We round up the key Fantasy Premier League (FPL) talking points of the day in FPL Daily, a series that services weekdays where there is no press conference round-up or Premier League match.
Most of today’s updates come from the pre-match media gatherings ahead of Thursday’s final round of Gameweek 37 matches.
SCHMEICHEL TO START IN GAMEWEEK 38
Owners of Kasper Schmeichel (£5.0m) might have been sitting uncomfortably after reading Brendan Rodgers’ previous comments that he will start Danny Ward (£4.0m) in two matches in the run-in.
Ward featured against Watford on Sunday and been pencilled in for last week’s win over Norwich, only for fitness issues to put paid to that.
The idea that Ward might get either the Chelsea or Southampton game as his second run-out would have unnerved those FPL managers with Schmeichel in their squads but Rodgers again reiterated in his pre-match presser (which was actually held yesterday) that the big Dane would line up on Thursday and Sunday.
“Kasper will play. I said the other day that the plan was for Kasper to play in the final two games. Unfortunately, Danny [Ward] couldn’t play in the Norwich game (a match the back-up goalkeeper was meant to start), but he proved he’s an outstanding goalkeeper. I’ve told Kasper he’ll play against Chelsea and Southampton.” – Brendan Rodgers
Youri Tielemans (£6.4m) is a doubt for the trip to Stamford Bridge after a clash of knees, while Ricardo Pereira‘s (£5.2m) fitness will be assessed after a return to training.
Nampalys Mendy (£4.3m) was substituted because of illness in the 5-1 win over Watford but should be fine to return at Stamford Bridge on Thursday, while Jonny Evans (£5.4m) was merely withdrawn because of fatigue.
HAVERTZ STILL A ‘QUESTION MARK’
Chelsea have injury problems ahead of their meeting with Leicester, some of which could drag into Gameweek 38.
Kai Havertz (£7.9m) is the closest of the walking wounded to recovery but Thursday may come too soon.
“Kai [Havertz] tries today in training, he did individual training yesterday, was not in team training, so is still a big question mark. Timo [Werner] is still out with a hamstring. Kova had a big swollen ankle after the [FA Cup final] and did not train yesterday, so not sure he will be available. Not sure yet if [Christensen] is involved tomorrow or on the weekend.” – Thomas Tuchel
The sight of Ben Chilwell (£5.6m) in full training may also have unsettled a few Marcos Alonso (£5.7m) owners ahead of the final day but Tuchel suggested that the fit-again England defender will first need to get a pre-season under his belt before being considered for selection again.
“Ben Chilwell is back in team training… but of course, he’s not available for the match. He will need pre-season, he will need our patience and our support. This will start from July on.” – Thomas Tuchel
END-OF-SEASON UNCERTAINTY AT CHELSEA
That wasn’t the only quote of interest to emerge from Tuchel’s presser.
Arsenal’s defeat to Newcastle United means that Chelsea have nothing meaningful riding on their final two fixtures, as Champions League qualification is already assured.
The Blues boss was asked about how the dead-rubber nature of Chelsea’s last two games might influence his team selections.
“Not sure, now that you ask me. I’m normally used to doing what’s best for the next game. The situation changed slightly for us: now we are safe since Newcastle beat Arsenal.
“We come from a big cup final, we have players who are out through injury, who will be out next season. Everybody deserves to play, for example, Toni [Rudiger] would deserve to play, there’s no need to not give him the last matches. Let’s see who is hungry to perform, this will be the most decisive factor in the line-up.” – Thomas Tuchel
OTHER TEAM NEWS
Steven Gerrard confirmed that Ezri Konsa (£4.9m) will be out for up to 16 weeks with the knee injury he picked up on Sunday. The Villa boss also hopes that Emi Martinez (£5.5m) will recover from a “small issue” to face Burnley on Thursday.
As for the Clarets, Johann Berg Gudmundsson (£5.4m), Ashley Westwood (£5.2m) and Matej Vydra (£5.2m) have season-ending injuries but James Tarkowski (£4.9m) and Jay Rodriguez (£5.1m) have a chance of recovering for Thursday’s match against Aston Villa. Ben Mee (£4.6m) is slightly behind in his recovery, while Erik Pieters (£4.1m) and Dale Stephens (£4.4m) missed the narrow loss to Spurs as a precaution.
In the other Gameweek 37 fixture, Patrick Vieira confirmed that Michael Olise (£5.3m), James McArthur (£4.3m), Nathan Ferguson (£4.5m) and James Tomkins (£4.3m) will not be involved against Everton on Thursday.
Ben Godfrey (£4.7m), Michael Keane (£4.6m), Donny van de Beek (£5.7m) and Dominic Calvert-Lewin (£7.7m) are all fit for the Toffees but Salomon Rondon (£6.0m), Andros Townsend (£5.2m), Nathan Patterson (£4.1m), Yerry Mina (£4.9m), Fabian Delph (£4.2m) and Jarrad Branthwaite (£4.0m) are all out through either injury or suspension.
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