Premier League Press Conference Round-Up: Gameweek 25 (1/2)

In the latest of our weekly series, I’ll be bringing you the news from every Premier League press conference that impacts your Fantasy Premier League team selection for the upcoming gameweek 25

IMPORTANT NOTE: That’s all from the teams who had pressers yesterday and today. There will be more pressers Monday 29th and Tuesday 30th where we will endeavour to get another one done as quickly as possible.

Let me explain, that not every club will feature every week, based on the fact that sometimes we’ll feel that the news isn’t of any importance from an FPL perspective and secondly, that sometimes, clubs don’t announce press conferences for whatever reason.

As usual, feel free to give myself (FPL Connect) a tweet if you find there are any problems with this article.

Thanks again for reading and we hope you all have a brilliant gameweek!


Wenger only had the following to say on the early team news:

“Giroud should be back in the squad for Swansea. For Welbeck, it’s too early. That’s basically it.”

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Following the recruitment of Mkhitaryan, Wenger was asked if he would feature against Swansea;

“I haven’t decided that yet… but he’s available like everybody else”

In terms of the recruitment of anyone else in this transfer window, Wenger states that they aren’t close to a deal for anyone amidst links to Dortmund’s pacey striker Aubameyang;

“I cannot tell you more. We have nothing to announce today. At the moment, we stay where we are. We keep our players. We have added Mkhitaryan and we have lost Alexis, so our squad is stable. Will anything else happen? At the moment I would say I don’t know. It’s still possible but we are far from being close.”


Pardew reports that a bug has swept through the ranks, with Matt Wilson (WBA reporter) stating that Mclean, Jay Rodriguez, Foster, Hegazi and McAuley were all affected;

“We would rather be in a stronger position in the league to be able to attack the FA Cup. We will go to Liverpool and try and cause them problems. We will be strong at Anfield but we have a little bit of a flu bug. Three or four didn’t train. Jonny [Evans] is due to start.”


Mauricio Pellegrino confirms that Maya Yoshida has resumed full training, after a two week spell on the sidelines, while Shane Long has recovered from a brief illness.

Young full-back Sam McQueen will be unlikely to feature, while Charlie Austin’s lengthy absence is ongoing, following a hamstring problem;

“Sam McQueen has been training alone, okay, Charlie Austin will continue with his own treatment.

“Maya is now 100 per cent fit and been training with the team. No more news other than that.

“With Charlie we’ve got a long period of time, more than ten weeks from when the injury was sustained. He isn’t training, but when he comes back on the pitch we’ll have a clearer idea of time.”


Deeney is expected to miss out against Southampton, as he hasn’t partaken in any of new boss Javi Gracia’s training sessions down to an illness;

“Troy Deeney didn’t train this week because he was ill,”

Heurelho Gomes has also not trained this week because of a back problem, meaning Orestis Karnezis, who performed really well at the King Power, is in line for his second successive start.

Molla Waguè is definitely sidelined with the hamstring problem he picked up in the second-half of the game against Leicester, leaving Sebastian Prödl and Adrian Mariappa to battle it out to partner Christian Kabasele at the heart of the defence.

Tom Cleverley, meanwhile, falls into the touch-and-go category. The midfielder has still not fully recovered from the hamstring injury sustained against Southampton in the Premier League 12 days ago;

“We’ll see tomorrow. He’s not training with the rest of the team, he’s doing something on his own. We’ll see tomorrow.”

Definitely out are Craig Cathcart, Younès Kaboul, Miguel Britos, Kiko Femenía and Will Hughes.

Isaac Success is the closest to returning of the players who have been out long-term. He’s been in full training for at least a week.

Javi Gracia hasn’t come in with a rigid idea of how to set the team up. He wants to be flexible, see the options at his disposal and then decide which formation will work best. He doesn’t want any round pegs in square holes;

“I like to see the possibilities of the players and then choose the best way to play, and then after choose the system.

In Spain there are different styles. Everybody speaks about the passing game and that’s most attractive but as I said before, the game is a balance. I like to be competitive but you need to do many things well.”


Everything on the injury front is the same for Brighton, aside from their new man Jürgen Locadia, who signed with a hamstring injury;

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Hughton expects the striker to be out “for a couple of weeks”.


Claude Puel could have Robert Huth, Danny Simpson and new signing Fousseni Diabaté among his squad for the Emirates FA Cup Fourth Round tie at Peterborough United on Saturday.

“Robert can perhaps participate with this game. We will see. I think he will come with the squad. Simpson is available also.

Perhaps he [Diabaté] will have some game time, we will see with other players also, but we will pick a team to win the game.”

However, captain Wes Morgan (hamstring) is likely to miss the Peterborough tie, as he steps up his recovery from a complaint picked up against Huddersfield Town on New Year’s Day;

“No date [yet] but good news from his scan, it was good. He came back in the gym and he played with the ball so he is making good progress.

Morgan is an important player for the team and, of course, it will be a good thing when he comes back into the team with his team-mates.”


Ellias Kachunga is out until March but aside from that, Wagner confirms a healthy squad;

“Everybody is healthy apart from Kachunga. Jon Stanković has been in training for one and a half weeks but this match is too early for him. The only position I can confirm is that Joel Coleman will start if everything goes to plan.”

Wagner did touch on the fitness of Aaron Mooy, who has looked increasingly fatigued recently;

“Even I have seen that Aaron [Mooy] looked tired in the last few games. We’ve managed him individually in the last week and we have to continue to do so to get him back to his best.”

