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15 Mar 2019 by Tim Blackwell

FPL Blank Gameweek 31 – Fixtures, Team News, Press Conference Quotes & Predicted Line-ups

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Ahead of Saturday's 2:00pm deadline, we have combed through all ten Premier League press conferences to bring FPL managers the need-to-know team news, injury updates and predicted XIs for BGW31.

The Stats Zone's other Blank Gameweek 31 FPL content includes Captain Picks, Fixture Analysis, Projections & Team TSZ Discussion, while you can listen to our BGW31 podcast at the top of this page!

We also have a featured Eligibility, Suspension & International Duty page which will be updated after each gameweek.

GAMEWEEK 31 FIXTURES

Saturday 16th March

Bournemouth vs Newcastle (15:00)

Burnley vs Leicester (15:00)

West Ham vs Huddersfield (15:00)

Sunday 17th March

Fulham vs Liverpool (14:15)

Everton vs Chelsea (16:30)

TEAM NEWS & PREDICTED LINE-UPS

BOURNEMOUTH

  • Eddie Howe has provided an injury update ahead of the weekend's visit of Newcastle. Adam Smith (£4.3m) is sidelined with a hamstring strain picked up against Huddersfield: “Adam has a small grade hamstring strain so will be missing. Whether he will make the first game back after the international break, I’m not sure at the moment.” Nathaniel Clyne (£4.4m) is expected to replace the injured Smith at right-back.
  • The manager has also declared midfielder Dan Gosling (£4.7m) and winger Junior Stanislas (£6.0m) will be sidelined until after the international break. “Dan Gosling is improving but he won’t make this game. Hopefully, the international break will see him in much better shape. Junior is doing well but is not quite ready yet. He hasn’t trained but he is improving.”
  • Howe also confirmed that despite missing training earlier in the week, Ryan Fraser (£6.2m) is fit and available for the weekend.
  • Despite being subbed early last week due to fatigue, David Brooks (£5.1m) is once again expected to feature in the starting XI.

BURNLEY

  • Dyche has confirmed that Burnley have no fresh injury concerns ahead of the visit of Leicester. "Aaron Lennon's (£4.9m) got a chance over the next few weeks, we'll see. Steven Defour (£5.3m), probably not. The others, just a few knocks and bruises, nothing too serious."

CHELSEA

  • With no press conference scheduled ahead of their weekend match against Everton, we must instead turn our attention to the Thursday night's Europa League action in an attempt to discern clues about Sarri's line-up on Sunday.
  • Eden Hazard (£10.9m), Jorginho (£4.6m), Cesar Azpilicueta (£6.3m), David Luiz (£5.9m) and Pedro (£6.3m) were all relegated to the bench Thursday night, seemingly indicating that they will all start on Sunday.
  • In addition to those five, Gonzalo Higuain (£9.6m) didn't even travel, with Sarri stating the forward had come down with an illness: "He had a fever after the league match for two days. Yesterday in the evening with the doctor we decided to leave him at home in order to recover him for the next match." If Higuain can't make it, then hat-trick hero Olivier Giroud (£7.7m) could be afforded a rare league start. Sarri may also choose to play Hazard as a false nine.

EVERTON

  • Changes at the back will be needed for Everton as Kurt Zouma (£5.0m) is ineligible to play against his parent club. With club captain, Phil Jagielka (£4.3m) still absent through injury, Yerry Mina (£5.4m) is favourite to lineup alongside Michael Keane (£4.8m).
  • Seamus Coleman (£5.2m) has recovered the illness which forced him out of the warm up at Newcastle last Saturday. He is expected to replace Jonjoe Kenny (£4.2m) at right-back. Leighton Baines (£5.0m) has also been declared fit for the weekend.
  • Much as been made in recent weeks about Jordan Pickford's (£4.9m) lack of form between the sticks. The manager didn't exactly quell these concerns. Whilst saying Pickford has his "confidence", Silva also stated “Jordan was our number 1 choice but I have the same confidence with Maarten Stekelenburg (£3.9m). I have to take the decision again for the next match.”

FULHAM

  • With local reports suggesting that André Schürrle (£5.5m) is back in training, Parker has almost fully fit squad to choose from with just Alfie Mawson (£4.8m) injured. On Mawson Parker is also hopeful that the perennially injured defender "is a few weeks away" from a return.

