Premier League Press Conference Round-Up: Gameweek 9

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 FPL Gameweek 9

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

All the best for Gameweek 9 everyone – let’s do this.


Moussa Djenepo and Cédric Soares are the only two players who are not available for Southampton’s trip to Wolverhampton:

“The internationals are all back fit so we’re just without Moussa (Djenepo) and Cédric (Soares). Moussa has made developments and his recovery is okay, but he’s still not 100%. He’s on the pitch and can do a lot of things, but not everything. We are trying to rise the intensity of the sessions, but it will take time. He (Cédric) maybe a little bit quicker, but his calf injury takes time to heal and at the moment it’s not as quick as we thought.  Also for him, it’s not most important that he’s back as quick as possible but the most important thing is for it not to happen again.”

Ralph Hasenhüttl also spoke about the form of Danny Ings in front of goal:

“He has a very good work load, he is very good with sprints against the ball and also has a lot of ball wins in the first row which is massively important for our game and he knows that. When he has the ball he has the quality to score, he has a lot of chances at the moment and is able to score and that helps us absolutely. What I like from Danny is he’s always positive, always open minded and a very, very positive character for this team and I hope he continues his run.”

Tottenham Hotspur

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Mauricio Pochettino has confirmed that Giovani Lo Celso and Ryan Sessegnon have returned to full training but Christian Eriksen’s fitness is being assessed ahead of Saturday’s game at home to Watford:

 “It’s good news that from now, tomorrow, they (Lo Celso and Sessegnon) are going to be involved with the team. That is a massive step. It’s been a lot of time they were out. Now it’s about building their fitness, their capacity to understand and to start to compete with their team-mates. The good thing in the last few days we saw in the training sessions is the players were fantastic in their behaviour and commitment and the level of the training sessions and the focus were fantastic. I’m so happy because of that.”

Christian Eriksen suffered a dead leg on international duty for Denmark this week and will be assessed to determine whether he can be involved against Watford, while Hugo Lloris continues to be monitored and assessed after dislocating his elbow before the international break at Brighton.

Paulo Gazzaniga is likely to continue deputize in goal as Michel Vorm needs more time according to Pochettino:

“He’s (Vorm) going to need time but we trust he was training. Of course, he will need to be on the pitch, in the goal, but I’m sure he’s going to be ready as soon as possible, quick.”

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Heung-min Son returned to London only on Thursday and it is possible that Delle Alli might get a start:

Today (Thursday) we expect to arrive this afternoon Sonny, from North Korea, but other players arrive in a very good way, very good mood.”

On Alli: “He’s very close, he is doing well. It was a good opportunity for him in these two weeks to work so hard, to try to make clear the things in his head and for us to help him find the best form.”

West Ham

Manuel Pellegrini has confirmed Declan Rice is ready to take on Everton when West Ham United return to Premier League action on Saturday.

The Hammers midfielder suffered from illness whilst on international duty with England last week, but has returned to Rush Green and trained as normal as Pellegrini’s men prepare for the trip to Goodison Park:

“Everyone returned [from international duty] without any problems. So we have the complete squad fit apart from the players who were injured before – Antonio, Winston Reid [and Fabianski], Declan is okay, he has worked without any problems. Lukasz had his surgery last Saturday and now he must be patient. He needs some time to recover, you cannot do it faster than you need and as we said at the beginning, probably he will return in the New Year.”


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Unai Emery has confirmed that Alexandre Lacazette is back in training and that he could feature on Monday. The manager will take a call on whether he is ready to start or come off the bench in the next two days:

“Today is Lacazette’s first training back with us. He finished it well and he’s feeling well with his injuries. Tomorrow we will be training again and he will be with us. We will decide. The most important thing is that first he is training, then secondly it’s whether he can be with us and it depends how he can feel in the next days training with us, whether his ankle is not giving him any more problems.

It’s positive for us that he’s started training and that he’s a possibility for Monday. I don’t know whether he’s ready for 90 minutes or on the bench. We’ll decide that over the next days, but it’s very important for him to come back to training with us.” 

