Nacho Monreal (£5.4m) is one of five Arsenal defenders that returned to full training this week. Hector Bellerin (£5.4m), Shkodran Mustafi (£5.4m), Laurent Koscielny (£5.4m) and Dinos Mavropanos (£4.7m) are also back on the pitch, as is Mesut Ozil (£8.0m).
On the club’s injury situation, Unai Emery said
yesterday: “This week they are working with us with quality, Mustafi, Monreal and Bellerin. Tomorrow we need to do the last training before the West Ham game. This training session is important [to work out who can play]. Ozil is also training with us. We’ve got the same injuries with Danny Welbeck (£6.4m) and Rob Holding (£4.3m). Henrikh Mkhitaryan
(£6.7m) has been training with us and Mavropanos for the past 10 days, who can help us in the next matches and start playing with the under-23s. At the moment we are better than we were a week ago.”
Eddie Howe reported this morning that Josh King (£6.3m) faces a late fitness test for GW22 after being ill this week, while Callum Wilson (£6.7m) and Ryan Fraser (£6.1m) are both battling hamstring issues. The Cherries chief said: “We have a couple of knocks, a few players nursing injury and illness so we will see who is fit. Callum was missing last week, Josh was ill and Ryan was limping at the end of the game [against Brighton] so we have a few to assess and check. Whether they are fit and available we will wait and see.” Howe added that “they're certainly up for playing”. Wilson and Fraser (who was pictured in training yesterday) are also set for late tests. Both King and his fellow striker missed the club’s FA Cup defeat to Brighton last weekend, while Fraser reported his injury after completing the full 90 minutes in that 3-1 loss. Junior Stanislas (£6.0m) is a likely starter if one of that trio are ruled out.
On loan signing Nathaniel Clyne (£4.4m), Howe added: “Nathaniel has settled in well. He's trained very well and I was pleased with his performance [in the FA Cup] last week. We haven't seen Dominic Solanke (£4.7m) in training just yet.” Solanke’s hamstring injury will keep him out until February, while Clyne looks set to slot straight in at right-back or right wing-back.
On absentees for the visit of Liverpool, Chris Hughton said: “Bernardo (£4.2m) will miss the game - and apart from Jose Izquierdo
(£5.9m) and Alireza Jahanbakhsh
(£6.7m) [Asian Cup] there are no other fresh injuries.” Gaetan Bong (£4.4m) is expected to deputise at left-back, while Mat Ryan (£4.4m) is also on international duty.
On facing the league leaders, the Seagulls boss added: “There's not any team that plays against them that can afford to not have a defensive strategy – but you also need a strategy to get out and keep the ball. We need a strategy to give them a real game.” Yves Bissouma (£4.6m) could come into Hughton’s XI if the manager wants an extra body in midfield against the Reds.
Phil Bardsley (£4.2m) and Matt Lowton (£4.6m) could both be available for the Clarets. Johann Berg Gudmundsson (£5.6m) is a doubt, however. Sean Dyche said: “Aaron Lennon (£4.9m) is going along well, but obviously he's longer term - not weeks. Bardsley and Lowton have both got knocks, there’s a strong chance – possibly both of them – at least one will be right. Johann's still got a niggly thigh, so we'll wait and see.” With Robbie Brady suspended (£5.4m), fellow Ireland international Jeff Hendrick (£5.2m) could earn a start if Gudmundsson is not passed fit. Charlie Taylor (£4.4m) is also an option on the left of midfield with Irish left-back Stephen Ward (£4.7m) now available.
On Tom Heaton (£4.8m) gaining the No 1 spot at Turf Moor, Dyche explained: “Changing the keeper is a risk/reward situation and Tom has done well, but that doesn't mean Joe Hart (£4.5m) is not a top keeper, which he is. He's accepted the change and we move on, because we have three top keepers.”
