FPL Gameweek 4 – Fixtures, Team News, Press Conference Quotes & Predicted Line-ups
Ahead of Saturday's 11:30am deadline, we will be combing through all 20 Premier League press conferences to bring FPL managers the need-to-know team news, injury updates and predicted XIs for GW4.
The Stats Zone's other Gameweek 4 content can be found on our Fantasy section!
GAMEWEEK 4 FIXTURES
Saturday 31st August
Southampton v Man Utd (12:30)
Chelsea v Sheffield Utd (15:00)
Crystal Palace v Aston Villa (15:00)
Leicester v Bournemouth (15:00)
Man City v Brighton (15:00)
Newcastle v Watford (15:00)
West Ham v Norwich (15:00)
Burnley v Liverpool (17:30)
Sunday 1st September
Everton v Wolves (14:00)
Arsenal v Spurs (16:30)
TEAM NEWS & PREDICTED LINE-UPS
- After impressing against Liverpool, Unai Emery has discussed the possibility of Nicolas Pepe (£9.4m), Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (£11.0m) and Alexandre Lacazette (£9.5m) all starting together: "Yes, but be calm. My decision in each moment is thinking about how we are. For example with Lacazette he had a problem with his ankle. This week is the best week of the last three weeks."
- While continuing to make progress in their bid for fitness, Hector Bellerin (£5.5m), Kieran Tierney (£5.4m), Rob Holding (£4.5m) and Dinos Mavropanos (£4.4m) still all remain in the treatment room. Emery is hopeful that they’ll be available after the international break.
- The manager also shed light on Lacazette’s recent spell on the bench, explaining the Frenchman has been suffering with an ankle injury at the start of the season: "For example, with Lacazette we had some problem in his ankle. I think this week is the best week of the last three, getting better and feeling better with his ankle, it’s very positive."
- Emery has stated that Mesut Ozil (£7.3m) is ready to help the team out now after overcoming his recent problems: "This week he is training well, he is progressing physically better and training normal work for us. He is going to be more closer to us and available for Sunday I think." If the German does start, Dani Ceballos (£5.7m) is the most likely to make way.
- Just three players are set to be sidelined for Aston Villa this week as manager Dean Smith confirmed James Chester (£4.4m), Jonathan Kodjia (£5.4m) and Matt Targett (£4.4m) will miss out: "Matt Targett has a slight hamstring problem from Tuesday night's game, so he's out this weekend. James Chester is still out. Jonathan Kodjia is probably unlikely as well. They're the three that won't make the game but everybody else is fit."
- As the only player to start both the Premier League match against Everton and the midweek Carabao Cup win against Crewe, Smith has heaped praise on midfielder Jota (£5.9m): "Jota is a player I've worked with before at Brentford. He's really talented and can score or create. He set-up a goal on Tuesday at Crewe and he can see a pass. It's good for me that I've got competition for places in those areas now with Mahmoud Trezeguet (£5.4m) and Anwar El Ghazi (£5.5m) as well."
- Frederic Guilbert (£4.4m) replaced Ahmed El Mohamady (£4.5m) for the game last weekend. On the competition at right-back, Smith has said, "He knows he's got a challenge now with Freddy Guilbert, who has put in a really good performance against Everton. What I want is people challenging for positions and he's certainly got that challenge now." With El Mohamady playing the League Cup match midweek, Guilbert could get the nod again against Crystal Palace.
- After being stretchered off last weekend, Charlie Daniels (£4.5m) is expected to miss the remainder of the season after learning surgery is required for his dislocated patella. Daniels could be replaced in the starting XI by budget option Diego Rico (£4.0m), or Nathan Ake (£5.0m) could move to left-back with Chris Mepham (£4.5m) starting alongside Steve Cook (£5.0m) in central defence.
- Howe has confirmed that they “don't have anyone coming back from injury for the game.” Therefore, Dan Gosling (£4.9m), Junior Stanislas (£6.0m), Simon Francis (£4.5m), Lewis Cook (£5.0m), David Brooks (£6.4m) and Lloyd Kelly (£4.5m) remain unavailable.
