Ahead of Sunday's 2:00pm deadline, we have combed through all 20 Premier League press conferences to bring FPL managers the need-to-know team news, injury updates and predicted XIs for GW38. As many clubs have essentially nothing left to play for, line-up surprises aplenty are expected this weekend. With the possibility of post-presser news breaking on Saturday and Sunday, FPL bosses are urged to wait as long as possible before confirming transfers.
The Gunners beat Valencia 4-2 on Thursday night to reach the Europa League final, with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (£10.9m) netting a hat-trick and Alexandre Lacazette (£9.3m) also scoring. Asked if he might rotate for Sunday following the trip to Spain, Unai Emery said: “We were very late yesterday [Thursday]. We arrived at 6am and today [Friday] we cancelled training because it’s important to rest. Tomorrow we are going to prepare for Sunday’s match. I am going to decide with the players who are hungry and in good physical condition to play this match. There are going to be some players who are tired and some players with problems to play Sunday, but we are going to play with the players who have been hungry to play, win and keep this fifth position.”
As is the norm, trying to pin down how Emery will set up his team and what players he will select is very difficult. One (or both) of Arsenal’s star strikers could be rotated, though Emery’s third-choice option for the striker position is youngster Eddie Nketiah (£5.0m). Alex Iwobi (£5.4m) is a fresh attacking option after a night on the bench in Valencia, while Henrikh Mkhitaryan (£6.6m) only played half an hour and will also be pushing for a start. Sead Kolasinac (£5.0m) is a doubt after a knock forced him off with 71 minutes played at the Mestalla.
David Brooks (£5.0m) remains sidelined for the Cherries. Eddie Howe said
this morning: “David Brooks will miss out. Dan Gosling (£4.7m) and Dom Solanke
(£4.7m) are also missing. Those lads who missed out last week won’t make it for this weekend.” Asmir Begovic (£4.3m) will not be part of Howe’s squad for the trip to Crystal Palace, with young stopper Mark Travers (£4.0m) seeking to earn a second start ahead of Artur Boruc (£4.1m). Howe added: “We decided to play Mark at the weekend and we were delighted with his performance. He’s a very level-headed lad so we haven’t really had to say too much to him this week. The decision was made to rest Asmir, and he’s now been given some time off to spend with his family. There’s nothing more to it then that really. He’s a top professional and is still very much our player.”
On Nathan Ake (£5.1m), who moved into central midfield as Bournemouth edged out a nine-man Spurs 1-0 in GW37, Howe said: “Nathan enjoyed the role. It’s one that is natural to him and I think he likes the idea of playing there. He was key to our win. The beauty of a player like Nathan is his versatility. I think he would play wherever we wanted him to and that’s a credit to himself.”
On injury news, Chris Hughton said: “Davy Propper (£4.8m) and Jose Izquierdo (£5.9m) will miss the game this weekend - they're our only two absentees.” Bruno (£4.4m) is set to retire after Man City’s visit on Sunday.
On facing the title chasers, Hughton added: “The message to my players on Sunday will be about the respect for this division. It's a home match for us which we want to win – it so happens there's big meaning.”
Sean Dyche did not report any fresh injury worries at his press conference. On facing Arsenal at Turf Moor on Sunday, the Clarets boss said: “We want to deliver a performance and we want to beat a top side again. It’s not that easy but that’s what we want to do. The main thing for me is finish strong performance-wise, because I think we’ve done that in the second half of the season. There have been a couple of blips but mainly, they’ve been good performances. If we can get a result on the back of that it’s always good to beat the top teams, particularly at home.”
Loan signing Harry Arter (£4.9m) is out for the Bluebirds, though fellow loanee Victor Camarasa (£4.4m) could be available. Neil Warnock said: “We’re hoping Victor will be fit. It’s a nasty dead leg. I was gutted when he went off last week. He just looked back to himself that first 10 minutes. Whatever will be, will be and I’m sure he’s got a bright future ahead of him. We thank Harry for all of his efforts this season. Both of them have been really good signings.”
N’Golo Kante (£4.9m) is out of GW38, while Maurizio Sarri picked up further injury issues as Chelsea beat Eintracht Frankfurt on penalties last night to reach the Europa League final. The Blues boss said: “We lost Andreas Christensen (£5.0m), we lost Ruben Loftus-Cheek (£5.2m). We started the match with three injuries [Rudiger, Hudson-Odoi, Kante], two injuries during the match. Not a serious problem [with RLC], he had the usual cramp after 75 minutes.”
With Chelsea already qualified for next season’s Champions League, rotation is likely for the trip to Leicester. On fatigue in his squad, Sarri explained: “For sure, it will be very difficult for Sunday, I think. But we need to consider that our best match, in my opinion, was here in Stamford Bridge against Tottenham, three days after 120 minutes in the cup final against Manchester City. Of course, now it's more difficult, I think. We played 61 matches, so it's very difficult. We need to rest, of course. Unfortunately we have to go to the US to play a match [vs New England Revolution on May 16]. And then we have, after the US, 10 days to prepare the last match. It will be a very difficult match [vs Leicester], physically but also mentally. Especially mentally. Physically we can recover. Not 100%, but we can recover.”