Neil Warnock said
today: “We’ve got a few players with knocks. Most of them trained yesterday, so we’ll have to wait and see. Nothing concrete on that. Kenneth Zohore (£4.6m) is looking sharp. He starts full-time training next week. His eyes are bright and it’s nice to see. He’s worked really hard to get back. He’ll be struggling to get back for next weekend. He might get on the bench.” Harry Arter
(£4.9m) and budget midfield gemVictor Camarasa (£4.6m) are among those being assessed, though the Spaniard declared his injury as “nothing serious”
after coming off in the 58th minute against Spurs on New Year’s Day.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek (£5.2m) is not available
for the Blues but Alvaro Morata
(£8.4m) could be fit to play against Newcastle. The striker missed Chelsea’s 1-0 EFL Cup semi-final first-leg defeat to Spurs on Tuesday with a hamstring problem but has returned to training. Maurizio Sarri said: “Of course, Loftus-Cheek is out at the moment. Yesterday Alvaro had training with his team-mates. I hope that he will be able to play.”
On Bayern Munich’s public courting of Callum Hudson-Odoi (£4.2m), Sarri fumed: “I think it is not professional. They are talking about a player under contract with Chelsea, so they didn’t respect our club I think. I am very happy with the player, he is improving a lot. He needs to move in some moments without the ball. I would like to have him in the future.”
The young winger started that loss to Tottenham, forming a front three with Eden Hazard (£11.1m) and Willian
(£7.2m). Sarri could opt for that trio again if Morata, Pedro (£6.3m) or Olivier Giroud (£7.7m) aren’t risked from the beginning. The latter pair made their returns from injury off the bench at Wembley. However, it would be Hudson-Odoi’s third start in eight days and Sarri added: “I don’t know tomorrow. The same for Callum [as for Andreas Christensen
(£5.0m)], he was a little tired as he played two matches in three days. I want to see today the level.”
On Willian, who was reportedly the subject of a Barcelona bid this week, the Italian explained: “You have to call the club and ask about the market, I don’t know what to answer. Of course not [to lose him], he is a very important player. I think he can do better, because the potential is higher. He is really very important for us so it is impossible to lose him in January.” The Chelsea boss also added that the Brazilian can score more.
On facing the Magpies tomorrow, Sarri said: “The match will be very difficult. They are doing better away. It is a difficult opponent away, I think the match will be the same. I hope of course to score in the first 30 minutes, but if the match will be the same then we have to be patient. We have played very well in the offensive phase but we need to improve in the box, attacking the space.”
Christian Benteke (£6.3m) could return to the Eagles’ matchday squad tomorrow. Roy Hodgson said: “Yes I guess he is [available], but obviously he’s short of match practice and the sharpness you get from playing. It would be a risk putting him in to some extent but he’s come through training very well so there’s no reason to write him off.”
Jordan Ayew (£5.7m) could retain his start up front after opening his Crystal Palace account in the 2-0 win away to Wolves in GW21. Max Meyer (£5.6m) and Jeffrey Schlupp (£4.4m) offer alternatives in the wide positions if Hodgson opts to use Wilfried Zaha (£6.7m) in a more central role. Alexander Sorloth (£4.8m) has joined Belgian side Gent on loan for the remainder of the season.
Marco Silva did not report any injury issues at his press conference today. The Everton boss, asked if Leighton Baines (£5.0m) and Lucas Digne (£5.2m) could possibly feature in the same XI, said: “It could be a solution. We did maybe just five minutes when we played against Wolves in the first Premier League match. We started with Leighton and Lucas came in to play on the left wing. We were playing with ten men at the time. Let’s see what decision I make. They are both ready to play to a good level.”
Bernard (£5.9m) is perhaps likelier to take up the left-wing spot at home to Bournemouth, which would see Dominic Calvert-Lewin (£5.3m) drop out of Silva’s XI with Richarlison (£6.9m) stationed up front. Michael Keane (£4.9m) could be under pressure for a start after his mistake gifted Leicester the winner in Everton’s 1-0 defeat at home to the Foxes in GW21. Yerry Mina (£5.4m) will be pushing hard for a start, while Silva could use a back-three system with both defenders joining Kurt Zouma (£5.0m) in the starting line-up. With a full squad at his disposal, Silva has plenty of options amid a poor run of form for the Toffees.