Another player who could possibly start is Kieran Tierney:

“[Tierney is] ready to play. Now we have two options in that left-back role with Sead Kolasinac and him. We’re going to play a lot of matches after Monday. We will need every player.It depends how he comes into the first training with us, Sead, after his international matches. We now have two players in that position and we can use one on Monday, it depends how they are, one or the other.”

Arsenal play seven games in the next 19 days and the manager added that he would look to call upon Mesut Ozil during this period:

“The last two or three weeks, he’s (Ozil) improved with us in training and I think he’s feeling good. I didn’t [promise] him that he’d play because I want to make sure he’s ready and is available in training, and also giving us every day a good feeling in training, then he can play. My idea is to use every player and he is one in the squad. He has very big skills, the quality we will need in the next matches. I am happy now with how he’s improving and training every day. He is one player more in the squad.”

In other team news, Emile Smith Rowe is back in training and available for selection while Reiss Nelson is expected to return to team training in November.

Aston Villa

Tom Heaton, Bjorn Engels, Henri Lansbury and Jonathan Kodjia are all available. Jota is sidelined and Dean Smith expects the midfielder to be missing for a couple of weeks:

“Jonathan Kodjia is back to full fitness, he’s been training with us as well. The only one who’s missing is Jota, who ended up having to have a hernia operation on Friday. So he’s out for a couple of weeks now.

He’s had pain there for a long time, since he was at Birmingham, he came and he passed a medical. It’s something that he’s been playing with, but it got to a stage where he was only at 80%. And at this level – in the PL – you can’t play at 80%, and he’s gone under the knife.”

Smith revealed however, that it is still too soon for James Chester:

“He’s had another couple of weeks [of training] and he’ll probably play some minutes in the U23s game against Fulham on Monday to get him up to speed.”


Dyche on Gudmundsson:

“Unfortunately, he got injured on international duty and a reasonably serious hamstring injury. It certainly won’t be days. It will be more like weeks. I don’t know how many yet but it’s serious enough to speak in that way.”

Dyche on Erik Pieters:

“He should be fine. Erik’s trained all of this week so he’s clear.”

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Dyche on Jack Cork and Ashley Barnes:

“Corky is a touch-and-go one with a shoulder blade injury that has got a fine fracture in it. Ashley Barnes has got a tight groin so we’ll have to make judgement calls on those two. It’s not a ‘no’ though. That’ll be a judgement call on the risk and rewards.”


Leandro Trossard (groin) has been training this week and Shane Duffy (calf) came through his games for Ireland unscathed:

“We need to be careful with Leandro and he probably isn’t ready to start at the weekend, but still he’s with the group again and we’ll make a decision before Saturday.”  

Jose Izquierdo and Bernardo (both knee) are the only players sidelined. “Everyone else is back and fit.”

Steven Alzate (back spasm) and Davy Propper (hamstring) have now recovered from the injuries which stopped them joining their respective national teams.

Leicester City

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Brendan Rodgers confirms James Maddison will be fit to face Burnley after recovering from the illness which forced him out of the England camp:

“He’s trained well, he was very good today, and I expect him to be fit and ready for the weekend.”

On Dennis Praet Rodgers said the following:

“Dennis hasn’t been with us this week. He made his first start internationally, but unfortunately for personal reasons, he’s stayed behind in Belgium. He’ll be back with us tomorrow and he’s obviously had some game time while he was away.”


QSF will be without Étienne Capoue, Sebastian Prödl, Troy Deeney and Isaac Success for the club’s first ever trip to Tottenham’s new stadium.

Capoue (back), Prödl (hamstring) and Success (groin) have been out running this week while Deeney (knee) made a significant step in his rehabilitation by running on the anti-gravity treadmill for the first time, but the game against Spurs will come too soon in their respective rehabilitation:

“We have Capoue, Deeney, Prödl and Success out, but we try to find a good solution. This is our mentality. We have others ready to play. We cannot depend on one player. We have lots of players with high quality and skill.”

The Head Coach hopes to have Prödl and Capoue in contention to face Bournemouth, while Deeney is a bit further away:

“Maybe between 4-5 weeks. I guess in two or three weeks he is running again. The medical staff are working really well.”

Newcastle United

Good news on the injury front for the Magpies as Steve Bruce reports they’re nearing a fully fit squad.

