Laurent Koscielny(£5.4m) has returned to full training, while Henrikh Mkhitaryan
(£6.7m) and Ainsley Maitland-Niles
(£4.4m) are being assessed ahead of the trip to face Manchester City. Unai Emery
said this afternoon: “[Koscielny] trained today and we are positive with him. [Maitland-Niles] didn’t train today but we will look [at him] tomorrow. [Mkhitaryan] started to train with us today and he’s training normally. He is with us now.”
Koscielny should replace Nacho Monreal (£5.4m) at centre-half, though the Spaniard could form part of a back three if Unai Emery opts for a wing-back system. Aaron Ramsey
(£7.2m) will compete with Mesut Ozil (£8.0m) for the role behind Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (£11.3m) and Alexandre Lacazette (£9.3m). ‘Auba’ could play as more of a left forward, while a back-three system could even see ‘Laca’ omitted from Emery’s starting XI. Alex Iwobi (£5.4m) will also be pushing for a start.
On new signing Denis Suarez’s (£6.5m MID) best position and chances of playing in GW25, Emery explained: “It depends. He played with us at Sevilla as a left winger, at Villarreal as more of a right winger and at Barcelona, he plays inside and outside. The possibility and capacity is all different. He can play right, play left, inside like a 10 player, and I am going to use him in all the positions in the attacking third. I am thinking of all the players and I will make my decision tomorrow, but if he starts I have confidence in him.”
Eddie Howe said
this morning: “Callum Wilson (£6.4m) is definitely out. We'll wait and see how Jefferson Lerma (£4.5m) is today and make a late call on his fitness.” The Cherries boss admitted on Wednesday that Wilson had minor knee surgery “to clean it out”, with the striker expected back in 3 to 4 weeks.
Howe failed to provide an update on David Brooks (£5.1m), who was forced off in the 4-0 win over Chelsea with a knock. Jordon Ibe (£5.0m) could earn a start if the Wales international is ruled out. Howe did add: “Other than that, I think we’re as we were.”
On Dominic Solanke
(£4.7m), Howe explained: “We obviously had Dominic on the bench on Wednesday, so he is available to play. I wouldn't say he's fully match fit, but we're pleased to have him available for selection.”
Bernardo (£4.2m) could return at left-back for the Seagulls. Chris Hughton said on Thursday: “Alireza Jahanbakhsh (£6.7m) is back and will train on Friday, Bernardo trained today and we have a decision to make on him ahead of the weekend. Jose Izquierdo (£5.9m) is still out.”
Bruno (£4.4m) is an option over Martin Montoya (£4.3m) at right-back, while Florin Andone (£5.0m) may have to settle for a place on the bench again after Glenn Murray (£6.3m) bagged a brace in Brighton’s 4-2 loss at Fulham on Tuesday.
Johann Berg Gudmundsson (£5.5m) and Robbie Brady (£5.4m) are back in contention for the Clarets. Jeff Hendrick (£5.2m) is probably the player most at risk of dropping out of Sean Dyche’s XI for one of the two widemen. Matt Lowton (£4.6m) and Steven Defour (£5.3m) are unlikely to be available.
Peter Crouch (£4.5m) has joined Burnley, with Sam Vokes heading the other way to Stoke City.
Sean Morrison (£4.7m) remains out for the Bluebirds, while Victor Camarasa (£4.6m) and Josh Murphy (£4.8m) may not be ready for Bournemouth’s visit tomorrow evening. Neil Warnock said: “Morrison is probably a week or 10 days in front of where we thought, he could be four weeks but we don’t want to rush him back. Victor has been struggling, Murphy has been struggling, so we’ve got to get these lads firing.” Harry Arter
(£4.9m) is ineligible to face his parent club.
On Bobby Reid’s (£5.2m) missed chances against Arsenal in GW24, Warnock lamented: “I don’t know what you can say. He’s in great positions and you don’t miss them on purpose. Callum Paterson (£5.0m) had a couple as well. But at least we’re creating chances…19 shots on goal at the Emirates takes some doing.”
