Premier League Press Conference Round-Up: Gameweek 1

In the latest of our weekly series, we’ll be bringing you the important news from every Premier League press conference that impacts your Fantasy Premier League team selection for Gameweek 1

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

Thanks for reading everyone and all the best for the new season ahead – let’s do this!

Manchester United:

Jose Mourinho confirmed that Ander Herrera and Nemanja Matic are among players who could miss the first game against Leicester. He also stated that those who only returned to training on Monday are not 100% ready;

“The players with a proper pre-season are fit and they are strong. For example, Alexis Sanchez had a good pre-season with lots of matches and lots of minutes. He’s more than ready but you cannot have the players who arrived only last Monday after the World Cup semi-finals or final and three weeks’ holiday.”

Romero, Valenica and Dalot all look like they will miss out against Leicester as well;

“Unavailable is Romero – he had a surgery after his injury before the World Cup. Valencia – he was injured in pre-season. Marcos Rojo – he was injured in the World Cup. Dalot – he had a surgery at Porto by the end of April and is not yet ready. Ander Herrera – injured against Bayern. Matic – injured in the World Cup and surgery in Philadelphia a couple of weeks ago.”

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Given that Eric Bailly wasn’t mentioned in the list of injured players, it looks like he has shaken off the knock he got and Phil Jones, Lindelof and Rashford should all be available.

Leicester City:

Claude Puel confirms that James Maddison is available for selection ahead of their match against Manchester United.

Defender, Jonny Evans will face a late test to see whether he is ready to play or not;

“He came back at the beginning of the week. We will see in training in the afternoon if he can be in the squad or not.”

Papa Mendy however, is a certainty to miss their opening match;

“For (Papa) Mendy, it is still not enough, he is still not available.”

Jamie Vardy and Harry Maguire will face a late test to determine their availability, after returning from the World Cup a few weeks ago.


Mauricio Pochettino said that a few of the world cup semi-finalists – Toby Alderweireld, Dele Alli, Mousa Dembele, Eric Dier, Harry Kane, Hugo Lloris, Danny Rose, Kieran Trippier and Jan Vertonghen, will feature this weekend, after returning to training this week;

“We need to assess the players tomorrow (Friday) and then we’ll decide. It’s difficult to think that all the players are going to play in the starting 11 – some players will be in the starting 11, some on the bench and some will be out, trying to get fitter. There are a lot of question marks and it’s about finding a good balance for the team. We’ll decide tomorrow.”

Victor Wanyama, Lamela, Foyth and Carter Vickers are all unavailable to play this weekend.


Hughton confirmed that Jurgen Locadia has been training for a couple of weeks and is available to play Watford this weekend;

“He should train tomorrow or Monday.”

Jose Izquierdo is expected to miss out on their opening fixture, with Hughton opting to give him more time;

“We want to give him a bit more time.”

Florin Andone also remains a doubt, after picking up a pre-season injury. Glenn Murray should be available to play this weekend.


Watford fans are delighted as they see Doucoure has been deemed available for this weekend;

“Doucouré is fit and in a good condition to play. He’s player with great commitment, making a big effort every game.”

Okaka, Gerard Deulofeu, Chalobah and Wilmont will all most likely not feature this weekend, but should hopefully return in the near future;

“Okaka is not ready, but I trust he will be ready in one or two weeks, I’m sure. Gerard [Deulofeu] started to train with the team last week, but had a little problem. I think he will be ready in two, three, four or five days. For Saturday I don’t think he will be ready. Chalobah is training with the team but he needs more time. Ben Wilmot had a little problem in his knee. He will be ready for next week.”

Tom Cleverly remains injured with an Achilles injury.


New signing, Jefferson Lerma will not be able to play this weekend, after featuring in the world cup;

“Jefferson is not being considered at this stage,”

Nathan Ake has trained this week and may be available to play this weekend.

Junior Stanislas remains out for roughly 1 month, whilst Diego Rico is suspended for the next 3 games. Kyle Taylor also remains out with a muscle injury;

“We anticipate Junior being about a month away, tough we don’t want to be too rigid in that time frame, Taylor is missing with a muscle problem and Diego Rico is suspended.”


Dejan Lovren will not feature this weekend, after being ruled out after returning from the World Cup. Fabinho may not be able to play, after suffering from an illness;

“Dejan will not be available for the weekend. Fabinho was feeling unwell. We sent him home… we will have to see [if he will be fit].”

Klopp heaped praise on Sturridge during his press conference;

“I can’t remember a bad game from him in pre-season. That’s really good. He is in good shape and hopefully he can bring that into the season.”

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Alexander-Arnold and Henderson both returned later from the World Cup, when compared to most other teammates. They are both likely to start on the bench, but either could be a surprise inclusion;

“They [Henderson, Alexander-Arnold] are all in a different shape, if you want. Trent is a bit longer in, which is good, Hendo in and full of power but not too long in – now three or four days, but it’s Hendo so you always think about him.”

Ragnar Klavan remains out with a hamstring injury, whilst Joe Gomez and Joel Matip will both have late tests to determine their availability;

“Ragnar, no real chance, he didn’t train. Joel did yesterday parts of training like Joe did – we will see how they are today.”


Juninho Bacuna has been ruled out of the opener, and will not feature this weekend. The same can be said for Danny Williams and Erik Durm. Isaac Mbenza will face a late test today;

“Danny Williams will be out as will Erik Durm because of period he was out for during the last 12 months. I have to see how Isaac (Mbenza) looks today as well.”