Alfie Mawson (£4.8m) remains out, while Timothy Fosu-Mensah’s (£4.5m) loan deal is set to be cut short. Fulham boss Claudio Ranieri has no other new fitness concerns, with several options on offer across the positions. The Italian may be tempted into personnel or formation changes following GW21’s 4-1 defeat to Arsenal. Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa (£4.4m) and Neeskens Kebano (£4.3m) could both be available following injury issues. Aboubakar Kamara (£4.5m) may earn a start after scoring against the Gunners on his introduction from the bench.
On injury news, David Wagner said: “Tommy Smith (£4.4m) was back in training since yesterday without issues. Abdelhamid Sabiri (£4.3m) today joined the group part-time. After his x-ray, he could join up full-time. Aaron Mooy (£5.1m) and Danny Williams (£4.5m) are working with our medical and fitness departments.”
Jason Puncheon (£4.2m) is in the frame for a start after completing the Terriers’ 1-0 defeat to Bristol City in the FA Cup following his loan move. Issac Mbenza (£5.9m) and Elias Kachunga (£4.8m) could lose out on starting spots if Wagner decides to move from 4-2-3-1 back to 3-5-1-1.
On team news, Claude Puel said: “Jonny Evans (£4.8m) is not available; he has a broken toe. We have no other problems.” The Leicester boss could be tempted to retain mostly the same XI that beat Everton in Gameweek 21, which would see Ricardo Pereira (£5.3m defender) line out on the wing again. Rachid Ghezzal (£5.1m) was withdrawn at half-time in that tie, with Marc Albrighton (£5.1m), James Maddison (£6.8m) and Demarai Gray (£5.4m) all seeking starts in GW22.
Harvey Barnes (not yet listed in FPL) has been recalled from a loan spell at West Brom. On the young midfielder, Puel stated: “He can add to us. I’m happy about his progress. It is a good moment for him to come home and help his teammates. He trained and will be available tomorrow.”
On team news, Jurgen Klopp said this morning: “Joel Matip (£4.9m) trained yesterday first time with the team. We have to decide day by day how he's doing. Jordan Henderson (£5.3m) will train today, first time. Adam Lallana
(£6.9m) out, Dejan Lovren (£4.9m) out and Joe Gomez (£4.9m) of course, out.” The Croatian centre-back is expected
back in action for Gameweek 24.
Virgil van Dijk (£6.4m) returned to training this week after missing the Reds’ FA Cup defeat to Wolves and “is fit”.Fabinho (£5.5m) could partner VVD in central defence if Matip is not risked. The Brazilian played in that position against Wolves, after which Klopp signalled
that he could be used there again if necessary. On that possibility, the German added
today: “If Fabinho has to play at centre-half, he has played there before. We do that on the training pitch. If you are a holding six at centre-half, with the ball it's easier, without the ball it's different. We try to make it not more complicated than it is.”
On his current defensive issues, Klopp lamented: “The players we didn't line up at Wolves were either injured, a little bit injured or played all 9 games in December. The centre-back situation isn't too cool in this moment but in a couple of weeks it should look completely different.”
On two defeats (all competitions) in a row, the Liverpool boss stated: “So far our season has been really good and now we need to carry on. Two weeks ago everyone was so excited about the distance between (us and City). Now we have lost 2 games, not nice but not a real problem.”
Having used a 4-3-3 formation in that defeat to the champions, Klopp could revert to a 4-2-3-1 for GW22. Xherdan Shaqiri (£7.1m) may return to the starting line-up, with Roberto Firmino (£9.2m) perhaps dropping into the No 10 position to let Mohamed Salah (£13.3m) move back into the striker’s role. James Milner (£5.6m) or Naby Keita (£7.2m) appear the likeliest partners for Georginio Wijnaldum (£5.5m) in the double pivot considering Henderson is only back in training today.