On new signing Leandro Bacuna (£4.5m defender), Warnock said: “I’ve had a chat with him about his hair. But otherwise I know what he can do. Good passer, great athlete and someone I know I can have alongside him in the trenches. I think he can become a fans favourite in the next few years.”
From Maurizio Sarri’s assessment of Gonzalo Higuain (£9.5m) today, it seems unlikely the striker will start tomorrow. The Chelsea boss said: “At the moment he is not at the top physically, because in 45 days he played few matches because of his back and because of the market. He needs to improve as he can generate more than now. If he can improve physically then he will be useful for us immediately.”
Asked if Eden Hazard (£10.9m) is ‘doing enough’ following the Blues’ 4-0 hammering at Bournemouth on Wednesday, Sarri stated: “I think that he is changing. He was used to play as an individual player, but now he has to play in a co-operative way. It is not easy for him as he became Hazard in another way. It is not easy but I can see now he is more available to play in this way. He is fantastic from the technical view and I think he can do more tactically. It is not easy to play in a striker with this team, we have a lot of individual players, like Hazard, Pedro, Willian, so it is not easy for the striker to move at the right time.”
Olivier Giroud (£7.7m) could earn a start if Higuain is not risked from the outset, though Sarri also has the option of reinstating Hazard as a ‘false nine’ in order to play both Pedro
(£6.3m) and Willian (£7.2m). Ross Barkley (£5.1m) could replace Mateo Kovacic (£5.7m), while Marcos Alonso (£6.5m) will be aiming to reclaim the left-back spot from Emerson
(£5.2m). Considering Chelsea’s abject display at the Vitality Stadium, further line-up alterations would be no surprise.
Cheikhou Kouyate (£4.7m) is sidelined for the Eagles, while Wilfried Zaha (£6.7m) serves a one-game suspension. Roy Hodgson said on Friday: “We've got a couple of players who we need to test tomorrow morning. It's not looking that bad but one player who will miss tomorrow is Cheikhou Kouyate because he twisted his ankle during the first half [against Southampton] but carried on for the second half. We're hoping it won't be that serious but it will keep him out tomorrow. There is the Zaha suspension but otherwise we've got a full squad. James Tomkins (£4.3m) trained this morning and we don't think there will be any problems there. The training was quite light though so we need to check him tomorrow.”
On whether new signing Michy Batshuayi (£6.5m) could feature tomorrow, Hodgson added: “I think [Batshuayi will be fit to play], I will see him this afternoon. I'll wait here to meet him and speak with him, he was fit enough for Valencia so there's no reason not to play for us. But I need to speak to him to find out how he feels and make a decision.”
Yerry Mina (£5.4m) and Phil Jagielka (£4.3m) are both out for Everton, while Leighton Baines
(£5.0m) and Idrissa Gueye (£4.8m) require late fitness checks. With Lucas Digne (£5.3m) suspended for the first of Everton’s two double gameweek fixtures, Jonjoe Kenny (£4.2m) is set to deputise at left-back if Baines is ruled out.
On the visit of Wolves this weekend, Marco Silva said: “It will be a good test for us, not just offensively or defensively but in both aspects. We have to play at our best level with strong attitude and strong character to achieve the three points. We have to be stronger than them in all moments of the match. When we have the ball, we have to do what we have planned and be prepared to create the chances to score. When we don’t have the ball, we have to be strong, too. We have to be ready in all the moments. We know they are strong in the counter attack. When we have the ball and are trying to create chances to disorganise them, we have to take care.”
Silva may opt for the athleticism of Dominic Calvert-Lewin (£5.3m) up front against Wolves, after Cenk Tosun
(£6.5m) earned a rare start in GW24.
Richarlison (£6.8m) could also move into the No 9 role, with Ademola Lookman (£5.1m) and Theo Walcott (£6.0m) options in attacking midfield.
Claudio Ranieri did not report
any new injuries at his press conference on Thursday and made no mention of Joe Bryan (£4.8m), who went off with a leg injury on Tuesday. Ryan Sessegnon (£6.0m) is a likely starter if Bryan fails to recover in time.
