Manchester City rotation could hit new heights in Double Gameweek 27 in light of Pep Guardiola’s most recent team news update.
For the first time in months, the Citizens manager has a full squad to choose from now that Nathan Aké (£5.4m) is back from a long-term absence.
Now that “everyone is fit”, Guardiola’s promises to use his full complement of players could come true at the worst possible time for Fantasy Premier League managers.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer confirmed Sunday’s Manchester derby will not feature David de Gea (£5.3m) who has travelled to Spain to attend the birth of his child. That should see him miss more games as he will need to self-isolate on his return to the UK.
“As soon as David travels back, we just have to follow the government rules. I expect him to be available very soon.” – Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
The Manchester United manager currently has injury flags against Paul Pogba (£7.6m), Anthony Martial (£8.7m), Juan Mata (£5.8m) and Donny van de Beek (£6.6m) but could only give a blanket update on the quartet in his Friday press conference.
“We’re still hoping to get one or two back [from injury], of course. We can’t promise any of them being available that weren’t available in the last game against Palace. So we’ll go with the same squad if not.” – Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
Double Gameweek 27’s other two-time combatants Southampton arguably come into this round better equipped than usual.
The Saints have been stricken with injuries this season but could welcome back some key names when they travel the Sheffield United on Saturday afternoon although Ralph Hasenhüttl did admit that Moussa Djenepo (£5.4m) would need to have his fitness managed.
“We have a few players back in the training. Ibrahima Diallo, Takumi Minamino and Kyle Walker-Peters are coming back and are in the sessions. If they are available for the games, we will have to see. But it looks good.” – Ralph Hasenhuttl
“(Djenepo) showed that against the ball he is a good player. We have to pay attention to him because he has a big injury history since he has been here. Three games in seven days is tough. We must be careful who we take and who we rotate and how we manage the load.” – Ralph Hasenhüttl
Meanwhile, uncertainty reigns over the Southampton goalkeeper situation after Fraser Forster (£4.0m) started ahead of Alex McCarthy (£4.5m) in Gameweek 26.
Hasenhüttl kept his cards to his chest when asked about the position on Thursday instead describing the latter’s reaction to being dropped.
“(McCarthy) reacted quite well. We had a good conversation. He knows I trusted him and gave him a chance even though he’s played not so perfect games. Against Newcastle, he was responsible for the third goal. This is not the key. We all make mistakes. We all have times where we make more mistakes than others and then you have to go into a duel with the other one. On the goalkeeper you not change it so often normally but because we are part of two competitions you have more chance to do this and I have two good ones.” – Ralph Hasenhuttl
In their first Double Gameweek 27 match, Southampton will face a Sheffield United outfit short of a suspended Phil Jagielka (£3.9m) while Jayden Bogle (£4.3m) and Chris Basham (£4.6m) are also ruled out. Either one could return for Gameweek 28 though.
Spurs are relatively injury-free ahead of facing Crystal Palace. Serge Aurier (£5.2m) is a doubt with a calf problem while Giovani Lo Celso (£6.9m) remains unlikely to feature.
“He had that injury then he played the last match until minute 70, 75 when he started feeling his calf again. He doesn’t have an injury, he has just not the best feelings after a muscular injury. I believe he is going to be [fit]. Gio Lo Celso, I don’t think so, I don’t think so for Sunday. There is maybe an opportunity but I don’t think so. I will believe for the Europa League on Thursday.” – Jose Mourinho
Crystal Palace could have Wilfried Zaha (£7.1m) back for Gameweek 27 following his long lay-off. Roy Hodgson sounds positive that nothing is standing in the way of his involvement now.
“Yes, I think (Zaha is available). He trained well this week so no reason why I can’t consider him. He has come back quicker than perhaps the medical staff thought was possible.” – Roy Hodgson
Nathaniel Clyne (£4.5m), James McArthur (£5.2m) and James McCarthy (£4.3m) recently joined the lengthy injury list at Crystal Palace while Tyrick Mitchell (£3.8m) has picked up a muscle problem.
“No (he’s not back). He too I’m afraid is suffering from a muscle injury. I think the players we’ve got fit we’re hoping to keep fit, but the others we probably won’t see until after the international break.” – Roy Hodgson
Liverpool’s injury problems at centre-back simply refuse to go away this season as Ozan Kabak (£5.0m) must contend with a knock ahead of Sunday’s clash with Fulham.
“Ozan [Kabak] had yesterday, after the game, a little problem. Played now a lot of games. We will see if he’s ready for Fulham, it doesn’t look like it at the moment. Nat [Phillips] I think will be ready, Ben [Davies] as well. It looks like from the boys who were available, and I didn’t get the final information yet, the game could come too quick for Ozan.” – Jurgen Klopp
In his Friday press conference previewing Sunday’s trip to Anfield, Scott Parker simply said he would have a better idea of their present injury situation tomorrow.