- After utilising a 5-4-1 formation from the start against Man City in GW3, Howe may switch to the slightly more attacking 4-4-2 system he used against Aston Villa in GW2. This would mean Harry Wilson (£6.0m) would be set to return to the starting line-up with the only probable change from that side being the replacement for Charlie Daniels.
- Potter has confirmed he has no fresh injury concerns following the matches against Southampton and Bristol Rovers. Yves Bissouma (£5.0m), Jose Izquierdo (£5.5m) and Ezequiel Schelotto (not in FPL) are all still out, while Florin Andone (£5.0m) will serve out the second of his three-match ban.
- Brighton have made an impressive start to the new campaign as the team continues to adjust to a new 3-4-3 formation. A visit to the home of the Champions will test how far they’ve come. With 11 changes made for the midweek cup tie, Potter is set to revert back to almost the same side that started the match against Southampton. The only change from that game should be up front, where Glenn Murray (£5.9m) is expected to return in place of the suspended Andone.
- The only manager yet to make a change to his starting XI this season, Sean Dyche will be forced into altering his team with Johann Berg Gudmundsson (£6.0m) almost certain to miss out after straining his calf in the week. While there are a number of options to replace the winger, the most likely is Aaron Lennon (£4.9m) who was withdrawn early midweek, with Dyche citing the injury to Gudmundsson as the reason.
- Other than Gudmundsson, the rest of Dyche's usual XI are fit so expect the nine who were rested midweek and Dwight McNeil (£6.0m) to retain their positions in the starting line-up.
- Lampard has confirmed that Chelsea will be without N’Golo Kante (£5.0m), Pedro (£7.0m) and Antonio Rudiger (£6.0m) for the match against Sheffield Utd. With Kante missing, Mateo Kovacic (£5.5m) and Jorginho (£5.0m) are set to continue their partnership in the centre of midfield.
- Mason Mount (£6.2m) has been passed fit though after training with the squad this week: "Mason is OK. It was more of a dead leg, like a kick. He's fine, in training.” With Pedro injured, Mount should see action alongside either Ross Barkley (£5.8m) or Willian (£7.0m), who will be pushing for a start following an appearance from the bench in the last two.
- Tammy Abraham (£7.1m) is set to continue up front following his brace against Norwich. The manager was effervescent in his praise for the forward: “Really impressed. He is dealing with it first hand and it is not easy to rise above it, but he has. He trains with a smile on his face. But this has to be the start now and for the young players to push on. He is playing because he deserves it, he has to continue that.”
- Roy Hodgson expects both James Tomkins (£5.0m) and Mamadou Sakho (£5.0m) to be available for the Eagles following the international break: "James Tomkins is on the brink of recovery but not training with the team fully as we would like[...] We’ve been waiting on the recovery of Tomkins and Sakho. I’m fully expecting them to be fully recovered by the end of this international break."
- Having damaged his hand in the midweek Carabao Cup tie, a decision on whether Scott Dann (£4.5m) is fit to be play will be decided “in the morning”. If not, the partnership between Martin Kelly (£4.1m) and Gary Cahill (£4.5m) will continue. Other than Dann, Hogdson has declared his squad “okay” on the injury front.
- Having secured a first league win at Old Trafford in the Premier League last time out, the manager may be tempted to stick with the same XI that delivered those points. The same line-up would see Jordan Ayew (£5.0m) keep his spot up front over Christian Benteke (£5.9m).
- Marco Silva has a near fully-fit squad to choose from for the Sunday match against Wolves, after confirming that only Jean-Philippe Gbamin (£5.0m) is missing through injury: "Our only player injured at the moment is JP Gbamin. All the others are available to play."
- The manager named a fairly strong line-up for the League Cup tie against Lincoln City in midweek and was pleased by what he saw from the players who had been drafted in. On Moise Kean (£6.8m), Fabian Delph (£5.4m), Djibril Sidibe (£5.4m) and Alex Iwobi (£5.9m), the manager had this to say: "We gave them the first start [v Lincoln]. I like what I saw. Because he started the middle of the pre-season with us, Fabian knows more things than the others about our model and philosophy."
