We’ve got all the Gameweek 9 team news so far in our first injury round-up of the pre-match press conferences.
Leeds United boss Marcelo Bielsa was one of seven Premier League head coaches to face the media on Thursday, while a further 13 top-flight bosses are set to provide us with fitness updates on Friday.
Among them will be Thomas Tuchel, who may be able to supply us with more information on Romelu Lukaku (£11.7m). The Belgian suffered a twisted ankle on Wednesday night and, according to his manager, will miss “some matches”.
In the meantime, we’ll summarise the key updates from today’s pressers in the article below.
Having missed out in Gameweek 8, Raphinha was mentioned in passing by his manager in Thursday’s press conference.
The Brazilian is isolating in lodgings near the club’s training ground but is able to leave his quarters to train and play, and there was nothing from Bielsa to suggest the winger wouldn’t be match-fit enough to face Wolves this weekend.
Robin Koch (pelvis), Patrick Bamford (ankle), Junior Firpo (muscle) and Luke Ayling (knee) remain out, however, while Kalvin Phillips (calf/hip) also looks set to remain sidelined despite a return to training.
“Ayling and Bamford are not going to be here for the next two games. Raphinha has acclimatised back to his return to England. Koch still has at least one month to go.
“Kalvin [Phillips] is healthy but he hasn’t competed for three weeks, if he played on Saturday it would be far too quick. After three weeks out, it’s necessary for more football training. In this stage, he’s done training sessions for recovery, physical preparation and progressive work with the ball. To think of him for Saturday would be to bring him back too soon before he’s back at his complete best.
“Firpo is evolving quickly and well. I could not tell you exactly how long he has left but the next two games, no. From Norwich (Gameweek 10) onwards, he has chances of being back in the team.” – Marcelo Bielsa
Granit Xhaka (knee) is the only definite absentee for Arsenal’s clash with Aston Villa but Mikel Arteta was coy on the rest of his team news, with Bukayo Saka (calf) one of the players who needs assessing ahead of Friday’s game.
“[Saka] hasn’t trained yet, we have to assess him today and see how he is. It’s down to the doctors and himself to see how he recovers and how he is feeling between today and tomorrow.
“We have a training session today. We have two or three players that finished the game with some issues, and we have to review them today.” – Mikel Arteta
Kieran Tierney was among those not sighted in training yesterday but “bumps and bruises” were cited as the reason.
Che Adams (muscle) has been passed fit for the weekend, leaving just Jack Stephens (knee) on the treatment table for Southampton’s clash with Burnley.
James Ward-Prowse serves the second game of a three-match ban, however.
“There’s still Jack Stephens missing. Ché Adams is back in training and is available for the weekend. There are no injuries there otherwise, so I can pick from a big squad.” – Ralph Hasenhuttl
Asked about his decision to start Armando Broja and bench Adam Armstrong in Gameweek 8, Ralph Hasenhuttl said:
“[Broja] had a slow start here but I think showed very quickly that he has some weapons you can use. Because of the injury to Che, it was the first chance for him to start and I think he grabbed his chance with both hands.
I’m 100% convinced about [Armstrong]. He had a good start with the first goal immediately and then also had a few good games, missing the second goal what he could score in a few games. I’m sure that he will make a lot of games. We have a lot of options up front, we have to look who gets the right decision in the right moments. He can score goals, he shows in every [training] session. It won’t take long until he scores his second in the league.” – Ralph Hasenhuttl
BRIGHTON AND HOVE ALBION
Steven Alzate (ankle) and Danny Welbeck (hamstring) remain out but Adam Webster (hamstring) has an “outside chance” of featuring against Manchester City following a return to training.
“Adam Webster’s been training this week, he’s had a good week and there’s an outside chance he’ll be available.
“Danny [Welbeck] and Steven [Alzate] are still obviously away, but everyone else is available for selection.
“Tariq [Lamptey] responded really well. He was excited to be on the pitch, he enjoyed it. He’s got a lot of work to do, we just need to keep helping him get back to the Tariq Lamptey we all know.” – Graham Potter
Matty Cash (dead leg), Leon Bailey (thigh) and Bertrand Traore (thigh) are all available for selection, leaving Trezeguet (knee) as the only Aston Villa player on the sidelines on Friday.
“Bertrand Traore and Leon Bailey have come back from four or five weeks out, so we’re building up their fitness. They’ll be in the squad but I’ll have to assess where they are. They’ve both got a chance [of starting]… but are probably lacking fitness minutes.” – Dean Smith
Keinan Davis (knee) has returned to training but looks set to be given game-time with the under-23s before being considered for a first-team return.
Ben Mee (illness), Matej Vydra (knock) and Charlie Taylor (knock) will all be assessed ahead of the Clarets’ trip to Southampton, while Dale Stephens (ankle) remains out.
“We are going to have to make a decision on all three of them because they are close. It is a three-game week so we will have to make a decision on them. They are all close to it, it’s who we decide for what reasons. We are hopeful on those three but we will have to make a call on it tomorrow.
“Dale Stephens is out on the grass, a longer-term situation.” – Sean Dyche
Peter Etebo (thigh), Nicolas Nkoulou (lack of match fitness), Francisco Sierralta (hamstring) and Christian Kabasele (hamstring) will all miss the trip to Everton but Joshua King has recovered from the knee injury that forced him off in Gameweek 7, having returned to full training this week.
“His best position is right wing. I tried to put him very close to the Liverpool centre-backs and attack on their shoulders. It wasn’t possible and in the second half, I put him in his position. He is much better there.” Claudio Ranieri on Ismaila Sarr
“Ben, in training sessions and on the pitch, is always concentrating. He is thinking of his future. He’s a great actor, great goalkeeper – that’s it.” – Claudio Ranieri on questions over Ben Foster spending too much time on his YouTube channel
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