Scott Dann (£4.4m) is a doubt for the Eagles, with defensive resources thin on the ground for Roy Hodgson. He said: “We will assess Scott Dann tomorrow, as he left training today with a slight strain.” Joel Ward (£4.3m) could deputise if Dann is not passed fit. Christian Benteke (£6.3m) appears unlikely to feature after missing out in GW37, with Hodgson adding: “It’s the same injuries as last week.”
Dominic Calvert-Lewin (£5.0m) and Richarlison (£6.4m) are sidelined for the Toffees, while Seamus Coleman (£5.4m) is a doubt. Marco Silva said: “[Calvert-Lewin] is injured at this moment, he's not able to play the next match. It was a kick in training, the first day of the week. Nothing special, but for the next match he will not be available. Let's see if Coleman can play or not. He will be a doubt, let's see tomorrow. It's nothing special, a small problem in his groin. Richarlison came out of the last game with a problem with his rib. He will be out of the next game, definitely.”
Having been appointed full-time head coach at Fulham, team news was not on Scott Parker’s press conference agenda. With the Cottagers in good form, changes may be limited for Newcastle’s visit.
On team news, Jan Siewert said: “Erik Durm (£4.4m) couldn’t train, he won’t play at the weekend. Zanka (£4.4m) could not train properly, Chris Lowe (£4.4m) had a small problem. This game is a good possibility to see Joel Coleman (£4.0m). He will start because I have to look at him. He deserves a chance.”
Brendan Rodgers has no new fitness concerns. The Foxes boss said: “The availability has been great. They’re all fit and they’re available for selection. Apart from the players who have been out for a period of time, they’re all fit.” Danny Simpson (£4.2m) and Shinji Okazaki (£5.1m) could earn minutes in their final game with the club.
Roberto Firmino (£9.3m) is out of GW38, while Mohamed Salah (£13.3m) returns to training today following concussion. Jurgen Klopp was positive on the prospect of Andrew Robertson (£6.8m) and Jordan Henderson (£5.3m) featuring on Sunday. The German said: “The famous three words of this week in the dressing room: ‘It’s only pain.’ Very important for all the young lads to learn, I’ve said that already to the boys. Hendo said, ‘It’s only pain’, Robbo said, ‘It’s only pain’ - but it was real pain, wow! Unfortunately, Robbo could deal with the pain but only the rest of his body couldn’t because he couldn’t really activate the muscle anymore, some nerve hit or whatever [so he had to be substituted]. They should be fine [for Sunday]. Bobby not [available] for the weekend, but we have time [before the Champions League final] and that should be enough. Mo looked good around the celebrations after the game, to be honest! The day before yesterday and yesterday he was running outside and will be part of training today.”
On Wolves, Klopp added: “Wolves have played good football and are sensational counter-attacking. They stay calm and composed and Nuno is doing an incredible job there. That makes our game pretty difficult.”
After the incredible 4-0 win against Barcelona on Tuesday, Klopp handed his players some down time. He revealed: “We’ve had much more days off than I have ever given in my life as a manager. A lot more than I would have usually given because of the intensity.”
Kevin De Bruyne (£9.7m) is back in training ahead of City’s title-deciding clash at Brighton on Sunday. Fernandinho (£5.3m) has been ruled out of the fixture. Pep Guardiola said: “Kevin trained the last two days, part of the training session. He could (be involved). Ferna is not available. Maybe for the FA Cup final – we will see.”
On being top of the league and facing Brighton, the manager added: “I didn't expect when we were seven points behind Liverpool to be here – it’s a dream. It’ll be tough. If the game is going bad we will be calm, we have to have a plan and follow a plan like we have done all season.” Asked if the Seagulls might be less defensive considering they are safe, Guardiola responded: “I don’t know. We talk about the two options. If they play like the way they play using set-pieces and counter-attacks with their quality players, they are so good but maybe at home the last game they decide to go forward more. We talk about what we can expect and how we handle both situations.”
On one of GW38’s top transfer targetsBernardo Silva
(£7.6m), Guardiola said: “Bernardo can play incredibly well here and everywhere – give me one team where he won't play well. He does everything with the ball.”
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is set to hand youth a chance on Sunday. Asked if some squad members could be playing their final game, the Red Devils boss said: “Well, you never know in football. It might be your last game, it might be the start of some careers as well. We’ve had some young players knocking on the door all season, we will be starting with some of the kids as well.”
On Ander Herrera (£5.0m) and Antonio Valencia (£6.4m), OGS added: “Ander, he might play, we haven’t picked the team. He will probably announce himself later on where he is going to continue his football. I spoke to Antonio yesterday, he has not been fit the six or five months I’ve been here, but he feels he can play a part. I hope he gets through today and tomorrow and we can give him a nice send off. It is only fair.”
