FPL Gameweek 2 – Fixtures, Team News, Press Conference Quotes & Predicted Line-ups
Ahead of Saturday's 11:30am 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 GW2.
The Stats Zone's other Gameweek 2 content can be found on our Fantasy section!
GAMEWEEK 2 FIXTURES
Saturday 17th August
Arsenal v Burnley (12:30)
Aston Villa v Bournemouth (15:00)
Brighton v West Ham (15:00)
Everton v Watford (15:00)
Norwich v Newcastle (15:00)
Southampton v Liverpool (15:00)
Man City v Spurs (17:30)
Sunday 18th August
Sheffield Utd v Crystal Palace (14:00)
Chelsea v Leicester (16:30)
Monday 19th August
Wolves v Man Utd (20:00)
TEAM NEWS & PREDICTED LINE-UPS
- Arsenal manager Unai Emery is "100% confident" Mesut Ozil (£7.4m) and Sead Kolasinac (£5.5m) are mentally ready to play against Burnley on Saturday following the attempted carjacking the pair were involved in. Since then, both have returned to training.
- The club still have a number of absentees ahead of the visit of Burnley with Hector Bellerin (£5.5m), Kieran Tierney (£5.5m), Rob Holding (£4.5m) and Dinos Mavropanos (£4.5m) all in the treatment room.
- Granit Xhaka (£5.5m) is also doubtful after suffering a bruised back and will be assessed on Saturday before a decision is made. If the midfielder is unavailable, he will likely be replaced in the starting line-up by Lucas Torreira (£5.0m).
- Alexandre Lacazette (£9.5m) is one who is back in full training with the squad and Emery spoke about the possibility of him partnering Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (£11.0m) up top: "Last year they played a lot of matches both in the first XI, like a striker, sometimes Auba right or left as a winger. His capacity can help us also this year. They are strikers... but above all I think we can use them in different situations.”
- Emery remained tight-lipped on whether David Luiz (£6.0m) or Nicolas Pepe (£9.5m) will make their debut against Burnley: “I am going to decide on Friday because now is a small difference for my decision about the player. It depends how they will be tomorrow in the training.”
James Chester (£4.5m) will continue in the treatment room at Villa. The defender is likely to be sidelined for another 2-3 weeks. In addition to Chester, Kortney Hause (£4.5m) and Jonathan Kodjia (£5.5m) are also set to miss out: "James Chester is still missing, Kortney Hause is still missing - he got an ankle injury in Leipzig - and Jonathan Kodjia as well, he got injured early on in the Tottenham game. He's got a bit of a high ankle sprain so he'll be about 10-12 days out."
- Bournemouth started the season with a 1-1 draw against Sheffield Utd - a game in which Howe deployed a back three. Given the resources available to the manager, there is little reason to think he’ll move away from this formation. Defenders Adam Smith (£4.5m) and Diego Rico (£4.0m) were deployed as wing-backs and therefore offer more attacking threat than a traditional full-back. Rico’s position is perhaps the least secure of the two, with Charlie Daniels (£4.5m) competing for the left-sided role.
- The manager is still set to be without Dan Gosling (£5.0m), Junior Stanislas (£6.0m), Simon Francis (£4.5m) and Lewis Cook (£5.0m), David Brooks (£6.5m) and Lloyd Kelly (£4.5m) for the trip to Aston Villa. Andrew Surman (£5.0m) and Harry Wilson (£6.0m) are however available.
- After the four-way battle for the No. 1 spot in goal throughout the summer, Howe has confirmed that Aaron Ramsdale (£4.5m) will be the starter moving forward: "I was very pleased with Aaron's performance last week, he came in and did well. Now it's up to him to make sure he keeps the shirt."
- Following Brighton’s 3-0 victory on the opening day of the season, manager Graham Potter has no fresh injury concerns for the game with the Hammers. Long-term absentees Jose Izquierdo (£5.5m), Yves Bissouma (£5.0m) and Ezequiel Schelotto (not in FPL) all remain sidelined.
- Dan Burn (£4.5m) got the nod at the back alongside Shane Duffy (£5.0m) and Lewis Dunk (£4.5m) for the match against Watford. Given the scoreline, Burn is likely to keep his spot but it does just seem a matter of time until summer signing Adam Webster (£4.5m) takes his place at the back.
- The manager has remained tight-lipped over who’ll lead the line against West Ham though has heaped praise on new signing Neil Maupay (£6.0m) after the forward scored last time out despite only being on the pitch for 26 minutes: "Neal has adapted really well into the group. He's a good lad who really wants to play in the Premier League. He's young and hungry and wants to take the next step." Both Glenn Murray (£6.0m) and Jurgen Locadia (£5.5m) got the start against Watford but it was their replacements Maupay and Florin Andone (£5.0m) who scored the goals.
