Football Fantasy Football Cricket Rugby League MMA Other Sports eSportsZone About Jobs Contact
31 Dec 2018 by Tim Blackwell

FPL Gameweek 21 – Fixtures, Team News, Press Conference Quotes & Predicted Line-ups

Email

Ahead of Tuesday'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 GW21.

The Stats Zone's other Gameweek 21 FPL content includes Captain Picks, Fixtures & Team TSZ Discussion.

GAMEWEEK 21 FIXTURES

Tuesday 1st January

Everton vs Leicester (12:30)

Arsenal vs Fulham (15:00)

Cardiff vs Spurs (17:30)

Wednesday 2nd January

Bournemouth vs Watford (19:45)

Chelsea vs Southampton (19:45)

Huddersfield vs Burnley (19:45)

West Ham vs Brighton (19:45)

Wolves vs Crystal Palace (19:45)

Newcastle vs Man Utd (20:00)

Thursday 3rd January

Man City vs Liverpool (20:00)

TEAM NEWS & PREDICTED LINE-UPS

ARSENAL

  • Unai Emery is expected to recall Laurent Koscielny (£5.4m) to the starting Xi after the Frenchman was dropped to the bench for the match against Liverpool. The return of Koscielny should see Arsenal revert back to a back three after they played with a back four last time out.
  • Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (£11.4m) and Alexandre Lacazette (£9.4m) look set to partner one another in attack. Aubameyang was brought off early, whilst Lacazette had to settle for a place on the bench last time out so both should be fairly rested in what is an inviting matchup against Fulham.
  • Mesut Ozil (£8.0m) is once again expected to miss out with the knee injury that flared up in training on Friday: "I don't know if it's big or not big, but it's his knee."

    BOURNEMOUTH

    • Nathan Ake (£5.0m) was withdrawn ten minutes from the end against Manchester United with a muscular injury and is considered a doubt for the visit of Watford. His replacement last time, Tyrone Mings (£4.3m), is expected to take his place.
    • Other than Ake and long-term absentees Simon Francis (£4.4m), Adam Smith (£4.4m), Dan Gosling (£4.8m) and Lewis Cook (£4.7m), Howe has no fresh injury concerns as he looks to turn around Bournemouth's current form.
    • Ryan Fraser (£6.1m) is expected to be recalled to the starting XI after being rested for the trip to Old Trafford. Jefferson Lerma (£4.5m) is another who was rested and in-line for a recall but is treading the suspension tightrope as he sits on nine yellow cards for the season.

    BRIGHTON

    • In the absence of Mathew Ryan (£4.5m), David Button (£4.0m) is set to continue in goal after excelling at the weekend.
    • With Hughton rotating his strikers in recent weeks Glenn Murray (£6.4m) should return in place of Florin Andone (£5.0m).
    • Jose Izquierdo (£5.9m) is still sidelined with a similar knee injury which kept him out for almost three months post-World Cup.

        BURNLEY

        • Tom Heaton (£4.9m) is set to continue in goal after displacing Joe Hart (£4.5m) between the sticks, then keeping a clean sheet against Crystal Palace. On switching his keeper Dyche has expressed that dropping Hart for Heaton was no "easy decision."
        • Matt Lowton (£4.5m) is back in contention after serving a one match ban though Dyche may be tempted to stick with the same back four that brought a clean sheet last time out against Palace.
        • Robbie Brady (£5.4m) and Steven Defour (£5.3m) both face late fitness tests but are considered major doubts and are likely to join Aaron Lennon (£5.0m) and Stephen Ward (£4.7m) on the sidelines.

        CARDIFF

        • Warnock is not aware of any fresh injury concerns following the win at Leicester: “Jazz Richards (£3.9m) is training and Danny Ward (£4.3m) is doing some light work. Kenneth Zohore (£4.6m) is still a while away.”
        • The Bluebirds secured what was a much-needed win on the road last time out against Leicester and Warnock may be tempted to go with the same team that gave him those three points.

        CHELSEA

        • Sarri has confirmed Olivier Giroud's (£8.7m) early withdrawal against Southampton was due to a problem with his ankle and the team will "have to wait for Monday" to determine the extent of the injury. The Frenchman was seen leaving Selhurst Park on crutches.
        • With Giroud sidelined, Álvaro Morata (£8.4m) could be set to lead the line against Southampton after his return from injury last time out. Eden Hazard (£11.1m) is another option but given the injuries to Pedro (£6.3m) and Callum Hudson-Odoi (£4.2m), the Belgian playmaker may be tasked with the left wing-forward role again.
        • The manger also revealed that Cesc Fabregas (£6.2m), Ruben Loftus-Cheek (£5.2m) and Danny Drinkwater (£4.7m) were all injured in a ten-minute spell during training on Saturday.