The club report that Jesse Lingard (£6.7m) could return on Sunday while doubts remain over Romelu Lukaku (£10.7m), Anthony Martial
(£7.2m) and Alexis Sanchez (£10.0m). Eric Bailly (£5.0m) is definitely sidelined.
Sung-yeung Ki (£4.7m) is out for the Magpies. Rafa Benitez said: “We have more or less the same problems as before. The kind of injuries they have, they will not be ready. We have also lost Ki, who has a knee problem. It is not very serious but we don’t want to take the risk.”
After making four starting XI changes in GW37 and switching to a four-man backline as the Saints lost 3-0 at West Ham, Ralph Hasenhuttl could revert to type for Huddersfield’s visit. Maya Yoshida (£4.1m) is one player that definitely won’t feature. The Austrian said: “We have one game to go. We may have a few changes and change back to the shape we were playing before [with wing-backs], with the players that played before. That means that Angus Gunn (£4.3m) is playing at the weekend again. [On Yoshida] It was a very, very strong virus and so he is still not more than ten minutes on the bicycle and that’s enough for him. I know he has to go to the national team in June so I give him the chance to rest completely and it doesn’t make any sense to take any risk.”
Heung-min Son (£8.7m), who lost his ban appeal, and Juan Foyth (£5.0m) are suspended for Spurs. Jan Vertonghen
(£5.9m) and Davinson Sanchez (£5.8m) are sidelined, while Danny Rose
(£5.8m) and Victor Wanyama (£4.9m) require assessment after picking up injuries in the 3-2 win away to Ajax on Wednesday. Serge Aurier (£5.7m) is back in training, while Harry Kane
(£12.6m) and Harry Winks (£5.5m) remain out. Erik Lamela (£5.9m) returned from injury off the bench in Amsterdam and could earn a start, potentially giving one of Christian Eriksen (£9.2m), Dele Alli (£8.8m) or Lucas Moura (£6.8m) a rest. Eric Dier (£4.7m) may be required to play centre-half, meaning Oliver Skipp (£4.5m) could be drafted into central midfield – though both Eriksen and Alli are options in that deeper role.
Fourth-place Spurs are more or less guaranteed a Champions League spot, sitting three points and eight goals ahead of Arsenal. On attempting to finish third in the league, Mauricio Pochettino said: “In football, all can happen It’s about belief. We must believe that we need to win on Sunday. Our objective must be to finish third. That’s the way we need to take the game and then what happens, happens. The most important is the responsibility we need to feel, we need to compete in our best to win the game. Don’t think too much, only think to play well to finish the season. It’s a great opportunity for us to finish well. Of course it’s better to finish third than fourth but the objective is to finish in the top four and it’s almost done but we have one more game. Everton has great momentum, very competitive and they finish the season very well. They have very good players and it’s normal that they’re going to come here to compete. They had a clear week to prepare. We cannot be distracted, we need to be focused on our game.”
Watford Player of the Season Etienne Capoue (£4.8m) is in contention to feature against West Ham. Javi Gracia said: “We recovered Capoue last week and he will be available. He deserves the recognition of the award. He’s played really well and has been very important for us. Everybody knows he’s an amazing player but I think this season he was able to keep consistent, keep his level and show his level the whole season.”
On the potential for rotation ahead of the FA Cup final on Saturday week, Gracia stated: “You can’t think like that. It doesn’t help. Players get injured all the time but what can I do? Tell the players not to train, tell nobody to move, tell everybody to go to stay at home and go to bed and then you will be ready? This is not true. They won’t be ready this way. We have to do the same behaviour as we have always done. There is no other way to prepare, no better way. It is to play well in this game. West Ham are playing very well and players like Anderson, like Arnautovic can make the difference in every single game. We have to be ready for that, thinking not only about the result. The result will be a consequence of good play. After the game is finished we have time to prepare for the final. I know it’s a special game, I know it, but the best way is to train every day and play as well as possible.”
On team news, Manuel Pellegrini said: “Samir Nasri (£4.9m) is fit, he doesn't have any problems and is part of the squad. Except for Andy Carroll, Winston Reid and Andriy Yarmolenko, everyone is fit. Yarmolenko is working with the squad, 100%, but he is not ready to play.”
Nuno Espirito Santo did not report any injury issues at his presser, with Wolves set to be ‘complete as usual’. On facing title-chasing Liverpool, the manager said: “It's another important game, a tough challenge. It's the final game of the season and we want to compete, as usual. It's the same. We're trying to improve as a team, always. That is what is important. The players rise for every game and every training session. This is what we want. This is the idea, the philosophy. Every moment of your life is important. It's a big, big game, and we want to play it. We want to compete. As always, the focus is on our preparation. Let's play.”
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