Gameweek 8 is upon us and we’ve got all the important team news information in our latest press conference summary of the week.
You can catch the headline updates from Thursday’s pressers – featuring Leeds United, Arsenal, Southampton, Burnley, Burnley and Brighton and Hove Albion – in the link below.
Antonio Rudiger has been ruled out of Chelsea’s short trip to Brentford after picking up a minor back injury on international duty. However, Romelu Lukaku is fine to play despite withdrawing from the Belgium squad because of muscle fatigue.
“Antonio Rudiger came back injured from the national team, he is also not available. [Thiago Silva] played 90 minutes, he has 12 hours of travelling. That gives the answer maybe about his availability – he is not.” – Thomas Tuchel
Christian Pulisic is still out with an ankle injury, with Hakim Ziyech missing the last two sessions with a headache.
There was no mention of Reece James, seemingly fine to play after being pictured in training this week. The right wing-back hurt his ankle against Manchester City in Gameweek 6.
Trent Alexander-Arnold and Diogo Jota should both be fine to face Watford for the Saturday lunchtime kick-off, after recovering from recent muscle issues.
“Trent and Diogo are available; at least, they were yesterday.” – Jurgen Klopp
However, Fabinho and Alisson have been declared unavailable and will instead meet the squad in Madrid for the midweek Champions League game. Various Premier League managers are dealing with the problems brought on by early Friday morning South American matches, with Jurgen Klopp deciding not to call on this Brazilian pair.
Thiago (calf) and Harvey Elliott (ankle) are still unavailable, joined by Curtis Jones returning from under-21 duty with an injury.
Ferran Torres scored twice for Spain against Italy last week but then fractured his foot and is set to miss the rest of 2021.
“[Ferran Torres] will be out two-and-a-half months to three months. Bone metatarsal. [Oleksandr] Zinchenko is back, [Ilkay] Gundogan is back. The rest are okay.” – Pep Guardiola
Gabriel Jesus and Ederson also miss out because of their involvement in Brazil’s Friday match but Ilkay Gundogan and Oleksandr Zinchenko are fit.
Raphael Varane sustained a groin injury in the UEFA Nations League final and will be out for a few weeks but Marcus Rashford‘s return from a shoulder problem is edging closer.
“He’s in the squad, if he’s gonna start or not, I can’t tell you now. He’s worked really hard throughout the lay-off. He’s raring to go.” – Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
The Red Devils have also confirmed that Edinson Cavani and Fred will not play against Leicester City, having taken part in Brazil vs Uruguay. Harry Maguire (calf) is back training as of Friday.
Dean Smith has confirmed that Emiliano Martinez and Douglaz Luiz “will be in the squad” this weekend, despite being involved in Argentina and Brazil’s Friday matches.
Summer signing Leon Bailey still misses out because of the thigh injury sustained during his excellent Gameweek 5 cameo against Everton.
“Unfortunately, Leon [Bailey] hasn’t ticked all the boxes for the medical department, we are hopeful that he will be back in training after the Wolves game.” – Dean Smith
Bertrand Traore is also being assessed for a thigh injury and may not make Saturday’s match, while Morgan Sanson and Keinan Davis are back in training.
Yerson Mosquera (thigh), Pedro Neto and Jonny Castro (both knee) are long-term absentees, with Francisco Trincao revealed to be training at home after testing positive for Covid-19 during the international break.
Rafael Benitez has dismissed fears of a Lucas Digne injury, having withdrawn from the France squad due to a minor hamstring issue. However, there still won’t be a return for Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Andre Gomes or Richarlison for the meeting with West Ham United.
“Lucas is fine, Richarlison and Calvert-Lewin are closer but still won’t be available for this game. [Andre Gomes and Fabian Delph] are still not available.”
Seamus Coleman and Alex Iwobi also returned to training this week.
The still-in-charge Steve Bruce has confirmed that a memorable international break on Tyneside has ended with the boost of a returning Callum Wilson, Jamaal Lascelles and Jonjo Shelvey. Only Martin Dubravka (foot) and Paul Dummett (calf) are absent.
The return of centre-back Jonny Evans may finally be here, having been seemingly on the verge for several Gameweeks. Brendan Rodgers is hopeful that a tailored plan for Evans has worked, allowing him to face former club Man United on Saturday.
“We’ve had a plan for him [Evans] this week. Unfortunately, it meant he wasn’t able to go away with his international team, but there was a plan to try and allow him to arrive into the game tomorrow. Hopefully, all being well, after the session today, it looks like there’s no other effects.”
James Justin (knee) and Wesley Fofana (leg) remain injured, as is Wilfred Ndidi (hamstring), whilst Jannik Vestergaard will be assessed on a knock sustained on international duty.
WEST HAM UNITED
David Moyes does not know whether the Hammers picked up any injuries during the past fortnight, cheekily adding that he would keep it secret anyway.
“We’re probably like everybody else. We’ve probably got one or two injuries, one or two people coming back from international duty that we’re having to look after. If I did have [any confirmed players missing], I probably wouldn’t tell you anyway! We might have some people who are not available.”
Vladimir Coufal played through a slight groin injury against Brentford but was forced to withdraw from Czech Republic duty because of it.
Nuno Espirito Santo wouldn’t commit to a decision on his four South American internationals – Giovani Lo Celso, Cristian Romero, Davinson Sanchez and Emerson Royal.
“They are flying now. They are joining us tomorrow, and that will be the right moment to see how they are. The news we have is that they all finished the matches well, so it’s about recovering and then, together, we have to assess them and then decide.” – Espirito Santo on Friday afternoon
He also says “it’s just a matter of time” until Steven Bergwijn (ankle) and Ben Davies (abdominal) return to action. Matt Doherty has a minor knock and Ryan Sessegnon is still doing physical work with sports science.
New head coach Claudio Ranieri believes Nicolas Nkoulou – also new to the club having signed on a free transfer last week – needs time to gain match fitness and won’t play against Liverpool.
Christian Kabasele and Francisco Sierralta both picked up hamstring strains in the Gameweek 7 defeat to Leeds United but Joshua King has returned to training after suffering a minor knee ligament problem at Elland Road. Peter Etebo has had surgery on his quad tear.
Eberechi Eze (Achilles) and Nathan Ferguson (Achilles) remain the Eagles’ only absentees, with Patrick Vieira not revealing any fresh concerns from international matches.
Although Sam Byram (thigh) and Christoph Zimmermann (ankle) are still unavailable, manager Daniel Farke is pleased to report a mostly-fit squad.
“Todd Cantwell is back in team training. All the players from internationals came back in a good mood. Milot Rashica was struggling with some knee problems but that all seems to be okay, and they seem to be all available.”
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