FPL Gameweek 3 – Fixtures, Team News, Press Conference Quotes & Predicted Line-ups
Ahead of Friday's 7:00pm 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 GW3.
The Stats Zone's other Gameweek 3 content can be found on our Fantasy section!
GAMEWEEK 3 FIXTURES
Friday 23rd August
Aston Villa v Everton (20:00)
Saturday 24th August
Norwich v Chelsea (12:30)
Brighton v Southampton (15:00)
Man Utd v Crystal Palace (15:00)
Sheffield Utd v Leicester (15:00)
Watford v West Ham (15:00)
Liverpool v Arsenal (17:30)
Sunday 25th August
Bournemouth v Man City (14:00)
Spurs v Newcastle (16:30)
Wolves v Burnley (16:30)
TEAM NEWS & PREDICTED LINE-UPS
- After starting the first two matches from the bench, Emery has hinted that Nicolas Pepe (£9.4m) may be ready to make his first start on Saturday: "In the first match, he played 15 mins (v NUFC), then he played 45 mins against Burnley. I think his individual performances are progressively getting better. For Saturday, he is maybe ready to have more minutes. I am going to decide tomorrow."
- The injury list is starting to lessen at Arsenal with Emery confirming Mesut Ozil and (£7.4m) and Granit Xhaka (£5.4m) are back training with the team: "Today they trained, but really I need tomorrow, I don’t want to decide today or say to you how we are. Tomorrow is the last training." Hector Bellerin (£5.5m), Kieran Tierney’s (£5.5m), Rob Holding (£4.5m) and Dinos Mavropanos (£4.4m) still all remain in the treatment room.
- With Ozil unlikely to start, Dani Ceballos (£5.6m) should see more game time in the No. 10 role. Following his two assist performance against Burnley, if the Real Madrid loanee can make claim to the position over the next few weeks he will offer real value for money at just £5.6m.
- James Chester (£4.5m) will continue to miss out for Aston Villa. The defender is likely to be sidelined until after the international break. In addition to Chester, Jonathan Kodija (£5.4m) is also out but the club welcomed back Kortney Hause (£4.5m) to training this week.
- Despite a number of summer arrivals at the club, the likes of Jota (£5.9m), Frederic Guilbert (£4.4m) and Matt Targett (£4.4m) have yet to see significant game time. When asked about the possibility of these players coming into the side, Smith said that the recruits "have to earn the right to play", meaning they could be set for a continued spell on the bench.
- Eddie Howe didn’t report any new injuries to his Bournemouth side but did give an update on the fitness of midfielder Lewis Cook (£5.0m): “He trained with us for the first time fully a couple of days ago and it will be a big boost for us when he comes back. He needs more time with us, more time in training and more matches, but he’s getting closer." In addition to Cook, Dan Gosling (£5.0m), Junior Stanislas (£6.0m), Simon Francis (£4.5m), David Brooks (£6.4m) and Lloyd Kelly (£4.5m) are still unavailable.
- After utilising a 4-4-2 formation against Aston Villa in GW2, Howe may switch to a 3-5-2 / 5-4-1 formation for the visit of the champions. This would mean Chris Mepham (£4.5m) returning to the starting line-up at the expense of Harry Wilson (£6.0m), Ryan Fraser (£7.4m) or Joshua King (£6.5m). Philip Billing (£5.0m) could also be replaced by Andrew Surman (£4.9m), after being hooked at half-time against Villa.
- Graham Potter has no fresh injury concerns for the game against Southampton. Long-term absentees Jose Izquierdo (£5.5m), Yves Bissouma (£5.0m) and Ezequiel Schelotto (not in FPL) all remain sidelined.
- Dan Burn (£4.5m) continues to get the nod at the back alongside Shane Duffy (£5.0m) and Lewis Dunk (£4.6m) in the Brighton team. Given the club's early season defensive record, he is likely to keep his spot in the starting XI over summer signing Adam Webster (£4.5m) at the back.
- Leandro Trossard (£6.0m) got the start over for Jurgen Locadia (£5.5m) last weekend and, given his goal, the Belgian will be confident of retaining his position in the starting XI.
- Sean Dyche has an almost fully-fit squad to choose from after confirming that Robbie Brady (£5.5m) is back in training. The midfielder, alongside Danny Drinkwater (£4.5m), will not be involved against Wolves, but both are back in full training.