- On the injury front, both Charlie Taylor (£4.5m) and Danny Drinkwater (£4.5m) are fit but Sean Dyche thinks the pair need more match minutes before they’re ready for the first team. Both Robbie Brady (£5.5m) and Steven Defour (£5.5m) remain sidelined.
- Up front, Ashley Barnes' (£6.5m) brace should see him again get the nod over Jay Rodriguez (£6.0m) for start alongside Chris Wood (£6.5m) against Arsenal.
- Both Antonio Rudiger (£6.0m) and Willian (£7.0m) have returned to training and while it is unlikely they make the starting XI, both appear to be on track for some time on the pitch: “Rudiger is training. Whether he’s completely match fit is a different thing, for the same reasons as Callum, a bit of conditioning needed. Willian is probably closer. They are both in contention for the weekend.”
- The manager has also confirmed that Callum Hudson-Odoi (£6.0m) is in line to make a return following the international break: “Probably next month considering the international break maybe falling at a good time for us. It gives us a couple of weeks to really see how he’s getting on with the conditioning training.”
- Chelsea made three changes from their opening fixture in the Premier League for the Super Cup match midweek with Tammy Abraham (£7.0m), Ross Barkley (£6.0m) and Mason Mount (£6.0m) all dropping to the bench. Given the short turn around in match time, all three are expected to be recalled to the starting XI this weekend.
- One player who the manager will be delighted to have back on the field is N’Golo Kante (£5.0m), who played 120 minutes despite only returning from injury at the start of the week. Lampard spoke about the player's best position in his presser: “In midfield. It was a discussion that was over-talked at times last year. We need flexibility and nobody is pinned down by a structure. He has too much in his game to sit deep all game. We saw that against Liverpool."
- Palace are suffering from a few injuries at the back as Hodgson revealed James Tomkins (£4.5m) and Mamadou Sakho (£4.5m) are still not back to full fitness and therefore will miss out on GW2. The absence of two centre-backs should pave the way for budget option Martin Kelly (£4.0m) and Scott Dann (£4.5m) to continue at the heart of the Eagles defence.
- One player back from injury though is midfielder Jeffrey Schlupp (£5.5m), who Hodgson confirmed has recovered from his spell on the sidelines and is ready for action once again.
- After his failed summer move away from Selhurst Park, Hodgson elected to start Wilfred Zaha (£7.0m) on the bench for the match against Everton. Given the side looked particularly toothless in attack, it is unlikely Zaha will miss out from the beginning for a second week running. This would likely be in place of Christian Benteke (£6.0m) or Jordan Ayew (£5.0m).
- There was also no word from Hodgson on whether any of his new signings will force their way into the matchday side: "James McCarthy(£4.5m), Victor Camarasa (£5.0m) and Gary Cahill (£4.5m) - came through Monday’s U23 game unscathed. They’re bedding in well."
- The Toffees are without the suspended Morgan Schneiderlin (£4.5m) and could also be missing Andre Gomes (£5.5m) after the Portuguese midfielder was forced off with an ankle injury against Crystal Palace last weekend. That could see Jean-Philippe Gbamin (£5.0m) and Tom Davies (£5.5m) form the double pivot against Watford.
- It is likely to be an unchanged back four and although Leighton Baines (£5.0m) is working with the squad again, he is unlikely to challenge Lucas Digne (£6.0m) for the left-back berth.
- Summer signing Alex Iwobi (£6.0m) is being considered to feature: "He is working hard and it’s up to me whether I put him in the squad for tomorrow." Meanwhile, it seems only a matter of time before Moise Kean (£7.0m) is handed a start up front in place of Dominic Calvert-Lewin (£6.0m).
- Brendan Rodgers reported a clean bill of health ahead of the Foxes' trip to Stamford Bridge: “We’ve got no injury worries. Everyone is fit and has been training very well.”
- Demarai Gray (£5.5m) was not in the matchday squad last weekend and that is set to be the case once more: "He understands where he's at and we spoke at length about where I see him. In training he will have to be the very best he can be, to show the mentality to improve your game to get into the matchday squad."
- It could therefore be an unchanged line-up but the likes of Marc Albrighton (£5.5m) and Harvey Barnes (£6.0m) are pushing for starts.