Manchester United: 

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Alexis Sánchez could make his eagerly anticipated debut for United after the Chilean forward completed his move from Arsenal on Monday however, he remained coy in terms of letting out where on the field he plans to play him and thus we can’t be sure yet, who exactly (Lingard/Mata/Martial) it will affect;

“Alexis is a player that becomes more than a player because of his multi-functionality. I say he can play in four different positions in attack.”

Jose Mourinho confirmed the new no.7 will be involved and he will field a “strong team” but rest “a couple of players” – perhaps this could tell us a little more about where Alexis might play and then perhaps that extra bit of information could tell us whether Lingard is safe or not.

With Eric Bailly, Michael Carrick and Zlatan Ibrahimovic possibly the only absentees, Mourinho could be tempted to make several changes from last Saturday’s 1-0 win at Burnley, but has previously spoken of the respect he has for the FA Cup and fielded a strong line-up in the last round against Derby.


Pochettino will make a late call on Danny Rose [knee] and Toby Alderweireld [hamstring]. No decision has been taken on Hugo Lloris and Christian Eriksen who missed the 1-1 draw at Southampton due to illness, but both are recovering away from the main group with gym work.

Serge Aurier will not be risked after picking up a calf injury at Southampton, whilst Harry Winks remains on the sidelines.

Alderweireld is back training with the main group, but Pochettino isn’t sure that will be enough for Toby, who’s been out a fair while;

“We need to assess him tomorrow. One thing is to be fit to be integrated in the team, another is to be fit to play. They are two completely different things and we need to care about everyone and then to take the best decision for the team.”

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A keen eye will need to be kept on Toby’s involvement, as Pochettino’s preferred formation when all his centre backs are fit, is the 3421 system, a system that Son Heung-Min, irregardless of form, wasn’t a part of last year, with Alli and Eriksen the preferred two occupying the space behind Kane.



Antonio Conte says Alvaro Morata and Thibaut Courtois are out of Sunday’s game against Newcastle.

Cesc Fabregas trained today with the squad. Conte will check his availability today and make a late decision.

Willian will also miss Sunday’s game but Conte doesn’t think the Brazilian’s injury is a serious one.

The Chelsea boss was also asked about the fitness of left wing back Marcos Alonso, who has collated a lot of minutes with little rest over the course of the season;

“I am not worried. He has played so many games because it was a similar situation last season and he is ready.”


On the injury front, all is okay for Rafa apart from Jesus Gamez, who is confirmed out, whilst Florian Lejune [ankle] has been back out on the training pitches this week;

“Lejune has been running. The only player to miss out is Jesus Gamez. The rest are ok and some have little issues.”

Rafa on the new signing of young Brazilian Kenedy, on loan from Chelsea until the end of the season;


“He is a player we were monitoring. He is a young player but he knows the Premier League. A lot of positives – he has quality, he has energy. He is a good addition for us.

He can play as a wing-back, a left-back, a winger on the left or right. He is fine and it’s just a question of match fitness (for next week).”

In terms of additional transfers, Rafa added the following;

“We are talking. We have the green light to go forward and we are waiting on news. The main thing is you have to be positive.”

Manchester City: 

Kyle Walker appeared to be struggling with a head injury after a heavy collision towards the end of the Tuesday’s Carabao Cup semi-final second leg at Bristol City, but Pep Guardiola says he is fine and will be considered for Sunday’s match in the Welsh capital.

Benjamin Mendy, Phil Foden, Gabriel Jesus and Fabian Delph remain sidelined however.

Asked if he has any injury concerns, Guardiola said;

“No everyone is okay. 

He [Walker] is good. He breathes!”

West Ham:

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Moyes confirms Lanzini “has a tear in his hamstring” which could sideline him for between 4-6 weeks. Looks more serious than Arnautovic who “is not quite so bad” although the winger is potentially out for up-to a month (Ben Dinnery).

A hamstring problem is hampering Andre Ayew, although he has done some running this week. Cheikhou Kouyate is managing a niggling ankle compliant while captain Mark Noble has been suffering from a bruised foot.

Moyes also had fitness updates for Antonio, Reid and Fonte;

“There are a few getting closer to coming back. Michail Antonio is doing a bit of training, Jose Fonte is doing a little bit of training, so we’re getting a few more back as go along, but every club is the same.

“I don’t think Antonio, Fonte or Winston Reid will be available for the Wigan match.”

On a more positive note, Moyes confirmed that Portugal international midfielder Joao Mario (central midfielder) from Inter Milan was having a medical with a view to completing a loan move to West Ham on Thursday afternoon;

“Your sources would be correct. I’m not going to tell you any more until he has done his medical. Once we have got the medical out of the way, I think we’ll be able to tell you what he will bring to the side, so hopefully we’ll be able to give you some more news at the right time. It would be a loan move.”


Jordan Henderson, Alberto Moreno and Daniel Sturridge are back in training, while Dejan Lovren has recovered from the illness that ruled him out of Monday’s trip to Swansea City, but there are injury concerns for Ragnar Klavan and James Milner.

“Millie got a dead leg in training; if Millie says it’s too painful for training then you can imagine how painful it is. 

Raggy is out, he was really ill. He lost a few kilos – unbelievable – and now a little, little muscle issue. It’s not too serious but he is not available for tomorrow.

But, after illness, Dejan is back. It’s that time of the year.”

On the possibility of Henderson and Moreno making their returns against the Baggies, the boss said;

“With Hendo it was not the longest break, but it was a break. So we have to think about it, like we have to think about it with one or two other players.

Alberto Moreno is back in training. So, what do we do [with him]? Robbo played really well, how everybody saw, but played a lot. It’s good that they are all coming back, we need them.”













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