- Known for not really rotating when things are going well, Dyche is expected to name the same starting XI again this weekend as Erik Pieters (£4.6m) continues to get the nod over Charlie Taylor (£4.4m) at left-back. Up front, Ashley Barnes (£6.6m) keeps scoring and should continue to partner Chris Wood (£6.4m).
- N’Golo Kante (£5.0m) is a doubt for the weekend after picking up an ankle sprain in the week: “N’Golo Kante has got an injury he has carried all week, We are going to assess that over the next 24 hours to see if he’s fit. It’s an ankle sprain.” If Kante is ruled out, Mateo Kovacic (£5.5m) could partner Jorginho (£5.0m) in the centre of midfield.
- Antonio Rudiger (£6.0m) is still not ready to make his comeback: “Rudiger is not fit yet, hopefully for next week”. Along with Reece James (£5.0m) and Callum Hudson-Odoi (£6.0m), the trio may be held out until after the international break: “Callum’s training, he’s looking bright and sharp, but we are in the zone where it’s about protecting him and getting condition and fitness, particularly with his injury. He’s had a quite a long time out. Same with Rudiger slightly. We have to be careful. The international break comes at a good time for us with both those and Reece James. They are all in a position where I hope two or three weeks of strong training puts them right in the frame to be back in the squad and available.”
- The manager did allay any fears over Pedro’s (£7.0m) fitness after the midfielder missed training on Tuesday: "Only because we had a busy week, three games in which Pedro contributed a lot physically. He had a couple of aches that were nothing. He has trained the last two days."
- Despite “getting closer” to a return, both James Tomkins (£5.0m) and Mamadou Sakho (£5.0m) are still not back to full fitness and therefore will miss out in GW3. 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, though Gary Cahill (£4.5m) may get his first start for the Eagles. Hodgson remained coy over any appearance; “Any place is a good place to give an experienced player like Gary a debut, but I'm not looking to divulge any team news at this stage."
- Other than the defensive injuries, Hodgson has a fully-fit squad to choose from with midfielder Jeffrey Schlupp (£5.5m) returning last week. After starting on the bench against Sheffield Utd, the Ghanaian may take Max Meyer’s (£5.5m) spot in the starting line-up.
- In news that will see FPL managers breath a sign of relief, Marco Silva confirmed Lucas Digne (£6.0m) “will be available for the match” against Aston Villa on Friday night. His would-be stand in Leighton Baines (£4.9m) is also available but given the club's current defensive record, it is doubtful Silva would want to chop and change too much.
- With the news of Digne and Baines returning to the squad, only Fabian Delph (£5.4m) is set to definitely miss out on the trip to his former club. Morgan Schneiderlin (£4.5m) is once again available after serving his one-match ban. His presence may mean Jean-Philippe Gbamin (£5.0m), who started against Watford, drops to the bench.
- With Everton still struggling for goals, it could be the time that new summer recruits Alex Iwobi (£5.9m) and Moise Kean (£6.9m) are given their first starts. Dominic Calvert-Lewin (£6.0m), Theo Walcott (£6.4m) and Bernard (£6.5m) will be looking over their shoulders.
- Ben Chilwell (£5.5m) is a major doubt for the match against Sheffield Utd after being forced to withdraw last week with a hip injury. When asked about the left-back, Rodgers said, “Ben has had an injection last week and he'll be in training. We'll see if he's ready for the weekend, but it's likely he'll be ready for next week (vs. AFC Bournemouth).” Christian Fuchs (£4.5m) will likely get the start again this week.
- The manager has experimented with a number of different formations pre-season but seems to have settled on either 4-2-3-1 or 4-1-4-1 depending on the opposition. While deploying a 4-2-3-1 last time out against Chelsea, Rodgers may choose to go for a more attacking approach away to Sheffield Utd. If that is the case, Hamza Choudhury (£4.5m) could make way in the middle for the introduction further up field of one of Marc Albrighton (£5.5m), Dennis Praet (£5.5m) or Harvey Barnes (£6.0m).
- On the injury side, Alisson (£5.9m) is still out but making progress in his bid to return to action: “He is not that close, but nobody told me that I have to consider him for tomorrow in training or the game. In the beginning he was on crutches, which is normal with the injury he had. They are not there anymore, so he walks normally and he can really train completely differently now to a week ago.” A September return is looking possible but at the moment there is no timescale placed on him.
