Jamie Vardy (£10.0m) is in line to make his comeback from a hernia operation in Gameweek 23.
In his Friday press conference, Brendan Rodgers revealed the striker had recovered well following the procedure and, more importantly, was due to return in time to be involved against Wolves on Sunday afternoon.
“Jamie (Vardy) will be available for the weekend. It was just about trying to fit the operation in at the right time. He’s responded very well.” – Brendan Rodgers
Even though Vardy’s comeback could be viewed as something of a surprise opportunity, launching straight into signing the FPL forward for Gameweek 23 might be a little premature.
Ayoze Perez (£6.0m) and Kelechi Iheanacho (£5.6m) have filled in for Leicester’s number nine over the last three league matches and the latter earned particular praise on Friday afternoon.
“We don’t have to (start Vardy against Wolves). Iheanacho was terrific in his work-rate so he will be high on confidence. Jamie is so important, but the beauty is that we don’t need to rush him. Whether he starts or comes off the bench it’s a boost. It’s not a problem. It’s great that Kels has got his goal. He’s worked so hard. He worked very hard versus Palace but didn’t get his goal. You saw, for the second goal, it was a lovely turn. Having the availability of all the players is important.” – Brendan Rodgers
Meanwhile, Wilfred Ndidi (£4.8m) could also return against Wolves, although Rodgers still needs to assess him as he finalises his recovery from a hamstring tear.
“We’ll see with him over the next 24 hours, whether it’s worth the risk. He’s coming along very well. If not for the weekend, it will be for midweek.” – Brendan Rodgers
And the latest update on Timothy Castagne (£5.7m) suggests Ricardo Pereira (£5.9m) could be a useful asset for Fantasy managers in the coming weeks.
“The timeline was a couple of weeks on Castagne from that Leeds game. He’s responding well. We’ll see how he is over the next 10 days. Fofana is undergoing treatment. He would be between four and five weeks.” – Brendan Rodgers
There is less certainty about Harry Kane‘s (£11.0m) return though with Jose Mourinho in a cryptic mood once again during his post-match press conference on Thursday night.
“I think from all the guys injured, [Sergio] Reguilon, Dele Alli, [Giovani] Lo Celso, Harry Kane, I think the first one to be back will be Harry … So we have to fight with what we have, and against West Bromwich with Harry Kane, without Harry Kane, we have to go, we have to win that match.” – Jose Mourinho
Crystal Palace’s attacking potential for the coming Gameweeks has taken a nosedive with the latest injury update on Wilfried Zaha (£7.2m).
Roy Hodgson had to withdraw him against Newcastle and, three days later, has ruled him out of the trip to Leeds on Monday and he could be on the sidelines for some time.
🗣️ Roy Hodgson confirms that Wilfried Zaha will miss the trip to Leeds with a hamstring injury that could keep him out for "much longer". #FFScout #FPL #GW23 #CPFC #FantasyPL pic.twitter.com/QE3Z9iUY4F— Fantasy Football Scout (@FFScout) February 5, 2021
Meanwhile, Hodgson now considers key centre-back James Tomkins (£4.5m) in the same category as Jeffrey Schlupp (£5.3m) as someone who is “much further away” from an immediate return.
Palace’s upcoming opponents Leeds will be without Rodrigo (£5.7m) and Ian Poveda-Ocampo (£4.3m) on Monday night with the duo set to be out for “weeks rather than days”.
Liverpool could have goalkeeper Alisson (£5.9m) back for their crunch clash with Manchester City although Jurgen Klopp still needs to assess Sadio Mané (£11.9m) and Fabinho (£5.4m), who have partially trained this week.
“[Alisson] feels much better, good enough to have an individual session today. Sadio [Mane] and [Fabinho] will be in parts of team training today, then we will see.” – Jurgen Klopp
Ben Davies (£5.0m) and Ozan Kabak (£5.0m) might be involved, with the latter now given his international clearance, but Klopp has highlighted how unprepared they pair are currently.
“In an ideal world, you have a few weeks to work together on defensive things. Ben [Davies] and Ozan had yesterday an analysis meeting and they trained.” – Jurgen Klopp
There were no new injury updates to come out of Pep Guardiola’s Friday press conference, only confirmation that Sergio Aguero (£10.3m), Kevin De Bruyne (£11.8m) and Nathan Aké (£5.4m) are still on the sidelines with their respective issues.
David Moyes was also among the managers with very little to report before the weekend’s matches. He confirmed that his squad are “all fine” although added that Arthur Masuaku (£4.3m) is “hopefully only a month or so away” from a return.
As has been the case for much of the last few weeks, Scott Parker confirmed on Thursday that he had no new injury worries ahead of facing West Ham in Gameweek 23.
Arsenal are likely to field Alex Rúnarsson (£4.4m) against Aston Villa in light of Mat Ryan‘s (£4.2m) recent injury and Bernd Leno‘s (£5.0m) suspension.