- If any of the four are to be included this weekend then it is more likely to be either Delph or Iwobi: "For Fabian and Alex it's easier because they know Premier League, they know some of their teammates. For the other two it's a little bit different but it is up to me to give more minutes to them when I can, to give the games for them to start if I decide." This would indicate Dominic Calvert-Lewin (£5.9m) is safe for at least one more week.
- Ben Chilwell (£5.4m) has overcome his recent injury troubles and is available for selection against Bournemouth: "He’s back into the squad, so he’ll be fit and available. There’s been consultation between the FA and the club. If he wasn’t ready to go, we wouldn’t send him. But if he’s fit and available for tomorrow, then he’ll be fine to go."
- While Rodgers was quick to praise Christian Fuchs (£4.5m) for his recent form, he left no doubt over who the left-back spot belongs to: "I'm very fortunate, we've got two outstanding left-backs. Ben's the real up-and-coming big talent and it's clear for all to see that when he's playing at that level, then he's our number one left-back."
- Leicester are also set to welcome back Nigeria international midfielder Wilfred Ndidi (£5.0m) who has missed last two matches with a hamstring problem: “Wilf is back in the squad. We could have maybe taken him in midweek, but we wanted to give him a good week’s training." The only other potential absentee is Wes Morgan (£4.4m), who is “being assessed”.
- No word from Klopp on whether Alisson (£5.8m) will definitely be back following the international break. He just stated that the keeper was making progress, but due to the nature of the injury it will take time. "When you have a muscle [injury] it takes long and takes a while to bring the muscle [back to] the same level as it was before. The calf muscle is important for jumping."
- While the manager mentioned there is “no reason for resting players in the moment”, he has discussed how those plans may alter after the international break: “After this international break, that will change completely of course. In the moment, the defensive set-up or whatever, as always, it is about who is in the best shape. We have had a full week to train and when the boys won the last game and then showed me that they are still in their best possible shape, then we will only think about a couple of really small changes.”
- Pep Guardiola has given an update on the fitness of John Stones (£5.4m) and Gabriel Jesus (£9.5m) ahead of the match against Brighton: "They are much better. I don't know if they will be available tomorrow but they are much, much better. If they are not ready for tomorrow, the Norwich game they will be ready." While the pair are unlikely to be risked prior to the international break, their situation is worth monitoring as Pep has stated Stones will be “definitely back” for Norwich, while Jesus is doing “much better”.
- The manager spoke about the progress being made by Joao Cancelo (£5.5m) after his summer move to the Etihad: "Joao, we're delighted what we have seen but arrived late so was not in pre-season. Joao started to understand what to do. And now, maybe tomorrow, maybe after the international break, he start to play. He has to be ready." While their immediate minutes don't appear to be in danger, it seems likely that at some point Kyle Walker (£6.0m) and/or Oleksandr Zinchenko (£5.5m) will lose playing time to the Portuguese international.
- With Brighton likely to adopt a defensive approach similar to Bournemouth in GW3, Pep may opt to retain his more technical players in the starting line-up. This would be mean another start for David Silva (£7.4m) and Bernardo Silva (£7.9m), with Riyad Mahrez (£8.5m) once again occupying the bench.
- Luke Shaw (£5.5m) has been ruled out for up to a month with a hamstring injury. With Diego Dalot (£4.9m) not expected back until after the international break, Ashley Young (£5.4m) is the obvious replacement and was the man who replaced Shaw in GW3.
- Anthony Martial (£7.7m) has also been ruled out, though is expected to return for the Leicester match directly following the international break: “They'll need the international break. Hopefully Anthony is ready for the Leicester game and Luke maybe another week or two after that. They've got slight injuries that they picked up in the game against Palace, and in one respect, it's a positive time to get it, because it's the international break for them, and they won't miss many games.”