Only Matt Ritchie (ankle) and Florian Lejeune (ACL knee) are missing through injury for Newcastle this weekend. Isaac Hayden (suspended) remains unavailable:

“We’re nearing towards a full squad. (Those two) are there or thereabouts.”


AFC Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe revealed Adam Smith was closing in on a return to first-team action after recovering from a hamstring injury. 

Giving an update at his pre-match press conference this morning, Howe said he had “a couple of slight concerns” after a number of his players had returned from international duty.

The visit of the Canaries will definitely come too soon for long-term injury victims David Brooks (ankle), Dan Gosling (hip) and Junior Stanislas (hamstring) however:

“We’re pretty much as we were. Adam Smith is getting closer, David Brooks is still some way away, as are Dan Gosling and Junior Stanislas. But the rest are pretty much there.

Adam has trained. We’ve had to take our time with his hamstring injury. It wasn’t an absolute clear low-grade strain so we had to be careful with him. We’ve taken our time with him so he’s close.

David Brooks is at the stage where we’re building his fitness. We haven’t seen him in training but we’re building that endurance that he needs and that’s the process he’s going through. I wouldn’t say he’s particularly enjoying it because it’s really hard work but, once he gets back on the grass, that’s when he’ll have a big smile on his face. He’ll be kicking a ball again so he’s doing some hard yards at the moment but he’s not too far away.”

Manchester United

Ole has revealed that David De Gea is set to be sidelined for the visit of the Merseysiders with injury.

De Gea picked up a muscle problem playing for his national team and, although this weekend’s game looks to be coming too soon for the Spaniard to recover, Solskjaer said the injury isn’t too serious:

“Well I don’t expect him to play, but it wasn’t as bad as feared. When I saw the game, I thought that’s him out until the next international break, because we’ve had some long-term muscle injuries, but it’s not as bad as feared.”

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Solskjaer confirmed earlier in the week that Paul Pogba would be out of the match against Jurgen Klopp’s side, although Aaron Wan-Bissaka could return to the defence after missing the last three games prior to the international break with tonsilitis, while Luke Shaw is also knocking on the door after two months out:

“In defence, it’s part of the pitch we’ve really improved and I think that’s only going to be improving as well. We’ll get Luke back soon, Aaron hopefully coming back, Axel [Tuanzebe] is growing, Harry [Maguire] is getting used to his team-mates and Victor [Lindelof] signed a new contract so we’ve got loads of good defenders.”

There has been no further update on the fitness of Anthony Martial, who Ole suggested on Wednesday could play some part against Liverpool after he returned to training following a thigh problem.

Things haven’t been going well for United of late, but Ole revealed in the presser that he and Ed have a plan:

“I speak to Ed regularly. As I’ve said many times, we do have a plan. And we’ve made some decisions that maybe in the short term would harm us but we know in the long term will benefit us and that’s part of the plan. 

“The results are always the main thing, we can move forward quicker if we get results and performances. But I’m sure that we will get there. It’s still planning – next transfer window, summer transfer window – and how we see the team moving forward.”


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Klopp stated that he had to check on the fitness of Alisson Becker, Joel Matip and Mohamed Salah for Sunday’s Premier League clash with Manchester United.

Alisson has returned to first-team training after being sidelined since sustaining a calf injury against Norwich City in the opening game of the season

Salah was withdrawn in the closing moments of the win over Leicester City last time out, while Joel Matip missed that game and the preceding one against Salzburg with a knock:

“Better – how good, we have to see, that’s the truth. There are two more sessions to come from this afternoon and we have to see. Then we’ll make decisions, that’s how it is. Nothing is fixed.”

He also reported that the Reds have no fresh injury concerns following the completion of the October international break:

“The players on international duty all came back healthy, which is very, very important. So we now had three or four days with the full squad to prepare it, which is a little bit comfortable at least.”


Wolves are assessing the fitness of Diogo Jota, Romain Saiss, Pedro Neto and Morgan Gibbs-White.

Leander Dendoncker should be available despite missing Belgium’s recent games because of illness. 

