Premier League Press Conference Round-Up: FPL Gameweek 9

In the latest of our weekly series, we’ll be bringing you the important FPL news from every Premier League press conference that impacts your Fantasy Premier League team selection for FPL Gameweek 9.

All the best for Gameweek 9 everyone – lets do this!

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

Aston Villa

Tom Heaton has played “some minutes” for the U23s + an in-house game. “He’s training with the first team every day,” but he isn’t yet ready for to make a return to the Premier League.

Wesley has started to do some ball work to build up his strength:

“We’re trying to get him up to speed so that he can join in.”

Engels has a thigh injury and the defender is yet to train with the squad. Neither has Guilbert who is struggling with a side strain.

Kortney Hause (groin) should start working with the group today.

No mention of Traore who missed GW8 due to a hamstring issue. At the time, manager Dean Smith said the forward would “definitely be back” after the international break.

West Brom

Branislav Ivanovic and Matheus Pereira have trained this week after missing the home defeat to Tottenham due to a positive COVID-19 test.

Callum Robinson was also released from the Ireland squad after a positive swab. Bilic is hopeful he can be cleared for training today.

Bilic is expecting all three players to be available. There have been a “few” other positive results but the details have not been revealed. Those returning late from international duty need to be assessed.


Erik Pieters has returned to training “which is good” but Charlie Taylor is flagged as a doubt:

“He has a minor situation on a hamstring, which we’re monitoring. We have to be careful with him. We just had to pull him out for a few days with a bit of tightness.”

Phil Bardsley is fit and well, but Gudmundsson is managing a minor muscle issue whilst Robbie Brady will need assessing:

“We’re waiting on Robbie Brady, hopefully, it’s not too serious – he came off with a tight groin on Wednesday night, so we’re hoping that’s nothing.”

Dale Stephens (Achilles) will also miss out.


Aaron Connolly (hamstring) and Solly March (ankle) are back in training:

“There’s been no setbacks with them.”

Davy Propper had a bit of illness today, and a late decision will be made on Leandro Trossard. Alexis MacAllister has been ruled out.

Lewis Dunk is back in contention after serving a three-match ban.


Lampard reports that Christian Pulisic will not be fit for Newcastle. Kai Havertz has been cleared but he’s been working individually and the German may not be considered for Saturday.

Thiago Silva has just landed back in the UK and probably won’t travel to Newcastle.

“Kai Havertz is back. His isolation is over and he tested negative two days ago so he’s just started training on his own to get some of his fitness back after two weeks at home. Thiago Silva has just landed and messaged me this afternoon so he probably won’t be going to Newcastle because of the length of his journey and timings.

We’re still waiting on some test results for players arriving back from international duty. Some of them played last night and will unfortunately not arrive back until this afternoon so with a 12.30 kick-off on a Saturday there are clearly a lot of challenges for us.”

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Frank Lampard is hopeful Ben Chilwell will be available after the England defender was on the bench on Wednesday for their Nations League match against Iceland:

“With Ben Chilwell, I haven’t seen him yet. He stayed with England and was on the bench last night. He’s been improving and getting fantastic care with England so I’m more positive he’ll be okay.”

Crystal Palace

Roy Hodgson had positive news to deliver on Crystal Palace’s squad fitness, confirming the return to training of four defenders and not expressing any major concerns on his returning internationals.

He explained that Joel Ward, Tyrick Mitchell and James Tomkins are “all fit,” and then continued by saying:

“One or two trained on Tuesday and the last of those came back today. Martin Kelly also joined in, at least in the first part of the session, which is good after the injury he suffered 10 days or so ago.

Really I’m waiting to see the players who’ve been playing in Belgium [Christian Benteke and Michy Batshuayi] and Holland [Patrick van Aanholt], how they come back but there are no injuries reported. I’m hoping they’ll get their tests today [Thursday] and we’ll see them in training on Saturday.”

On Eberechi Eze, who was withdrawn from England Under-21 duty as a precaution, the manager reaffirmed that the midfielder is being assessed, but said he was not concerned he would be out for “any [long] length of time.”