        CRYSTAL PALACE

        • Christian Benteke (£6.3m) remains Roy Hodgson's only absentee as Wayne Hennessey (£4.5m) and Martin Kelly (£3.9m) returned to the squad for Palace's match against Chelsea.

        • The return of Hennessy to the bench would seem to indicate that Vicente Guaita (£4.2m) has taken over the No. 1 spot for at least the time being.
        • The Eagles were fairly toothless in attack against Chelsea so Hogdson may look to rotate and bring Connor Wickham (£4.9m) or Jordan Ayew (£5.7m) into the starting XI in and effort to increase their scoring capabilities.

        EVERTON

        • Everton boss Marco Silva has a near clean bill of health with Ademola Lookman (£5.1m) the only potential doubt as he continues to rehab from an ankle knock.
        • Gylfi Sigurdsson (£7.3m) is set to return to the match day squad after being restricted to an appearance from the bench last time out.

        FULHAM

        • Aboubakar Kamara (£4.4m) is set to be left out of the matchday squad after defying team orders in taking and missing a penalty against Huddersfield. On the matter, Ranieri said: "I said to Aboubakar Kamara to leave the ball to Aleksandar Mitrovic, he is the man who shoots the penalties. It is unbelievable, he did not respect me, the club, the team and crowd. I spoke with him, it is not right." Ryan Sessegnon (£6.0m) could come into the starting XI in place of Kamara after impressing from the bench in the last couple of games.
        • Calum Chambers (£4.4m) will be ineligible to face his parent club as Fulham make the trip to Arsenal. He is likely to be replaced in the middle of the park by club captain Tom Cairney (£4.7m) or Kevin McDonald (£4.3m).
        • Alfie Mawson (£4.8m) is considered a doubt for the match against Arsenal having been withdrawn at half-time last time out with a knee niggle. His replacement that day, Maxime Le Marchand (£4.2m), is in-line for the start should Mawson be declared unavailable.

        HUDDERSFIELD

        • Laurent Depoitre (£5.1m) is set to replace Steve Mounie (£5.8m) up front as Wagner continues to rotate his forward options.
        • Aaron Mooy (£5.1m), Danny Williams (£4.5m), Tommy Smith (£4.4m) and Abdelhamid Sabiri (£4.3m) will be sidelined until late January while Rajiv van La Parra (£4.6m) is on the verge of signing for Championship side Middlesbrough.

        LEICESTER

        • After being ruled out against Cardiff due to illness, Puel will be hoping one of Jonny Evans (£4.9m) or Wes Morgan (£4.5m) will be fit enough to make a return. If not Caglar Soyuncu (£4.9m) is likely to continue at centre-back.
        • Hamza Choudhury (£4.3m) was omitted from the matchday squad last time out for tactical reasons.

        LIVERPOOL

        • Klopp is likely to revert to a 4-3-3 formation after having the Reds line-up in a 4-2-3-1 last time out. The change of formation is likely to mean Sheridan Shari (£7.1m) will return to the bench as Klopp looks to sure up the midfielder.
        • The Liverpool boss has a number of options to take that midfield spot with Jordan Henderson (£5.3m) and Naby Keita (£7.2m) pushing for a recall to the starting XI. James Milner (£5.6m) is another potential option as he attempts to overcome a hamstring injury.

        MAN CITY

        • Pep has said he does not know if Kevin De Bruyne (£9.7m) will be available to face Liverpool on Thursday, although the injury is not serious: "I don’t know if he can play against Liverpool. Today he was not able but it's not a big issue. Something muscular - it's normal after 3/4 months injured."
        • Leroy Sane (£9.6m) was replaced by Riyad Mahrez (£8.5m) for last week's fixture against Southampton. Expect to see the German recalled to the starting XI for the match against Liverpool.
        • The reigning champions have been bolstered by the return to first team action of David Silva (£8.5m) over the last couple of weeks and Fernandinho (£5.4m) against Southampton. Given this is a must-win game for City, it would be surprising if the duo were not included in the starting XI.