Sergio Aguero (£11.2m) and Vincent Kompany (£5.2m) could be fit for the visit of Wolves. Pep Guardiola said: “Sergio was sick after the Liverpool game. He’s a little bit better, yesterday was his first training session. Vincent is recovering well after the game against Liverpool. The rest are fit.” If Kompany is not risked, Aymeric Laporte (£5.9m) and John Stones (£5.2m) could rekindle their centre-back partnership after the Frenchman moved to left-back for the win against Liverpool. Fabian Delph (£5.3m) may take up that spot on the left side of defence, while Danilo (£5.1m) has started each of City’s last three league ties and might keep his place ahead of Kyle Walker (£6.4m).
Kevin De Bruyne (£9.7m) played 125 minutes over City’s two cup outings in the last week, so Bernardo Silva (£7.5m) and David Silva (£8.5m) may get the nod in midfield alongside Fernandinho
(£5.3m). Ilkay Gundogan (£5.4m) is another option.
Riyad Mahrez (£8.3m) completed both of those cup ties so Raheem Sterling (£11.3m) and Leroy Sane (£9.5m) are favourites to continue on the flanks. Gabriel Jesus
(£10.1m) is on standby if Aguero is not ready to start, though a Monday night kick-off should give the Argentine plenty of training time following his illness.
On City’s GW22 opponents, Guardiola added: “(Wolves are) strong, physical, good at set pieces, strong on the counter attack. When you are tired in the last minutes, they put on new players. They defend deep, switch play, and control many areas.”
Paul Pogba (£8.4m) is set to be fit for the trip to take on Spurs. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said: “He [Pogba] looked okay towards the end [of the training camp], so he'll be fit. He did have some problems but he came through the last couple of sessions well, so he should be okay.”
Marcos Rojo (£4.9m) will not be available for the near future. Solskjaer added on the defender: “He's gone back to Argentina for a while with his injury.” Eric Bailly (£5.0m) is suspended until GW23, while Chris Smalling (£5.6m) could be available after returning to training this week.
Juan Mata (£6.2m) has serious competition for his place in attacking midfield from Jesse Lingard
(£6.8m) and Alexis Sanchez (£10.0m), while Romelu Lukaku (£10.7m) will also be eager for minutes. Antonio Valencia (£6.4m), Ashley Young (£5.7m) and Diogo Dalot
(£5.3m) are all vying for the right-back spot in Solskjaer’s XI.
On injuries in the Newcastle squad, Rafa Benitez said: “Jonjo Shelvey (£5.3m), Paul Dummett (£4.4m) and Karl Darlow (£4.4m) are not available. Federico Fernández (£4.4m) and Ciaran Clark (£4.5m) are both available. Florian Lejeune (£4.4m), who came in against Blackburn, is fine. So, we have some good news and some bad news.”
Kenedy (£4.8m) is ineligible
to face parent club Chelsea. On playing the Blues, Benitez added: “We were very close in our last game here (in August). People talked about tactics but they were right until the end. We have to make sure we stay in the game and if they make mistakes, we have to punish them.” Those comments suggest the manager will retain a 3-4-2-1/5-4-1 formation against Sarri’s outfit on Saturday evening.
Ryan Bertrand (£4.8m) remains out for Southampton. Of the left-back and other injuries, Ralph Hasenhuttl said: “Not for the Leicester game, it's far too early. He [Bertrand] is training fit, but not match fit. It will take time. Michael Obafemi (£5.0m) is going to take longer than we first thought, it's a tendon injury. That isn't good for us because we could use his speed. Danny Ings (£5.6m) can be an option for the Everton game [GW23], I hope so.” Charlie Austin (£5.5m) has been handed a two-game ban for making an “obscene gesture” against Man City so Shane Long (£4.7m) looks set for a start up front.
