We round up the key Fantasy Premier League (FPL) talking points of the day in FPL Daily, a series that will serve non-Premier League matchdays and days when we don’t bring you a team news/press conference round-up.
LUKAKU RETURNS TO CHELSEA SQUAD FOR EFL CUP SEMI-FINAL
In Tuesday’s EFL Cup semi-final press conference, Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel confirmed that Romelu Lukaku (£11.5m) has apologised and will return to the Chelsea squad for tomorrow’s first-leg clash against Tottenham Hotspur.
The Belgian had previously been dropped against Liverpool after comments he made in an interview, claiming he was “not happy” with his role at Stamford Bridge.
“We are happy we took the time that it needed to look on it and to talk calmly about it. This is what we did. Romelu (Lukaku) apologised and is back in the squad for today’s training which is later. For me, the most important thing was to clearly understand and believe that it was not intentional. He did not do this intentionally to create this kind of noise in front of a big game.
Secondly, it was the very first time. Before, when he seemed in his opinion to be ready to play from the start after his injury, and we thought he needed to readapt to the intensity a little bit more, there was never the slightest behaviour against the team.
So, it was the very first time that we actually felt in this way. And these are very important points to stay calm, understanding that it’s not as big as maybe people want it to be. It’s also not small, but it’s small enough to stay calm, to accept an apology and to move forward.” – Thomas Tuchel
CHELSEA INJURY LATEST
Amongst all the Lukaku chat, Tuchel also found time to hand us a quick squad update.
Notably, Trevoh Chalobah (£4.7m) is out of tomorrow’s tie after the defender picked up a knock against Liverpool, whilst Andreas Christensen (£4.6m) remains a doubt.
However, Timo Werner (£8.6m) is back in training and Tuchel is hoping to hand him some minutes.
“Andreas (Christensen) is a doubt for tomorrow.
Trevoh (Chalobah) is definitely out for tomorrow because he has had a reinjury from before.
Timo Werner trained yesterday, we have one more session to go and he feels much better which is a really good sign. He took part in full training, at full intensity and had no reaction at all. If today’s training goes well for him then we will look to have him on the bench and maybe give him some minutes.” – Thomas Tuchel
TOTTENHAM INJURY LATEST
Chelsea’s EFL Cup opponents, Spurs, offered an update themselves on Monday, with Antonio Conte discussing Ryan Sessegnon (£4.3m) and Steven Bergwijn’s (£5.9m) injuries:
“Ryan Sessegnon’s situation is better than Steven Bergwijn’s. I think he’s almost ready to be available in the next game, in the FA Cup he’ll be available.
For Steven, I think we have to pay a bit more attention because his problem was in the calf, where you have to pay more attention and wait a bit before we have him available again” – Antonio Conte
COVID OUTBREAK CAUSING FURTHER PROBLEMS AT LIVERPOOL
According to reports, Liverpool’s EFL Cup semi-final against Arsenal on Thursday is in doubt due to further positive Covid-19 tests in Jurgen Klopp’s squad.
Alisson (£6.0m), Joel Matip (£4.9m) and Roberto Firmino (£8.7m), plus Klopp of course, all missed Double Gameweek 21 after testing positive.
Now, reports have surfaced suggesting there has been further cases, which could put their cup tie at risk.
Worryingly, the Reds’ squad is already stretched, with Mohamed Salah (£12.8m), Sadio Mane (£11.8m) and Naby Keita (£5.0m) departing to the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON).
EVERTON SIGN PATTERSON
Earlier today, Everton confirmed the signing of Rangers full-back Nathan Patterson for a fee believed to be worth around £16m.
The 20-year-old has been used sparingly at Ibrox this season, with James Tavernier first-choice right-back, but has been capped at international level, suggesting he can compete with 33-year-old Seamus Coleman (£4.9m) for a starting role.
Asked what Evertonians can expect from him, Patterson said:
“Athleticism, desire and strong challenges, along with good forward play. I am an attacking full-back. I love getting forward and creating chances to benefit the team. I can’t wait for it.”
Rafa Benitez has already signed Ukraine international left-back Vitaliy Mykolenko during this window, which you can read more about here.
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