- Liverpool are facing a potential goalkeeping crisis ahead of their trip to Southampton. With Alisson (£5.9m) set to miss the next few weeks, his replacement Adrian (£4.5m) has suffered a swollen ankle following his interaction with a rogue supporter who made it on to the pitch after the Super Cup win on Wednesday evening. The keeper is set for a late fitness test and if he can’t make it, then veteran keeper Andy Lonergan (£4.5m) will likely get the nod.
- The victory over Chelsea midweek saw the tie go to extra time, which is not great news for owners of Liverpool or Chelsea players. However, Klopp has downplayed any concerns over the fitness of his main attacking duo saying, "I would say that the three players who suffered least in that game were N’Golo Kante (£5.0m), Sadio Mane (£11.5m) and Mo Salah! (£12.5m). They are more used to playing in circumstances like that, physically really strong all three of them."
- With Mane still being eased back into the starting line-up, Klopp discussed his midweek substitution being just a precaution: "It was a pure decision based on responsibility to get him off and not let him go the full 120 minutes. Otherwise why would you take off a player who scored two goals and looked pretty OK still? Very important for us that he is back." Given Divock Origi (£5.5m) started on the bench, he could be set for inclusion from the start at St. Mary’s.
- The trio of Roberto Firmino (£9.5m), Trent Alexander-Arnold (£7.0m) and Georginio Wijnaldum (£5.5m) were all dropped to the bench on Wednesday, suggesting they’ll be in line for a recall on Saturday.
- Pep Guardiola has declared that everybody is fit and “everybody deserves to play.” However, he typically shed no light on how he might line his team up this weekend: “We can talk about the line-ups but we have to think about what is best for the team and how to beat our opponent."
- Sergio Aguero (£12.0m) could be in line for a recall to the starting XI in the place of Gabriel Jesus (£9.5m), as the pair continue to build up minutes following their late returns from the Copa America.
- Another who could be recalled to the side is Portuguese midfielder Bernardo Silva (£8.0m). His route into the starting XI is more difficult to predict though after Riyad Mahrez’ (£8.5m) stellar performance on the opening day of the season. David Silva (£7.5m) could always make way for a more central position for the player but that also seems unlikely.
- The manager also briefly spoke about Benjamin Mendy (£6.0m): "What I want with Benjamin is be fit. Be ready for training sessions, week after week. That is the target. After, for these specific qualities, he is going to help us. Because when he played, he played good."
- OGS is expected to have the same players available to him this week that were available for the opener against Chelsea: “We’ve had a good week, good training week, a competitive week so hopefully we can have the same squad and people available, unless something changes towards the end. There are still a few days until we play.”
- For that opening game, both Harry Maguire (£5.5m) and Aaron Wan-Bissaka (£5.5m) were given their competitive debuts with United keeping a clean sheet. The shut-out likely means no rotation at the back, while up front Anthony Martial (£7.6m) was deployed as the main striker. With a goal to his name, the FPL midfielder offers significant out-of-position potential at the moment.
- Alexis Sanchez (£7.0m) is nearing a return for the Reds as Solskjaer dismissed rumours that the Chilean was being sent to the reserves to train: "Alexis is such a professional. These stories that he's been put in the reserves... Of course he hasn't! He is very close to being involved."
- Steve Bruce says that Jonjo Shelvey (£5.0m) should be fine for GW2 having trained the last two days following his early withdrawal against Arsenal. Should the manager decide to not rush the midfielder back, then Matt Ritchie (£5.5m) could be set for a central role after he filled in for the player in that match.
- On the injury front, Allan Saint-Maximin (£5.5m) is a slight doubt while Andy Carroll (£5.5m) is still 'four or five weeks away'. Florian Lejeune (£4.5m) and DeAndre Yedlin (£4.5m) are long-term absentees.
- Daniel Farke has confirmed that Timm Klose (£4.5m) is out of tomorrow's game along with Christoph Zimmermann (£4.5m) and Josip Drmic (£5.5m). Kenny McLean (£5.0m) is also a “major doubt”. If McClean is unable to play, his centre midfield berth could be filled by Moritz Leitner (£4.5m) who Farke was “pleased with” after his cameo against Liverpool.
- Onel Hernandez (£5.5m) is another who is set for a spell on the sidelines after a freak accident left him potentially needing surgery: "He slipped over at home and fell on his knee. We have to check if there's something wrong with his anterior cruciate ligament. He is out for 3 months, may need surgery." Todd Cantwell (£4.5m) started instead of Hernandez at Liverpool and could be set for an extended run in the side.
- Both Alexander Tettey (£4.5m) and Ibrahim Amadou (£4.5m) are back in training and could return for the Canaries on Saturday. Of the two, Tettey is the better bet to start with the manager saying, “Ibrahim is definitely available but on the other hand, he's only had one full week. He needs time to learn how to play with the players. With Alex Tettey, he knows how to play with the players.”