Crystal Palace:

Max Meyer is said to be in good condition, but will not feature this weekend, after a long period on the sidelines;

“Max is naturally fit and in great condition, but he hasn’t played since April. Roy says he needs a bit more work before he’s ready to play.”

Scott Dann, Wickham and Williams are out with respective injuries.

There are no significant new injuries ahead of Fulham. Dann is working hard but remains sidelined and slight strains will keep Wickham and Williams out for the game.

Manchester City: 

In terms of injuries, Pep reports a clean bill of health.

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In terms of those coming back from the World Cup, specifically Raheem Sterling and Kevin de Bruyne, this is what he had to say;

“Raz and Kevin are available. They arrived (on Monday) in perfect condition.”

Pep on new signing Riyad Mahrez and how he’s settled in:

“Mahrez has settled in well. He knows the league so thats good. Football players connect immediately with him, he was introduced and got on with them and after two or three days he was just another member.”


Will update this section as and when information becomes available about the press conference. 


Jokanovic reports Denis Odoi, Alfie Mawson, Tim Ream and Floyd Ayite aren’t available for selection;

“I can’t use Denis Odoi tomorrow, who’s suspended. Mawson hasn’t started working with us yet. Ream and Ayite are injured.”


No Andre Gomes for Everton this weekend. The on-loan Barcelona midfielder ‘could’ return to face Huddersfield September 1st.

Marco Silva has stated the loan deal for Kurt Zouma is “almost done”, but hasn’t been officially confirmed yet.

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Silva says none of Everton’s new deadline day signings will be in the squad to face Wolves (Yerry Mina, Andre Gomes, Bernard). He had the following to say about Bernard and that he would provide competition for playmaker Gylfi Sigurdsson;

“Bernard is a different type of player than what we have. He plays in offensive midfield, he is one more players and has quality for us and provides competition for Gylfi Sigurdsson. I need these problems.”


After the signing of Danny Ings, Hughes reports that Ings is an option against Burnley;

“Danny is available and we’ll have a look at him in the next couple of days. Clearly there’s great enthusiasm from him and he wants to be a part of the opening game. He’s fit and well and has trained and had gametime in pre-season. We’ll see how he goes but he’s certainly an option for me.”

In an otherwise fully fit 25-man squad, Hughes also provided an update on the fitness of Cédric, who may also be ready in time for this weekend following illness;

“Cedric has been back since Monday. He was poorly last week and he looks okay now; he’s a fit guy anyway and has been to the World Cup of course. If he’s fit and I think he’s right and ready, it won’t be a problem for him to play. He will be honest with himself and us about how he feels and we will have that conversation nearer the time but as it stands, he’s certainly an option for us too for the weekend.

I’ve got a fully fit squad of 25 players who are all ready to go, as it should be.”

West Ham: 

Javier Hernandez is set to be an important player this season and he says the sky is the limit under new manager Pellegrini. Here’s what he had to say about Pellegrini:

“Manuel Pellegrini is a great manager. He went to Spain, then he came here to the Premier League and he did really well. I’m not saying anything new there, he’s a great manager and we’re very happy that he chose to come here.

The manager wants to play a more controlled, offensive style of play so it’s perfect for a striker. Chances are going to come and we are improving to defend better too, to press and recover the ball in a high zone.”

Pellegrini reports on the state of injuries with everyone okay with the exception of Fernandes and the long-term injuries (Manuel Lanzini, Andy Carrol and Winston Reid;

“Pre-season has finished and I think we worked very well. Except the three players with long-term injuries and Fernandes, who has a slight problem, the rest of the squad is fit.”


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Sarri had this to say earlier in the week regarding fitness:

“It will be difficult to have those players involved in the final weekend [World Cup] – Hazard, Giroud, Cahill, Kante – ready to play (in GW1). We can do it for one or two, no more.”


Sarri on Hazard’s commitment:

“Hazard is with us. I have spoken with him three or four times for everything, and he never said something about the market. So I think he is very happy to stay here.”


Florian Lejeune [knee] remains the only long-term injury, the rest are available for selection, but Rafa feels new signing Federico Fernandez needs time;

“Federico Fernández is not in the squad, because I think it has come too late. He needs some time to get to know his teammates, and the understanding between the defenders.”

Rafa believes the players are ready;

“The reality is that we have a team that did well last year. We are ready. I am quite excited and quite happy because I can see the players working hard and training as well as they did last year.”


Will update this section as and when information becomes available about the press conference. 


Unai Emery gave a report on the state of injuries for Arsenal, with Laurent Koscielny (aiming for return before the end of the year) and Sead Kolasinac (8-10 weeks) out with long-term injuries. Nacho Monreal hasn’t long returned to training, so Emery hints Maitland-Niles will be the player to step in at left back;

“We have Koscielny out with a long injury and then also Kolasinac has a long injury. Today, Nacho Monreal began to train with the team. As well, Danny Welbeck has come in this week but on Sunday it will be early to start playing him.

The other players are OK and we are working on the possibility to work with another player, who has experience in this [left-back] position. We want to give him confidence and the possibility to play. I’m not sure because I am going to decide tomorrow or on Sunday on the first 11, but Ainsley is the player who started the last match against Lazio.”

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Arsenal’s medical staff have reported that Aaron Ramsey has resumed first team training and is available for selection again.


Neil Warnock reports no injury concerns for the bluebirds. Only Harry Arter is unavailable for selection for the weekend as he’s on loan from Bournemouth and cannot play vs parent club.



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