and then we have a lot of fixtures. So maybe we will not take the risk but when he decides that he’s okay, then we can do it. We have another two days to go and then we can decide.
[Salisu and Smallbone] are further in their development, but still not available for Friday.
[Vokins] has pain on his left knee and it causes him problems when he shoots or passes the ball. We’ll have a look. He will try this week also but still hasn’t trained for one-and-a-half weeks now so it would be difficult for the weekend I think.
On the Newcastle United front, Steve Bruce reported that “everybody has come through and trained all week”.
Medium-to-long-term absentees Martin Dubravka (heel), Dwight Gayle (knee), Matt Ritchie (shoulder) and Jonjo Shelvey (groin) remain out, however.
CHELSEA v SHEFFIELD UNITED
Christian Pulisic (hamstring) will miss the visit of Sheffield United, with Frank Lampard telling reporters:
No he’s not fit to play, he’s still suffering with his hamstring. He’s not [training] at the moment. Kepa has recovered, he’s still getting pain but he’s in the squad for tomorrow.
Kai Havertz (illness) is out.
Lampard said of Timo Werner, meanwhile:
I’m not going to give the team away but I think it was clear in the Burnley game that I was planning on giving him a rest, more because I had options and the journey to Russia and back, and he had played a lot of games.
But at the minute, it’s a balance in my job of players who are playing well and enjoying it, and finding their way in the team, it’s been a big deal for Timo.
I’m not talking about tomorrow necessarily but as we look forward we will try and manage those minutes to keep him fresh as I can. But at the minute, he’s going well, so we’ll see.
Jack O’Connell (knee), Lys Mousset (toe) and John Fleck (back) remain out for the Blades, with Chris Wilder reporting that the latter two are “back on the grass” but not quite ready for a return.
Loanee Ethan Ampadu is ineligible to face his parent club.
BRIGHTON AND HOVE ALBION V BURNLEY
There was no word on Tariq Lamptey‘s fitness in Graham Potter’s pre-match briefing, with the Brighton boss only extolling the young defender’s virtues.
Potter had said earlier in the week that Lamptey was only suffering from “a bit of cramp at the end” of the Spurs match that but that he “thinks” the full-back will be OK.
Alireza Jahanbakhsh (hamstring) has been back in training ahead of Albion’s clash with Burnley, while Potter said of Solly March (ankle):
We will have to wait on a little bit more closer to the game before we see how possible it is for him.
Talk of Neal Maupay and Mathew Ryan predictably dominated Potter’s presser, with the Brighton boss effectively confirming that the former’s omission from the matchday squad in Gameweek 7 was disciplinary in nature:
Sometimes mistakes are made and tempers are high and people are frustrated and emotional and you want that really, to a certain extent.
We are in professional sport at the highest level and sometimes a line gets crossed and it is about how you then react to that. There is no problem with Neal. It is something that we have dealt with as an incident and we have moved forward from it. He has trained with the group. He accepts that it wasn’t his finest hour.
But he is a young man that is going to make mistakes, like we all do and have done. He then takes responsibility for them, we move forward as a group and we are stronger for it.
He has been training with the group, without revealing too much for Sean [Dyche] on my squad, he is available for selection.
On Ryan, Potter added:
Like I said before he has responded really well. He is a professional, he wants to play, he is disappointed when he doesn’t. I have got 26 or 27 or 28 other players that have the same thoughts.
On the one hand, we have to think about Mat but it is also good for Rob [Sanchez], I think. It is good for our academy, it’s good for how we see the football club developing medium to long-term that a player has made their Premier League debut from our academy which is something to be proud of.
Sean Dyche says that Ben Mee has “a chance” of featuring on Friday, while Phil Bardsley has returned to training after a period of self-isolation and joined Mee in a behind-closed-doors friendly earlier this week.
The Burnley boss said of Mee:
Ben Mee got some minutes in a behind-closed-doors game. He’s got a chance, he’s feeling pretty good, certainly injury-free.