- Naby Keita (£5.9m) is another that continues to miss out through injury but the manager expects him back after the international break: “Long-term doesn’t mean six months, it means a couple of weeks. So no, no real news. He’s still doing well but not close enough for this weekend.”
- Klopp’s biggest decision will be at the back where he has to decide which two of Joe Gomez (£5.5m), Trent Alexander-Arnold (£7.0m) and Joel Matip (£5.4m) will start on Saturday. While Gomez at right-back and Matip at centre-back offers more defensive security than when Alexander-Arnold plays, the side do lose one of their primary attacking weapons if Trent is on the bench.
- The manager has reiterated that Oleksandr Zinchenko (£5.5m) did not suffer a muscle injury last weekend and the left-back is fine: "It was just a cramp. Everything is okay." John Stones (£5.5m) however is set to miss out once again with Guardiola declaring the Englishman "not fit for this weekend." In his absence, Nicolas Otamendi (£5.4m) will continue to partner Aymeric Laporte (£6.5m) at the back.
- The manager was asked about the reason behind his rotation last week and reiterated what he has said in the past: "I said before: when all the squad is fit, I will be asked why this player over that. I believe for that game, it was better. David Silva (£7.5m) can play all the games, and Riyad Mahrez (£8.5m). It is what it is."
- With Pep expecting to play against a back five, David Silva could be set to replace Ilkay Gundogan (£5.4m) in the starting XI as the manager looks to add more creativity to the side. Mahrez is also an option to come back in, in place of Bernardo Silva (£7.9m).
- Up front it appears it’ll be one from Sergio Aguero (£12.0m) and Gabriel Jesus (£9.5m) each week. Guardiola was quick to downplay any animosity between the two following their disagreement last week but the Argentinian could be dropped to the bench as Jesus has looked marginally sharper of the two in the early season.
- Diego Dalot (£4.9m) is the only new injury concern facing Solskjaer as the manager prepares for the visit of Crystal Palace: “Diogo is injured, he'll be out for a little while, hopefully he'll be back for the games after the international break.”
- After making one change to to his starting XI for match against Wolves - Daniel James (£6.0m) replacing Andreas Pereira (£5.0m) - Solskjaer may opt to add more guile to his starting line-up as Palace are expected to sit deeper than Wolves did. As such, Juan Mata (£6.4m) could be in line for a recall to the starting XI after coming off the bench last time out.
- The manager also faced questions on penalty takers and reiterated his stance that United have two nominated penalty takers for the season in Marcus Rashford (£8.7m) and Paul Pogba (£8.6m) and the pair "are still on them."
- After not starting the match against Norwich, Steve Bruce confirmed that Sean Longstaff (£5.0m) was rested as a precaution as opposed to a set-back: "Last week I just detected that he was a little bit ginger with his knee. He's been out for the best part of five months and I need to protect him a little bit. When he came on against Norwich he had an immediate influence." He is likely to return to the starting XI in place of Sung-yueng Ki (£5.0m).
- On the injury front, Newcastle are still without Andy Carroll (£5.5m), Dwight Gayle (not in FPL), Florian Lejeune (£4.5m) and DeAndre Yedlin (£4.5m). Allan Saint-Maximin (£5.5m) is a slight doubt while Joelinton (£5.9m) is fine after being forced off with a hip issue at Norwich: "We hope that Saint-Maximin is going to be OK. It's still too early for Andy Carroll and Dwight Gayle but everyone else is starting to return. Christian Atsu (£5.4m) has been on the pitch all week. Joelinton is fine."
- Daniel Farke has reported no fresh injury concerns ahead of the match against Chelsea. Onel Hernandez (£5.4m) has had his surgery and will be out for three months, while Christoph Zimmermann (£4.5m) is still unavailable but hoping to be back for the match against West Ham. Josip Drmic (£5.4m) is also unavailable and while Timm Klose (£4.5m) has started training with the first team again, he is “not a topic for the starting line-up."
- After being withdrawn early in their GW2 victory over Crystal Palace, John Fleck (£5.0m) is a doubt for the weekend visit of Leicester: "We've got a doubt about John Fleck for the weekend but Callum Robinson (£5.4m) has trained this week so he'll be OK. We'll give John as much time as possible." Fleck was replaced by Luke Freeman (£5.5m) in the match against Palace and he is most likely to get the nod again if Fleck can’t play.
- Another who was brought off before the end against Palace was forward Callum Robinson but Wilder has allayed any concerns over the striker's fitness, confirming he “has trained all week."