“He’s not been available to train yet and Alex (Runarsson) is available so we will have a choice to make for the weekend.” – Mikel Arteta
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (£11.3m) might have to wait for his first start since returning from having to deal with some personal issues, while Kieran Tierney (£5.3m) still requires assessment for his calf problem.
“Well (Aubameyang) is available, he played a few minutes after 10 days of not doing much and hopefully in the next two days he feels good and he is available to contribute to the team. “It’s a different injury in (Tierney’s) case. Kieran is a player that really pushes himself. We are trying to manage him in the best possible way and find every possibility to give him the best chance to be fit as soon as possible.” – Mikel Arteta
Manchester United are only concerned with two individuals ahead of their Saturday-evening meeting with Everton.
Edinson Cavani (£7.9m) took a knock to the ankle midweek while Eric Bally (£4.9m) is, not for the first time in 2021, a doubt to face the Toffees.
“Edinson [Cavani] should be available, yeah definitely. He got a bad ankle knock there. Eric [Bailly] is a doubt. Apart from that, everyone is raring to go.” – Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
Whether Cavani or Anthony Martial (£8.7m) leads the Manchester United line, they will almost certainly face Robin Olsen (£4.5m) in the Everton goal as Jordan Pickford (£4.8m) is ruled out once again.
“We have out for this game Pickford, he is not recovered yet. We have out Allan, who started training with the team training. We have out Gbamin, who is following his individual programme.” – Carlo Ancelotti
There has not been enough time for Thomas Tuchel to provide a proper update on Thiago Silva (£5.6m), who was forced off against Spurs.
Speaking in his post-match press conference on Thursday night, which doubled as a pre-match media commitment ahead of facing Sheffield United, the Chelsea manager could only offer a preliminary assessment.
“It is too early to give a diagnosis because I just saw him very quickly in the dressing room with a big strap around his muscle. We will have to wait until tomorrow… but I think for Sunday he is a big doubt. I don’t think that he can play.” – Thomas Tuchel
Jamal Lewis (£4.2m), Jamaal Lascelles (£4.2m), Federico Fernández (£4.7m) are on Steve Bruce’s mind as Newcastle prepare to host a beleaguered Southampton outfit.
“We’ve got a worry to our left-back, Jamal Lewis has got a hamstring problem. We’re hoping Jamal will make it but we’ve still got the likes of Matt Ritchie who can fill in there.”
Meanwhile, Paul Dummett (£4.4m) is “still struggling” and Ciaran Clark‘s (£4.5m) partner has gone into labour, although the Magpies manager is hopeful he will be involved against the Saints. New loan signing Joe Willock (£4.7m) is sure to feature though.
“He’s only trained with us two or three days but he will be involved. He’s a little bit different to what we’ve got, he wants to get forward and score a goal. He’s got the ability to get up and down the pitch.” – Steve Bruce
Ralph Hasenhüttl is in serious need of a pick-up after Wednesday’s 9-0 drubbing at Old Trafford and he might just get it this weekend.
Jannik Vestergaard (£4.7m) has been absent since Gameweek 14 but was described as a “maybe” for Saturday’s trip to Newcastle while Jan Bednarek‘s (£4.9m) red card and resulting one-match ban was overturned earlier this week.
The Saints manager also revealed Oriol Romeu (£4.5m) had returned to training and that Kyle Walker-Peters (£4.7m) might be ready in time to travel north, although Stuart Armstrong (£5.5m) was ruled out.
Charlie Taylor (£4.5m), Josh Brownhill (£4.9m), Ashley Barnes (£6.0m), Chris Wood (£6.2m) and Robbie Brady (£5.0m) are all possibilities to feature for Burnley as Brighton come to Turf Moor.
Meanwhile, Seagulls manager Graham Potter confirmed Solly March (£5.0m) would miss out on Saturday but had better news on Joël Veltman (£4.3m) and Alexis Mac Allister (£5.3m).
“We’re hopeful for Joël Veltman and Alexis Mac Allister, but that’s all it is at the moment – just hopeful.” – Graham Potter
Chris Wilder was a little more obliging than usual in his pre-match press conference ahead of facing Chelsea.
Ben Osborn (£4.7m) has been confirmed as fit and available while the Sheffield United manager is hopeful on Enda Stevens‘ (£5.0m) chances of featuring.
Still, true to form, Wilder also said that a few of his players were “touch and go”, which could include George Baldock (£4.9m), who picked up a knock in Gameweek 22.
The Blades will, of course, face Chelsea without Ethan Ampadu (£4.3m) as the defender is ineligible to face his parent club.
After several weeks of providing us with useful injury updates, Nuno Espirito Santo was back to his taciturn self ahead of Sunday’s meeting with Leicester.
He revealed that Wolves had some “problems” but that tomorrow would be a better day for knowing more. A conveniently timed press conference indeed!