- While Solskjaer was coy on who will replace the Frenchman in the starting line-up, he did discuss Alexis Sanchez’s (£6.9m) move to Inter Milan, saying he’s “trusting Anthony, Marcus Rashford (£8.7m) and Mason Greenwood (£4.5m) to be our centre-forwards. We've got wingers in Tahith Chong (£4.4m), Daniel James (£6.0m) and Andreas Pereira (£5.0m), we've got loads of options."
- On Greenwood specifically, the manager has said, "Mason is not used to playing as little as he is at the moment. He's used to playing every week for the reserves or under-18s. He won't be expected to play five games on the bounce, he's a covering option behind Anthony and Marcus."
- After being forced off in the midweek League Cup defeat against Leicester, Steve Bruce has confirmed that Matt Ritchie (£5.5m) will be out for a couple of months: "It’s bad news - it’s two months. The kid is in a mess. It could have been worse, six months, but it was one of those horror challenges.” Christian Atsu (£5.4m) was the man who replaced Ritchie midweek though Paul Dummett (£4.5m) could occupy the left wing-back spot if Bruce wants more defensive cover.
- Joining Ritchie on the injury list are Emil Krafth (£4.5m) and Jetro Willems (£4.5m) who are both suffering with muscular injuries. Allan Saint-Maximin (£5.5m) has also been sidelined for “3-5 weeks”. The absence of Krafth should see Javier Manquillo (£4.5m) recalled to the starting line-up.
- In better news Bruce “thinks” Joelinton (£5.9m) and Miguel Almiron (£6.0m) will be fine for the match against Watford, while Jamaal Lascelles (£4.5m) is also fit.
- The injuries to Norwich’s central defenders just keep coming as Grant Hanley (£4.0m) is the latest set to miss time after over-stretching his groin on Thursday. He joins Timm Klose (£4.5m) in the treatment room, who requires a scan to determine the extent of damage suffered to his knee: “The best-case scenario is he will be out for four months. There's a danger there is something wrong with the meniscus, so the worst-case scenario from the doctors is 9 to 12 months.”
- Christoph Zimmermann’s (£4.5m) return from injury midweek could not come soon enough for Farke and despite being withdrawn from the action early, the manager has confirmed he is available for West Ham: “He got a hit against his back and hip and was sore but he trained today. He's been out for a long time but he's available.” Zimmermann will likely partner Ben Godfrey (£4.5m) at the back.
- John Fleck (£4.9m) remains the only injury doubt for manager Chris Wilder as he prepares for the trip to Stamford Bridge. With Fleck absent, Luke Freeman (£5.5m) will likely continue in midfield.
- Wilder made wholesale changes to his starting XI for the midweek Carabao Cup match against Blackburn with only Oliver Norwood (£5.0m) retaining his starting spot. The ten rested are expected to return to the starting XI though Oliver McBurnie (£5.9m) will be pushing for inclusion from the start after netting from the bench in GW3 against Leicester: "He's been pushing and he scored. I'm obviously not going to sit here and tell you my team but he's well in the forefront of our plans going into Saturday. He's knocking on the door to play."
- The manager also spoke about Ravel Morrison (£4.9m) and how he views the midfielder’s involvement moving forward: "He's not a million miles off. I think you've seen what he gives you in possession. We want him to play further forward at times, because when he does he goes into overdrive and speeds the game up. He's got genuine quality to hurt."
- Nathan Redmond (£6.4m) has been ruled out by Ralph Hassenhuttl for a number of weeks after getting injured in the midweek League Cup tie against Fulham: "In the moment it looks that he seems to be out for 2-3 weeks, I think, it can be longer. In the next ten days, he has to wear a shoe so that he doesn't move his ankle and then it can be quicker. It could be worse."
- In addition to Redmond, the Southampton manager has also ruled Moussa Djenepo (£5.4m) and Michael Obafemi (£5.0m) out of the match against Man Utd. For Djenepo, a muscular injury has left the midfielder on the sidelines while Obafemi has not recovered after cramp forced him off midweek: "He doesn't really have an injury, but he cramped a little bit, so also for the weekend it is maybe a little too much for him after this game on Tuesday."