Having earned a 0-0 draw at Stamford Bridge in GW21, Hasenhuttl may be tempted to go with a largely unchanged line-up for the clash with Leicester City. Maya Yoshida (£4.1m) is on Japan duty at the Asian Cup, which could possibly see Saints’ Austrian boss move from a 3-4-3 to a 4-2-2-2. Mario Lemina (£4.8m) remains out. Fraser Forster (£4.2m) and Wesley Hoedt (£4.2m) will not
be part of Hasenhuttl’s plans for the time being. Manolo Gabbiadini (£5.6m) has moved back to Italy with Sampdoria.
Lucas Moura (£6.9m) [knee] is being assessed ahead of Spurs' clash with Man Utd. Eric Dier (£4.7m) and Victor Wanyama (£4.9m) remain unavailable. Jan Vertonghen (£5.9m) is back on the training pitches but lacks match fitness. Mauricio Pochettino did not report any further injury issues in his presser. Heung-Min Son (£8.8m) is set to depart for the Asian Cup after Sunday's GW22 fixture at Wembley.
Christian Kabasele (£4.4m) and Andre Gray (£5.9m) returned to full training on Thursday, leaving Sebastian Prodl (£4.2m) as Javi Gracia’s only absentee. On the now-available pair, the Hornets boss said: “It's a little bit soon for them to play in one or two days, but we'll see. We have more options and I think it will be better if we continue, keep training and we'll see their evolution.” Stefano Okaka and Marvin Zeegelaar have both joined Udinese on loan.
Marko Arnautovic (£6.9m) was withdrawn after 20 minutes of West Ham’s FA Cup third round win against Birmingham last weekend but it appears the substitution was only precautionary. A club release states
that the striker “has recovered from the minor back problem which saw him replaced midway through the first half against Birmingham.”
On transfer rumours surrounding the Austrian, Manuel Pellegrini said: “They are rumours. We know Marko is a very good player so maybe a lot of clubs will want him to play for their team but at the moment he is a West Ham player and we want to keep him. I think Marko and all the other players involved in rumours have their heads here and want to continue playing the way they are doing so far. I am sure his head will be in the game against Arsenal and it will not affect his performance.” In response to reports that Arnautovic’s brother and agent is attempting to engineer the striker’s exit from the club, West Ham published an abrupt statement: “Marko Arnautovic has a contract and we fully expect him to honour it. He is not for sale.”
On the club’s injury situation, Pellegrini said: “Injured players are exactly the same as last week, so we don't have any news about that!” Fabian Balbuena
(£4.3m) will be out for six to eight weeks after undergoing knee surgery, while Chicharito (£6.1m) also remains sidelined.
Andy Carroll (£5.4m) could start against the Gunners after scoring in the Irons’ 2-0 win against Birmingham. Pellegrini explained: “Andy scored a goal, saved one goal off the line and had a couple of other chances to score, so I am happy with him and I feel, if he can continue playing, he can be the player we know he can be.” Lucas Perez (£6.2m) will also be pushing for a start up front. Another option for the West Ham boss is to play January recruit Samir Nasri (£5.5m) in a 4-2-3-1 formation. On the ex-Gunner, Pellegrini added: “I think it was very useful for him to play 60 minutes in the FA Cup. He has been working hard for around 40 days and he has demonstrated he is able to be involved against Arsenal, at least in the squad list.”
Nuno has reported that ‘everyone is fit’ for Monday night’s trip to the Etihad. However, Diogo Jota (£5.9m) may not be risked from the start after making his comeback from injury in the FA Cup win against Liverpool. Nuno said: “He is coming back from injury. He had a fantastic first half, and before he did it in training. He is OK, but of course he doesn’t have 90 minutes of shape in his legs.”
Ruben Neves (£4.9m) scored in that cup victory at Molineux and may replace Romain Saiss (£4.2m) in Nuno’s league XI. The Portuguese manager also has the option of using both players with Joao Moutinho (£5.2m) in a 3-5-2 formation. Leander Dendoncker (£4.3m) offers further presence in the centre of the park. Morgan Gibbs-White (£4.3m) is another option in midfield or attack, while Nuno stated recently that Adama Traore (£5.2m) must improve his level of performance.
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