Adama Traore has been in impressive form for Wolves this season and Nuno has recognised the improvements he has made as a player:

“He’s doing well since last season. He’s been trying to progress and be better.He’s a hard-working boy and that’s what he has to do – stick with his responsibilities and try and improve himself on a daily basis and hopefully be better.

He can better than he is now. You never know [how good a player can be]. There is no defined level. He is a good player a very good player, that’s why we brought him from Middlesbrough knowing he has things that we didn’t have and he could help complete our team and make ours a more balanced and competitive squad.

“t’s a simple philosophy – hard work on a daily basis, commitment to the idea and [everybody at the club should] do everything you can to improve in order to have better performances, good results so that our fans are happy with the team.”

Norwich City

Daniel Farke says the injury situation is “much better” with several players returning to the training pitches.

Tim Krul will play on Saturday, although it comes too soon for Fahrmann who isn’t too far away.

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McLean and Todd Cantwell are available while Max Aarons has returned without any problems.

Sam Byram is over his recent ankle issue and Alex Tettey (calf) comes into contention. Tom Trybull can also be called upon after recovering from his knee injury.

Mario Vrancic isn’t ready for tomorrow however, but he is working with the first-team again:

“His last [competitive] game in the lineup was in May [and] he had more or less no pre-season. So, he needs proper training.”

Ben Godfrey successfully underwent hernia surgery and he will travel with the squad however, no chance for Grant Hanley who is out until December

“He [Hanley] had groin surgery a few days ago. He will be out for 7-8 weeks and will be back in December.

It’s good that it’s done because it’s out of his [Godfrey] head now. He’ll be fully fit for Man United and will improve week to week.”

Onel Hernandez is training, but Farke stated he won’t be ready for 90 minutes whilst Jamal Lewis (knee) is fine for Saturday. Zimmermann is “hoping” to be back in December but Daniel Farke is not so sure:

“We expect him to be back in January. The first step is to finish his rehab then come back into team training.” 


Chelsea boss Frank Lampard has provided an update on injury concerns including, N’Golo Kante, Mateo Kovacic, Andreas Christensen and Antonio Rudiger

“N’Golo [Kante’s] not fit. He had a small groin issue in the warm-up to the first international game for France. We didn’t get him back until after the second game and he’s not fit for Saturday.

[Mateo] Kovacic had a knock on his thigh but has trained the last couple of days so he’s in contention.

Andreas Christensen has got a hamstring injury which will see him out for the next two weeks.

“[Antonio] Rudiger is training outside with the physios which is a progression for him. He a tough injury with some stop-start (features), which has been unfortunate for everybody. But he’s outside, it’s positive – a bit of work to be done for him for match fitness but it’s really positive for us that he’s outside.”

Crystal Palace

On the injury front, Hodgson revealed that only Mamadou Sakho and Connor Wickham are confirmed out whilst others would need assessment:

“There are a couple of players we’re assessing in morning largely due to today’s [training] session. The two players who are missing are Mamadou Sakho and Connor Wickham, otherwise we’re okay.”


Fabian Delph (hamstring) remains a doubt. The injury forced him out of the Three Lions squad:

“Let’s see how he reacts. He is getting better and we will make a decision tomorrow.”

A groin issue rules Cenk Tosun out whilst Jean-Philippe Gbamin has undergone surgery on a tendon injury in his right quadriceps muscle, which will keep [him] out for around three months.

Manchester City

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Kevin De Bruyne, John Stones and Benjamin Mendy all appear to be back and in contention to play Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park on Saturday evening: 

“Some of them are better. Kevin is back and John trained the last days [well]. Mendy as well, maybe later.”

Sergio Aguero is fine. No issues with the heel injury which kept him out of the national team. The Argentine also escaped injury when his car crashed on the way to training this week. “The car is not fine.”

Manchester City were seven points behind Liverpool in January last year and are currently eight point behind Jurgen Klopp’s sides this campaign but despite the already not inconsiderable gap, Pep is refusing to panic:

“Every season is completely different. Every situation is different. The results now are not going to change my opinion about my time. I know exactly what we have to do to come back to be a team like we want to be but it is the past and we now need to be focused to try and increase our game and win games.”

Sheffield United

Updates provided as and when they become available. 



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