- Ryan Bertrand (£5.0m) is set to return to the starting XI after missing the game last weekend with his replacement for that match, Kevin Danso (£4.5m), set to return to the bench. The injury to Redmond should allow Danny Ings (£6.0m) and Che Adams (£5.9m) to continue their partnership up front.
- Hassenhuttl may opt to revert to system used in Southampton’s opening two matches where he played three at the back and packed the midfield for additional defensive cover. This would mean a return to the starting XI for Maya Yoshida (£4.5m), who missed the GW3 match against Brighton.
- Tanguy Ndombele (£6.1m) is still absent from the squad as the midfielder targets a return to competitive action following the international break. Eric Dier (£5.0m) is also not expected to feature so Moussa Sissoko (£5.0m) should continue alongside Harry Winks in the centre of the park. Ryan Sessegnon (£5.4m) is still working his way back to full fitness
- Serge Aurier (£5.5m) is expected to return to the starting line-up, as Kyle Walker-Peters (£5.0m) is another who is set to miss out after suffering a hamstring injury. Juan Foyth (£5.0m) is still working his way back from an ankle problem.
- With the future around Christian Eriksen (£8.9m) still up in the air, the Dane may have to settle for a spot on the bench for the third time in four matches. Next to him for the first time this season will be Dele Alli(£8.4m) who is poised to make his return to action after starting the season on the injury list.
- With only Troy Deeney (£6.3m) unavailable, Javi Gracia has a near fully-fit squad to choose from as Watford go in search of their first points of the season. The manager has stressed he will happily ring the changes after being impressed by his fringe squad players in the League Cup: “After the game this week, and the players who played well against Coventry, everybody knows there are other players competing well and ready. It's something I explain every day. The competition is good and we need to keep it during all the season so the players react."
- Danny Welbeck (£6.0m) and Ismaila Sarr (£6.5m) are both pushing for inclusion after starting the midweek match against Coventry: "They need time to show their best quality, their best condition, but in this moment we need all of them. We will see and decide if they start or play some minutes." Another who started that match was Roberto Pereyra (£5.9m), who has overcome the injury that ruled him out last week.
- Pellegrini provided an update on two potential absentees from this weeks squad, Michail Antonio (£7.0m) and Javier Hernandez (£6.0m). "Michail Antonio - we will see tomorrow. We had to give him 48 hours for an MRI. Javier Hernandez has recovered from his small knee injury from last week." With Antonio doubtful, Andriy Yarmolenko (£5.9m) is set to retain his place in the starting XI, though Pablo Fornals (£6.3m) is pushing for inclusion following his midweek goal against Newport County.
- The manager was asked about the possibility of Jack Wilshere (£4.9m) starting the match against Norwich: "I said last week that we can't expect Jack to be back 100 per cent to his level because of his lengthy injury. He played very well the other night, not only because he scored. We will see tomorrow what the starting XI will be for Saturday."
- Pellegrini expects “a similar game to the one we played against Watford”. Given the club won that match 3-1, he may be tempted to stick with the same starting XI that delivered those three points.
- Nuno Espirito Santo made four changes for the midweek Europa League match with Jesus Vallejo (£4.9m), Romain Saiss (£4.4m), Adama Traore (£5.0m) and Leander Dendoncker (£4.5m) replacing Ryan Bennett (£6.0m), Ruben Neves (£5.5m), Matt Doherty (£6.0m) and Morgan Gibbs-White (£4.9m) in the starting line-up. The quartet is expected to be recalled to the side, though Dendoncker may push Gibbs-White for a place after scoring against Torino. Raul Jimenez (£7.4m), Diogo Jota (£6.4m) and Joao Moutinho (£5.5m) were all brought off in the second half of the match, with the trio also expected to get the nod at the weekend.
- After again performing well in the match against Torino, Adama Traore is is pushing Matt Doherty for starts in the right wing-back position. Doherty has not looked the same at the start of the season following the revelation that he is not yet 100% fit.