HUDDERSFIELD

  • Huddersfield are facing something of an injury crisis ahead of the weekend with boss Siewert declaring that there were only 15 healthy players on the training pitch on Thursday. “We will have a look at the squad in training tomorrow before we choose our team. Unfortunately, there’re many injuries at the moment. Still Adama Diakhaby (£4.5m), Isaac Mbenza (£5.9m) are missing. Demeaco Duhaney (£4.0m) is still out and Laurent Depoitre (£5.1m) is missing. This has a big impact."
  • Jonathon Hogg (£4.4m) is another currently spending his days in the treatment room: “Hoggy won’t be back until after the international break, maybe two or three weeks, it depends on his rib."
  • While not having been ruled out completely, Terence Kongolo (£4.3m) and Erik Durm (£4.4m) are both doubtful for the trip to London: “TK (Terence Kongolo) still has problems, so we will look at them. We could see him back early, there may be a chance he trains tomorrow but he should be back in the international break. Erik Durm had a small muscle problem yesterday in training. He couldn’t train today but maybe tomorrow he could be back. Danny Williams (£4.5m) is still out too."
  • One player set to return to the starting XI is defender Tommy Smith (£4.4m), who is available after completing his suspension.

LEICESTER

  • With three goals in his two matches under Rodgers, Jamie Vardy (£9.0m) has hit the ground running under the new manager. The boss was effervescent in his praise of the Englishman saying, "As a footballer, he's tactically very, very good. He's not just a boy that scores goals. He will really be the focus of when we press the game."
  • On the injury front, only Daniel Amartey (£4.3m) and Marc Albrighton (£5.1m) are currently sidelined for the Foxes. Rodgers also stated that Matty James (£4.4m) has started training, but admits it is unlikely the midfielder will play first team football this season.

LIVERPOOL

  • Jordan Henderson (£5.3m) is a doubt for the trip to Fulham after limping off with an ankle injury midweek in the early stages of the match against Bayern. After the match, Klopp stated: “It's a big night with a little shadow that is Hendo's twisted ankle. We have to see, of course. It looks hopefully not that serious but for tonight we had to change. That's always a bad sign for a game, when you have to change early." UPDATE: Klopp has confirmed Henderson will miss the weekend trip to Fulham.
  • Naby Keita (£7.1m) is also set to be assessed with Klopp uncertain if the Guinean will be available: "We have to see if he can train today. The boys come in a bit later today, we will make a couple of checks. [He] was positive - we have to see if that stays positive when he goes outside."
  • The fit-again Dejan Lovren (£4.9m) will be pushing Joel Matip (£4.9m) for starts in the upcoming weeks but given the praise Klopp had for Matip at his presser, it sounds unlikely that Matip will be dropped in the near future: “From me he cannot get more praise, he’s an outstanding player and he did unbelievably against Bayern.

NEWCASTLE

  • The Magpies are likely to be without two of their first team defenders this week, as Fabian Schär (£4.8m) is suspended and Jamaal Lascelles (£4.7m) is highly doubtful. On the knock that forced Lascelles off against Everton, Benitez has said that the player "is still feeling a little bit his knee" so they "will not take any risks."
  • The loss of both Schär and Lascelles could mean a recall to the starting XI for Federico Fernández (£4.4m), who Benitez spoke about at his presser: “He has more chances. He was the best defender at the start of the season. Hopefully, he can be ready and like he was at the beginning of the season.” Ciaran Clark (£4.5m) could also be selected after Benitez confirmed his return from injury.
  • Sean Longstaff (£4.5m) and Rob Elliot (£4.3m) also remain sidelined.

WEST HAM

  • West Ham have a quartet of absentees ahead of the weekend match against Huddersfield with Pellegrini confirming "Carlos Sanchez (£4.3m), Andriy Yarmolenko (£6.7m) and Jack Wilshere (£4.8m) will continue with their recovery. Andy Carroll (£5.4m) has a problem with his ankle. The rest of the squad is okay."
  • After coming on as a half-time substitute last time out, the Hammers boss has confirmed that Marko Arnautovic (£6.8m) is available. After being questioned on the Austrian's usage recently, Pellegrini launched into an impassioned defence of his choices stating, “Marko was out of the team for several reasons. First, because his mind was out when he had the option to go to China. Then he returned and didn’t work for about a week, so he needed time to recover his performance. After that, he was sick. He was going to start against Manchester City but he felt bad that day. There’s a lot of reasons why he was starting on the bench, but I think he is ready to return in his position.” The interesting point here is that "he is ready to return".
  • Arnautovic replaced Felipe Anderson (£7.2m) at the interval against Cardiff, with the boss stating it was for tactical reasons. The Brazilian could be the one to make way if Arnautovic does return to the starting XI but it could also be at the expense of forward Javier Hernandez (£6.1m).
  • The return to fitness of Fabian Balbuena (£4.2m) could see Angelo Ogbonna (£4.2m), who replaced Balbuena when the Paraguayan was first injured, make way.
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