- Chris Wilder remained coy on whether last week's goalscorer Billy Sharp (£5.5m) had done enough to secure a starting berth for this week's visit of Crystal Palace: "He couldn't have done any more, really. Come onto the pitch, changed the course of the game, changed the result. But that's what you're looking for when you make substitutions. All three substitutions had an impact on the game."
- Budget option John Lundstram (£4.0m) started and played 77 minutes in the match against Bournemouth. If Wilder does decide to set up with a more attacking outlook, it could be the defender / midfielder who misses out. He was replaced by Luke Freeman (£5.5m) last week.
- Heung-Min Son (£9.5m) and Juan Foyth (£5.0m) will both serve out the final match of their suspension against Man City. Dele Alli (£8.5m) and Ryan Sessegnon (£5.5m) will also miss the match but Ben Davies (£5.5m) will be considered for selection.
- Christian Eriksen (£9.0m) started the season opener on the bench following the transfer chat over the summer. Given his impact on the side after he was brought on with 25 minutes to go, the Dane is a good bet to start the match against Man City. If he does come into the squad, it will likely be for Erik Lamela (£6.0m).
- Jan Vertonghen (£5.5m) was not only left out of the starting line-up but out of the squad as a whole with Davinson Sanchez (£5.5m) lining up alongside Toby Alderweireld in the Tottenham backline (£5.5m). Pochettino has challenged the Belgian international to get back into the squad but was giving nothing away in his presser over what is going on with the player.
- Southampton have no reported injury concerns ahead of their match against Liverpool: “So far we have not (got any injury problems). We have worked very hard in the last two days. Today we had a lighter session, they were a little bit tired today because we have worked hard but no injuries so far.”
- Ralph Hasenhuttl is hoping to see a reaction from his side after their opening day defeat against Burnley. Whether this means any changes are to be made are yet to be seen, but the most obvious would be to bring Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg (£5.0m) into the side in place of Oriol Romeu (£4.5m) or James Ward-Prowse (£6.0m), especially if he’s looking for extra solidity.
- Javi Gracia has confirmed that Danny Welbeck (£6.0m) is available for the Hornets after training all week: "He is training with us all this week, with the rest of the team," said the Head Coach. “He is training well and I think he can help us in the next games because what I see is he's ready.” Given the forward has yet to play a minute of football since breaking his ankle back in November, he is likely to be phased back in as opposed to starting.
- Record signing Ismaila Sarr (£6.5m) is still unavailable with Gracia opting to give the player time to recover following his exploits at the AFCON: “He (Sarr) needs time to be ready and after a time resting, he needs time to recover his best condition,” said Gracia. The Senegalese player is unlikely to feature, with the same to be said of Adalberto Penaranda (not in FPL).
- Gracia has also explained that the substitution of Gerard Deulofeu (£6.5m) at half-time in GW1 was more of a precaution due to illness as opposed to any performance related issues. The forward is in line to start against his former club.
- Despite the 5-0 drubbing at the hands of Man City last weekend, Pellegrini was happy with the way his side performed at times during the match: "It was a good start to the season. We made too many mistakes. We need to improve if we want to be a competitive team. We played 45 minutes of a very nice game." Given his fairly upbeat tone, the manger may stick with the same XI that started that game.
- After sitting out of a couple of sessions earlier in the week, Pellegrini has confirmed that Jack Wilshere (£5.0m) is back training with the main squad: "Jack is working without any problems in our squad. He's working with our team. We don't have any problem about that. He's okay."
- Mark Noble (£5.0m) remains West Ham’s only major injury, as Felipe Anderson (£7.0m) and Sebastien Haller (£7.5m) are carrying minor knocks: "We also have small problems with Felipe Anderson and Sebastien Haller. They are recovering from the kicks that they had in the last game. That is the update on injuries. We’ll see tomorrow about Anderson and Haller, we have some doubts.” Neither are expected to miss the match.
- Of the starting XI, Michail Antonio's (£6.5m) place seems the most likely at risk with summer signing Pablo Fornals (£6.5m) chomping at the bit for his first start after replacing Antonio at the break against City.
- After making nine changes for Wolves’ midweek home Europa League qualifier, Nuno Espirito Santo is expected to revert back to the same starting XI that took to the field on the opening day of the season. Only Conor Coady (£5.0m) and Joao Moutinho (£5.5m) started the match from the players who played in the Premier League opener with the later substituted after 56 minutes.