- Heung-Min Son (£9.5m) and Juan Foyth (£5.0m) are both available for Spurs for the first time this season after returning to the squad from suspension. Continuing the positive news, Dele Alli (£8.4m) has been training with the first team this week and is also available for selection.
- On the injury front, midfielder Tanguy Ndombele (£6.1m) has sustained a minor thigh injury during training and is unavailable this weekend. He will join Ryan Sessegnon (£5.5m) on the sidelines.
- With Son now available again, the temptation may be to put him straight into the starting line-up. On Son, Pochettino said, "The plan was to provide him with good quality training to improve in different areas and when the moment he is available to play to be in the perfect condition." If Son does start, it will likely be at the expense of either Erik Lamela (£6.0m) or Lucas Moura (£7.5m).
- After Alex McCarthy (£4.5m) returned to training this week, manager Ralph Hasenhuttl has reported a clean bill of health as Southampton travel to Brighton looking for their first points of the season.
- Danny Ings (£6.0m) had to settle for a spot on the bench last week, as Hasenhuttl adopted a more defensive approach for the visit of Liverpool. The manager was full of praise for the striker’s impact: “I think he had a good game, impacting the game like all the substitutes so far.” After a goal, the forward will be looking to force his way back into the starting line-up.
- Midfieler Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg (£5.0m) was the man to benefit from Ings’ absence as he came back into the middle. If Hasenhüttl does decide to go with a more attacking formation against Brighton, it will likely be one of Hojbjerg, James Ward-Prowse (£5.9m) or Oriol Romeu (£4.5m) to drop out.
- The big news from Watford is that club captain Troy Deeney (£6.4m) has been ruled out for "several weeks" following a minor knee operation. While Javi Gracia is giving serious consideration to involving both Danny Welbeck (£6.0m) and Ismaila Sarr (£6.5m), Andre Gray (£5.9m) should definitely take one of the two spots up front.
- Further muddying the waters are the potential injuries to both Roberto Pereyra (£5.9m) and Abdoulaye Doucoure (£5.9m). When speaking about the pair, Gracia stated, “They are not training and we'll see in the next days if some of them can be available or not. In this moment they are doubtful.”
- If Doucoure is passed unfit, then Nathaniel Chalobah (£4.5m) is the logical replacement in the middle of the park. Ismaila Sarr is the ideal replacement out wide for Pereyra but given Danny Welbeck is further along on his path to full fitness, Gerard Deulofeu (£6.4m) could move out wide with Welbeck partnering Gray up top.
- Manuel Pellegrini has close to a fully-fit squad available at his disposal for West Ham's trip to Watford with only Winston Reid (£4.0m) expected to miss out. The Hammers boss has been boosted by the return to fitness of club-record signing Sebastian Haller (£7.4m), previous record signing Felipe Anderson (£6.9m) and captain Mark Noble (£5.0m), all three of whom missed the draw at Brighton last time out.
- The return of Haller and Anderson may see Chicharito (£6.0m) and Robert Snodgrass (£5.5m) revert back to the bench. Given Noble’s injury was more extensive than the knocks suffered by Haller and Anderson, he is less likely to be thrown straight back into the starting line-up and instead Jack Wilshere (£5.0m) should keep his place for another week.
- Following the defeat against Man City in GW1, Pellegrini rotated his defence as he brought in Arthur Masuaku (£4.5m) for Aaron Cresswell (£5.0m) and Angelo Ogbonna (£4.5m) for Fabian Balbuena (£4.5m). The result was a much-improved defensive performance, meaning the manager may stick with the same back-line against Watford. Pablo Fornals (£6.4m) was another brought into the starting line-up but may be replaced by Michail Antonio (£7.0m).
- Matt Doherty (£6.0m) is the only potential doubt for Nuno Espirito Santo ahead of the visit of Burnley to Molineux. The wing-back was substituted at half-time against Man Utd citing illness and despite making the midweek trip to Torino, remained on the bench.
- For that Europa League fixture, the manager made four changes to the side that started on MNF. In addition to the aforementioned Doherty, Ruben Neves (£5.5m), Jonny (£5.5m) and Ryan Bennett (£5.0m) were all dropped to the bench and are subsequently expected to return to the starting line-up on Sunday. Despite starting Raul Jimenez (£7.5m) and Diogo Jota (£6.5m), both were brought off in the second half and the pair should get the nod to start at the weekend.