Jack Grealish (£7.6m) is “unlikely to play” for Aston Villa against Wolves on Saturday although Dean Smith said the player is “doing better” as he recovers from a leg injury.
Ollie Watkins (£6.6m) should maintain his monopoly over Villa’s centre-forward role for a little longer as Wesley (£6.0m) must spend some time with the Under-23s to build-up his match fitness following an extended absence of more than a year.
West Ham could be short in the goalkeeper department when they host Leeds on Sunday.
Lukasz Fabianski (£5.0m) is still recovering from an arm injury while Darren Randolph (£4.3m) is in the gym attempting to shake off a thigh problem.
David Moyes gave no update on Ryan Fredericks (£4.2m) or Arthur Masuaku (£4.3m) in his Friday press conference but did express his “hope” that one of his stricken goalkeepers would be ready.
David Martin (£4.0m) and Nathan Trott (£4.0m) are the back-up options.
“I think we’re pretty much as we were. Lukasz Fabianksi hasn’t trained yet but has got a chance to play. Darren Randolph’s got a problem with his hip and is doing some work in the gym. I’m hoping we’ll have one of them fit by Monday night.” – David Moyes
West Ham’s opponents Leeds could welcome back Kalvin Phillips (£4.9m), Jamie Shackleton (£4.8m) and Rodrigo (£5.7m) on Monday night although Marcelo Bielsa wants to see some improvement in their condition beforehand. An outing with the Under-23s for Rodrigo may have helped his cause; Ian Poveda-Ocampo (£4.2m) also involved.
“It all depends on how they evolve in the following days. Some players coming back from injuries will play in the (Under-23s) game tomorrow.” – Marcelo Bielsa
With Harvey Barnes (£6.9m) fresh on the injury list, Leicester will have to continue without James Maddison (£7.3m) whose hip problem appears to be causing ongoing issues.
“(Maddison is) still continuing with the medical team. As I’ve always said with him, there’s no timeline on it, we’re just hoping that gradually he’ll feel better. He’s had the reassurance of a few scans to know that he doesn’t need any operation.” – Brendan Rodgers
“It’s just a little bit irritable where he’s had a previous operation, but we’re hopeful that, over these next weeks, he will get better and it’ll be great to have him in the squad again.” – Brendan Rodgers
Meanwhile, Jonny Evans (£5.5m) is a “major doubt” with a calf injury and Ayoze Pérez (£6.0m) is still only in light training following a knee issue.
The Foxes’ Gameweek 27 opponents Brighton must continue without Tariq Lamptey (£4.6m) who has suffered another setback with his hamstring injury. That should see Joël Veltman (£4.3m) hold onto his right wing-back berth a little longer ahead of Blank Gameweek 29.
Aaron Connolly (£5.2m) also faces an assessment for a back issue.
“Tariq Lamptey won’t be fit for the Leicester game. He’s had a little setback this week. It’s disappointing but we need to get to the bottom of that, it’s a problem with his hamstring. Aaron Connolly had a slight issue with his back today so we’ll see how he is (on Friday).” – Graham Potter
Thiago Silva (£5.6m) and Tammy Abraham (£7.1m) remain the only doubts at Chelsea as N’Golo Kanté (£4.9m) builds up back to his best following a recent hamstring injury.
“He has come from an injury so he will not play now every 90 minutes before the international break. We will manage him and we do that with the physical coaches. I’m very happy to have him, Jorginho and Kova [Mateo Kovacic].” – Thomas Tuchel
Sean Dyche must make a decision on Jack Cork (£5.0m), Johann Berg Gudmundsson (£5.4m) and Robbie Brady (£5.0m) ahead of Burnley’s Saturday lunch-time encounter with Arsenal.
“We’re just keeping an eye on Corky, he had a tight hamstring, did well to get through the game last night. Johann [Berg Gudmundsson] has trained well for a couple of days, as has Robbie Brady. We’ll have to make a judgement call to try and make sure they’re ‘overly’ ready if there is such a thing. The next challenge is not just being clear of injury, it’s true Premier League fitness.” – Sean Dyche
Newcastle still have “one or two knocks” as Isaac Hayden (£4.6m) and Emil Krafth (£4.2m) face assessment for ankle and shin problems respectively.
Miguel Almirón (£5.6m) and Allan Saint-Maximin (£5.1m) are out until April while Callum Wilson (£6.5m) remains some way off a return.
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