Premier League Press Conference Round-Up: Blank Gameweek 31

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 blank gameweek 31

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

Thanks for reading and all the best for blank gameweek 31!



Going into the fixture, Eddie Howe spoke about the fitness within his squad;

“We have a couple of injury doubts. Ryan Fraser has been nursing a back problem and he hasn’t trained as much as we’d have liked. Joshua King has an issue with his neck but looks like he’s going to be okay. We have a couple of other niggles but we’ll wait and see.”

In his press conference, the Cherries boss also spoke about midfielder Lewis Cook, who was called up to the England squad on Thursday;

“I’m very very pleased for him and his family. It’s a historic moment for him. We’re delighted, he’s such a level headed down-to-earth lad and he’s improved greatly since he’s been here, now he’s got the recognition he deserves.

Last year was difficult for him at times, we signed him and then there was a process of working with him behind the scenes and there was a lot of work from Lewis to stay with the project. He’s reaped the rewards this year and since he broke into the team he’s got better and better.”


Javi Gracia has been boosted recently by the return from injury of Kiko Femenía, Miguel Britos, Will Hughes and now Craig Cathcart in a sign that the team’s injury problems are gradually being resolved;

“Craig is now fully training. He wasn’t an option because he wasn’t in the best condition, but he is improving day by day in training with the team. He is now an option.

I am always very pleased when these players recover after a process of injury. They are able to help the team. I am happy for them first of all and I am happy because I have more options to choose.”

Nathaniel Chalobah, Tom Cleverley, Christian Kabasele, Gerard Deulofeu, Younès Kaboul and Molla Wagué remain sidelined;

“This week nobody new was training with the team. We need to wait more time for injured players. The rest are in a process of recovery.”

Heurelho Gomes also comes back into contention after missing the game against Arsenal;

“Heurelho had personal permission last week after the West Brom match and he didn’t train with the team. He did his first training with the team on Friday and I trained with Daniel [Bachmann] and Orestis [Karnezis] all week. And then on Saturday, when I prepare the list, I choose these options because I thought it was the best option for the team.

He knew the reasons why he was out of the team because I explained to him. He came back on Friday and then the next day I have to do the list. It’s clear to me to choose the players training all the week. There is no other reason.”

Crystal Palace: 

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Wifried Zaha, who came into the side at half time last week, Ruben Loftus-CheekYohan Cabaye and Mama Sakho have all trained this week and are in the squad for Saturday’s match;

“It’s been good to get players back from injury. We’re looking at a fuller squad, if not a full squad. Very happy about that. Zaha, Sakho, Loftus-Cheek and Cabaye all fit.”

Hodgson appreciates though that the players length of absence from action will have an effect on their immediate performance when they return;

“It’s great to have them back but quite a few of them haven’t played football for quite a long period of time and I can’t necessarily expect that they are going to go back on the field without any match experience and reproduce the performances they did in the good spell that we have had.”


On the general state of his team’s fitness, the Stoke boss reported the following;

“There are one or two knocks from Monday. We will assess things tomorrow [Friday].” 

Lambert revealed Mame Diouf has made good progress and has an outside chance of featuring against Everton this weekend;

“With regards to Mame, he has a slight chance, but we are going to have to have a look at him over the next day or so. We have other options though – Peter is fine, Saido is in my thinking too and we have players like Jese and Choupo who can play up there too.

There are a few decisions to be made before kick-off and there are a few areas of the pitch that we may need to shake things up in a little bit.”

Egyptian international Ramadan Sobhi could be the benefiter of those changes, with Lambert admitting that he was impressed with his cameo appearance against Manchester City;

“I thought Ramadan did well on Monday, and he is ready to play. He is enthusiastic and has really good attributes – he has good speed and he has a lot to learn, so he is really in my thinking for the game.”


Allardyce admits “it’s been tough all year with injuries” which he believes, has had an adverse effect on Everton’s performances and away results.

Gylfi Sigurdsson could miss between 6-8 weeks after damaging knee ligaments during the win over Brighton last weekend.

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Theo Walcott, who was hooked off early as a precaution after suffering cramp, has been training this week and is expected to return.

Idrissa Gueye and Morgan Schneiderlin, who were both out through illness, are expected to be back in contention.

Funes Mori is fit and will come into Sam Allardyce’s thinking while Ashley Williams serves the second game of his 3-match ban.


David Wagner provides an update on Danny Williams;

“Everything went very well with Danny Williams’ surgery this morning, but this doesn’t change that he’s out for the rest of the season. Now we all carry the responsibility to make sure he is playing Premier League football for Huddersfield next season.”

Elias Kachunga and Phillip Billing make a return to training following their injuries;

“Elias [Kachunga] has been back in training since the end of last week and will be in contention for the squad. Phillip Billing is also in contention.”

Wagner reports that Terence Kongolo is making good progress;

“Terence [Kongolo] is back on the grass with the fitness coaches. He will be back in full training, if all goes to plan, ahead of the Newcastle match.”

Aaron Mooy is better placed in terms of his fitness following a return last weekend. The Aussie international missed the previous month due to a knee laceration which became infected.

Wagner reacts to the news that goalkeeper Jonas Lössl has signed on a permanent basis;

“We are delighted to make Jonas Lössl’s loan into a permanent; this was something we always had in our head. He’s really helped us be where we are at the minute.”


Jurgen Klopp confirms there are no new injuries for Liverpool ahead of their BGW31 clash with Watford.

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However, Joe Gomez is struggling with a knock, meaning Trent Alexander-Arnold is likely to keep his place in the side;

“Joe Gomez has had a little injury. The reason Trent is playing is not because he’s Trent or he’s a Scouser. It’s because of his quality. His strength is a little bit more in the offensive side.”

Despite being called up for England international duty, Klopp confirms Adam Lallana will still miss out;

“Adam’s injury was a really big injury. It needed time. I spoke to Gareth (Southgate) this week and told him it was a big challenge to have him around and not use him. But he needs more recovery time. I said he would be fit next week 100% – he’s welcome to play him (for England).”


Updates have been provided on Gareth Barry, James Morrison, John Evans, Daniel Sturridge and Nacer Chadli by Alan Pardew;

“Gareth Barry won’t make it. Morrison is still struggling. Daniel Sturridge and Chadli will train next week which is good news for us. Jonny Evans is back and has trained all week.”

Pardew says the senior players “need to deliver” otherwise the Baggies won’t be in with a shout of staying up;

“We didn’t give ourselves a chance last weekend.”

Grzegorz Krychowiak has apologised following his reaction at being substituted last weekend;

“He’s been fined, but a line drawn underneath the issue now.”





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