Finally, Hodgson briefly discussed Luka Milivojevic, who was forced to miss international action after receiving a positive test for COVID-19:

“As far as Luka’s concerned, we’ve had no chance to see him because he’s isolating in Serbia. But we’re hoping the test he’s going to have this weekend will prove negative and I’m hoping he’ll be back and working again with us next week.”


Mo Elneny and Sead Kolasinac (COVID-19) are both players tested positive while on international duty with Egypt and Bosnia respectively. Following protocol ahead of a return to training – they are unavailable this weekend.

Thomas Partey (thigh strain) will also miss out this weekend:

“No, he picked up an injury very early in the game [against Aston Villa], he tried to carry on and he wanted to play the second half and we knew it was a significant injury. He has done really well, he is working very hard and he wants to be available. Hopefully we can get him back soon but it is an area where we have to be careful and a bit protective with the player.”

On whether Willian will play on Sunday after reportedly being in Dubai:

“You keep asking me for more and more issues. Whatever happens internally with any issues or things that we don’t expect, as always we will try to resolve them internally. That’s been dealt with and explained, and we move on.”


Ryan Fraser will not recover in time for Saturday but Callum Wilson has a chance:

“If there’s any risk whatsoever then he won’t play but he has trained the last few days and was very comfortable yesterday. He wants to play.”

Chelsea might come too soon for Jonjo Shelvey but Matt Ritchie is another one who has trained.

“It’s good news for us all that they’re around the group again and available for selection.”

Miguel Almiron didn’t arrive back until 11pm Thurs:

“He had to be COVID tested but everything seems to be OK in that respect so we’ll see on him.”

West Ham

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West Ham United manager David Moyes offered an update on the fitness of Angelo Ogbonna and Michail Antonio in his Friday morning press conference looking ahead to Sunday’s trip to Sheffield United.

Moyes expects the Italy defender to be available for selection at Bramall Lane, but is still waiting to make a decision on forward Antonio:

“Michail is back training and we’ve got a couple of days yet to see how he is. The truth is I can’t give you a complete answer [as to whether he’ll be available on Sunday], but he’s getting much closer that’s for sure.

Angelo Ogbonna had a problem at the start of the week, but we think he’s fine now and they are the main two really.”


Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhüttl has reported good news on James Ward-Prowse and Ryan Bertrand, revealing the pair are back in training and should be fit to face Wolves on Monday.

Elsewhere, an update has been provided on striker Danny Ings, who remains sidelined with a knee injury sustained in the win at Aston Villa on November 1st:

“He’s walking around quite good. There is still time to go, but it’s good, there are no complications. It was a small surgery.”

Saints are hopeful of taking an otherwise fully-fit squad to the Midlands, providing their international players return without any problems:

“Everybody else is in training at the moment, but I haven’t seen everybody coming back from the internationals.

Jan Bednarek played on Wednesday, I think he’s OK. Moussa, I haven’t seen so far, Stuey I haven’t seen. Jan Vestergaard, today is his first day also. We have all the guys back. It is an advantage that we play on Monday so we have a few sessions to work on a few parts.”


Jordan Henderson will miss Sunday’s Premier League encounter with Leicester City, but Liverpool will assess the condition of Fabinho and Thiago Alcantara ahead of the Anfield clash:

“They are in a good way, Ox [is] in a good way. They are all closer but we will see if it is close enough for the weekend.”

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Meanwhile, on Mohamed Salah’s fitness, Klopp added:

“He is probably back today, that’s all I’ve heard. We are obviously in close contact with him all of the time and, how it always is in these cases, in the moment when you have a negative test then the process really starts. He’s in a good place, he feels well, no symptoms, so that is all fine.”

Liverpool were dealt a further injury blow during the international break when Joe Gomez was required to undergo surgery to repair a tendon in his left knee. The operation was a success, but is likely to rule him out for a significant part of the remainder of 2020-21:

“[It is] a tough one but the surgery was successful, so he is now already recovering first from the surgery and then starting the rehabilitation.