        MAN UTD

          • Diogo Dalot (£5.3m) and Fred (£5.4m) could be in-line for recalls to the starting XI after being rotated out against Bournemouth. If they are recalled, it will most likely be at the expense of Ashley Young (£5.7m) and Ander Herrera (£5.0m).
          • Romelu Lukaku (£10.7m) could be in-line for his first start under the new manager after Marcus Rashford (£7.2m) was brought off early last time out with what was reportedly a minor groin ailment.
          • Solksjaer will be without the services of Eric Bailly (£5.0m) for a few weeks after the defender was shown a straight red towards the end of the Bournemouth match: "Eric Bailly is excited of course because he is back in the team and he wants to prove himself, but he has timed the tackle wrong and he knows it himself, so we will have to do without him for a few games." Phil Jones (£5.1m) is the obvious replacement with Chris Smalling (£5.6m) still nursing a foot injury.

          NEWCASTLE

          • Federico Fernandez (£4.4m) is a doubt after being forced off at half-time against Watford with a back injury. Fabian Schär (£4.6m) replaced the Argentinian that day and his expected to retain his place for the visit of Manchester United.
          • Jonjo Shelvey (£5.3m) made his return from injury with an 11 minute appearance from the substitutes bench against Watford and will be pushing Benitez for a starting place this time around.
          • Kenedy (£4.9m) was omitted from the GW20 match day squad for tactical reasons with Benitez stating it was a 'technical decision' and that every player has to give '100%'.

          SOUTHAMPTON

          • Danny Ings (£5.6m) is set to be recalled to the starting XI, possibly at the expense of Charlie Austin (£5.5m) who could face a retrospective ban following an obscene gesture.
          • Having just returned from a suspension Pierre-Emile Højbjerg (£4.4m) faces another spell on the sidelines following a straight red for his challenge on Fernandinho. Mario Lemina (£4.8m) should be recalled to the starting Xi if he can overcome an abdominal issue.

          TOTTENHAM

          • Pochettino may look to freshen the team up after Spurs' lacklustre showing against Wolves. Primary to be included is Lucas Moura (£6.9m) who had to settle on a spot on the bench last time out. The potential return of Erik Lamela (£6.2m) is set to be a late decision.
          • Danny Rose (£5.8m) is expected to replace Ben Davies (£5.6m) at left-back after not playing last time out. Kieran Trippier (£6.1m) may be rotated out for the fit again Serge Aurier (£5.8m), though Pochettino may decide that Kyle Walker-Peters (£4.2m) is best placed to come in at right-back after his three assists on Boxing Day.

          WATFORD

          • Christian Kabasele (£4.4m) is set to miss GW21 after still failing to recover from colliding with a post during Watford’s 2-1 loss to Chelsea in GW19. Adrian Mariappa (£4.2m) is set to continue at the heart of the defence alongside Craig Cathcart (£4.5m).
          • Kiko Femenía (£4.2m) will be pushing for a return to the first XI after being dropped last time out for the returning Daryl Janmaat (£4.9m). The same is true for José Holebas (£4.8m) who was a substitute against Newcastle.
          • Will Hughes (£4.9m) and Alberto Penaranda (£5.0m) are both nearing returns with Javi Gracia saying, “Both are ready. Maybe Will has trained with the team more times. He doesn't need to train a lot to be ready. Penaranda needs more time because he had to stop for longer.

          WEST HAM

            • Marko Arnautovic (£6.9) was a surprise inclusion in the starting XI for West Ham last time out. His return to fitness is a welcome one with Javier Hernandez (£6.4m) still struggling with a hamstring injury.
            • Pablo Zabaleta (£4.3m) missed the defeat to Burnley with illness while Fabian Balbuena (£4.4m) was also absent. Of the two Zabaleta is the one closest to a return as Manuel Pellegrini looks to freshen his squad up after they looked tired against Burnley.

            WOLVES

            • Adama Traore (£5.2m) is a major doubt after limping off against Tottenham with a tight hamstring. With a spot available the starting XI, Joao Moutinho (£5.2m) and Helder Costa (£4.8m), who were on the bench against Spurs, will no doubt come into the managers thinking after helping change the game when they came on.
            • Diego Jota (£5.9m) is still an injury doubt as the player nurses his own hamstring injury, though a decision is set to be made on his availability prior to kickoff.
            Comments