I will be chatting with him to see where he’s at with it. I think I know the answer and I think he’ll say that he’s ready.
Erik Pieters (calf) and Jack Cork (ankle) remain out, while Johann Berg Gudmundsson (calf) is still “touch and go”.
WEST HAM UNITED v FULHAM
Michail Antonio is making progress in his recovery from a hamstring injury, with David Moyes saying in his pre-match press conference:
Micky Antonio is doing much better and we’re hoping that he’ll be back shortly.
We didn’t put any timescale on it whatsoever because Micky’s doing really well. He’s on the grass at the moment, so we’re pleased.
Mark Noble (rib) is unlikely to feature but Moyes said that he expects Aaron Cresswell to be fine after the defender picked up – and played through – a groin injury in last weekend’s defeat to Liverpool.
Cresswell has been training this week.
On the subject of Said Benrahma, Moyes added:
He got an introduction the other day and we think he’s getting closer to match fitness. He’s beginning to integrate well and we’re beginning to see exactly what he’s capable of. He’ll be in and around the squad again tomorrow.
Scott Parker said that Mario Lemina is “a little bit touch and go” with a minor injury problem and will be assessed over the coming days.
The Fulham boss reported no other fresh fitness issues, with Kenny Tete (calf) and Terence Kongolo (calf/foot) both still sidelined.
Neeskens Kebano has been declared available for selection after a recent absence, however.
WEST BROMWICH ALBION v TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR
Jose Mourinho’s pre-Gameweek 8 press conference took the form of a virtual media gathering held immediately after Thursday’s win over Ludogorets, with the Spurs boss able to confirm that the Lilywhites hadn’t picked up any fresh injuries and that Sergio Reguilon (flu) is expected to feature this weekend:
The good thing is I don’t think we have injuries from the match today and Reguilon trained [on Thursday] morning at the training ground so normally he will be fine.
Serge Aurier (unspecified) only had a “little problem” that the club didn’t want to risk on Thursday, meanwhile, so he too could be involved at the Hawthorns.
Hal Robson-Kanu (arm) and Sam Field (knee) are the only known absentees for West Brom at the time of writing.
LEICESTER CITY v WOLVERHAMPTON WANDERERS
Jonny Evans (back) should be available for Leicester’s match against Wolves but Caglar Söyüncü (abductor), Daniel Amartey (hamstring), Wilfred Ndidi (adductor) and Ricardo Pereira (ACL) remain out.
Marcal (knock) is back in training for the visitors, with Jonny (knee) the only confirmed absentee.
ARSENAL v ASTON VILLA
Dean Smith confirmed on Friday that Bertrand Traore (thigh) would miss the trip to Arsenal, although the summer signing from Lyon will “definitely be back” after the international break.
Wesley (knee) remains out and, although Tom Heaton (knee) has returned to training, the goalkeeper will be given games with the under-23s before he is considered for a first-team return.
Pablo Mari (ankle), Calum Chambers (match fitness) and Gabriel Martinelli (knee) the only Arsenal squad members who are definitely ruled out at the time of writing.
Reiss Nelson missed Thursday’s Europa League tie with a minor knock, however, and his availability remains unknown.
CRYSTAL PALACE v LEEDS UNITED
Roy Hodgson confirmed that James Tomkins (muscle), Joel Ward (groin), Tyrick Mitchell (knock), Nathan Ferguson (knee), Connor Wickham (muscle) and Wayne Hennessey (muscle) remain out in Friday’s pre-match press conference.
Marcelo Bielsa confirmed that Diego Llorente (muscle) and Kalvin Phillips (shoulder) remain unavailable for Leeds.
Rodrigo (self-isolating) will also miss out and “be evaluated next week”, while a late call will be made on Raphinha (ankle):
I haven’t decided just yet [on Raphinha]. We’re going to wait until tomorrow to see if it’s convenient whether we can count on him or not.
More detailed information and predicted line-ups can be found in the Team News tab.
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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