He is with his family, so he is in the best possible place I would say. That’s it, pretty much. Rehab has started now. After surgery you count from that moment backwards and we help as much as we can, but for the first few days all of the boys after surgery probably feel pretty alone. But when you have your family around – and that’s the case for him – then it’s as good as possible, that’s it.”


Kalvin Phillips is in contention for Sunday along with Rodrigo.

Llorente suffered a setback and is working his back to full fitness.

This weekend comes too soon for Shackleton and Hernandez picked up a muscle injury during the break:

“Nothing serious, but he won’t be able to play.”

Man United

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has assessed the state of his squad in advance of Saturday’s visit of West Brom to Old Trafford.

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There is hope Marcus Rashford will be available, despite missing England duty with a shoulder injury, but three players are definitely ruled out of the 20:00 GMT kick-off.

“He’s worked in the gym and has got treatment. He joined in the session today and I hope he’ll hold his hand up and say he’s ready. That will be up to him. I think he feels okay.”

There is good news on the COVID-19 tests for those who have been away from the club:

“Of course, we have the test results coming back after the normal tests we have to do before the Premier League games. All the tests from the internationals were negative, which is good.

Alex Telles travelled [to South America] and wanted to play but then I think there was a mix-up with the tests – positive/negative and there was loads of talk about if he was going or not, first of all to the first game and then to second game. He’s come back and has been training for a few days and is looking good.”

Telles’s availability would be a boost, with Luke Shaw out with a hamstring problem, as Ole explained the latest on those out through injury:

Eric [Bailly] and Marcos [Rojo] are back training with us. Jesse [Lingard], Phil [Jones] and Luke are not on the grass yet.”

Victor Lindelof will need to be assessed for his ongoing back problem and Mason Greenwood has been out due to illness:

“Mason is fitter. He had eight or nine days away from us which is long time. He’s been training hard this week in the gym and on the grass. He’ll be back soon.”


Scott Parker says he will have a clearer picture of his squad tomorrow. Everyone has returned from international duty, but some only arrived back this morning.

Mario Lemina is back in training, but Scott Parker on making a late call on the midfielder:

“We’re unsure if he’s ready to go for Sunday.”

All COVID tests have all come back negative. “No issues there.”


Mourinho will assess his players this afternoon – Spurs have a session scheduled for 3pm.

Harry Winks returned with a “little problem” and Erik Lamela (Achilles) is on the last period of recovery. Apart from that, there are no further issues.

Steven Bergwijn has been confirmed fit.


Wolves don’t face Southampton until Monday night and Nuno confirms tomorrow will be the first day his squad will work together – selection decisions will be made after the final session.

There are “issues” which need to be checked.

Man City

Pep reveals that most of his players have come back but will be without Nathan Ake and Fernandinho:

“Except for Nathan (Ake) & Fernandinho, the rest have started to come back. Fernandinho is not fit. He has a bit of gastroenteritis, something in his stomach. Aguero trained this week. Raheem Sterling trained for the first time today with the team.”


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Carlo Ancelotti confirms that Seamus Coleman and Gbamin are unavailable, but Richarlison, Allan and Fabian Delph are all fit.


Brendan Rodgers has provided positive news concerning the fitness of Ricardo Pereira, Wilfred Ndidi, Timothy Castagne and Çağlar Söyüncü ahead of facing Liverpool on Sunday.

That quartet have been in training with the squad this week as Leicester continue their preparations to tackle Jürgen Klopp’s men, who have injury concerns of their own.

France Under-21s international Wesley Fofana, on the other hand, missed fixtures for his country last week with a knee complaint, but has returned to training with the Foxes:

“Ricardo’s in training with the group, which is great news, and he’ll most probably play in a reserve game next week. He’s progressing really well.

Wilf is out on the field. He still has a number of weeks to go, but he’s progressing well. Söyüncü, likewise, is maybe a few weeks away, but training with the squad.

Timothy Castagne’s back in again, which is great news, and Wesley Fofana will be fine, so we’re slowly starting to get our players back.”

Sheffield United

Lys Mousset (toe) and John Fleck (back) returned to full training during the break and Chris Wilder confirms that both players could be available for Sunday.


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