Tim Ream (£4.2m) was hooked after just 26 minutes in GW24 with Fulham 2-0 down. Tom Cairney
(£4.6m) replaced the American as Ranieri switched from 3-4-3 to 4-4-2. Considering the Cottagers went on to win the match 4-2, the Italian may stick with the latter formation for the trip to face Palace. On the subject, the Fulham boss said: “I love the players that understand when I change systems. In all my teams I try to do this and sometimes the player responds well and sometimes not. Fortunately, they were used to playing four at the back, when I saw we didn’t move well with five at the back I changed for this reason, not because Ream had any blame, no, just because I needed more. The second half was better.”
Luciano Vietto (£5.3m) replaced Andre Schurrle (£5.6m) at half-time before netting Fulham’s fourth against Brighton and may oust the German tomorrow. Aboubakar Kamara has joined Turkish side Yeni Malatyaspor on loan
for the remainder of the season, while the club brought in Havard Nordtveit (£4.5m) and Lazar Markovic (£5.0m).
Aaron Mooy (£5.0m) is in line to start for the Terriers after making his injury comeback from the bench in GW24, while Philip Billing (£4.5m) could also be available. Jan Siewert said
on Thursday: “It’s really important to have Aaron back. He’s developing more and more in each training session, it’s not easy to come straight back in after a long injury. I think Philip will be back. He was training yesterday and made a good impression. Hopefully he will be in the squad. Alex Pritchard (£4.8m) couldn’t join many sessions because of his back before the Everton game. I had to be careful with that because we need him. Although he couldn’t join every session, he was still in the squad and that shows everything.”
On new striker Karlan Grant (£5.0m), Siewert added: “I see something special in Karlan. I'm convinced that he can help us. He’s showed he can score consistently and he did so in training yesterday too.”
On squad availability, Claude Puel said: “No injuries. Daniel Amartey (£4.3m) is coming back step by step. All the other players are match fit.”
On new signnig Youri Tielemans (£6.0m), Puel added: “It was his (Youri Tielemans’) first training session this morning – a good session with hard work and tempo. We will see tomorrow if he can participate in the squad on Sunday.”
Having earned a 1-1 draw at Anfield on Wednesday, the French manager may be tempted to stick with the same XI for the visit of Man United.
Jurgen Klopp hopes Trent Alexander-Arnold (£5.2m) will return to full training next week but the defender is ruled out of GW25. Asked if either TAA or Joe Gomez (£4.9m) would be ready for trip to face West Ham, Klopp said: “No, both not [available]. [There’s] no return date for Joe. Trent is getting better and better and better. He is really close and I hope he is in full training next week, but not for Monday.”
Jordan Henderson (£5.3m) operated at right-back for the Reds’ 1-1 draw at home to Leicester on Wednesday night. James Milner (£5.6m) is expected to return as deputy in that position, having served a one-match ban in GW24. Dejan Lovren (£4.9m) could earn a start ahead of Joel Matip (£4.9m), while Fabinho (£5.5m) might replace Naby Keita (£7.1m). Klopp could also opt for a three-man central midfield, which would force Xherdan Shaqiri (£7.1m) onto the bench. Adam Lallana (£6.9m) is another option in the middle third.
Asked if Benjamin Mendy (£6.1m) is ready to return this weekend, Pep Guardiola said: “Really I don't know. After the minutes he played at Burton he had two or three days not training. In the last two training sessions he was able to train so we'll see day by day.”
(£5.2m) remains out for the Citizens. Guardiola stated
that the rest of his squad trained on Friday, suggesting Ederson (£5.6m) is fit after sustaining a leg problem at St James’s Park.
On the 2-1 defeat at Newcastle on Tuesday, Guardiola added: “We are not happy about the last performance, everyone knows at half time and after game. If we hadn’t had have motivation then we would not be here. We want to sustain the top level. There are a lot of games and sometimes it is a challenge and it is tough.”
With Sunday’s visit of Arsenal followed by a trip to Everton on Wednesday, rotation is likely to be rife among the Man City squad. Bernardo Silva (£7.6m) will be pushing heavily for a start in midfield or attack this weekend.
Paul Pogba (£8.7m) and Anthony Martial (£7.2m) should be fit for the trip to the King Power stadium. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said: “We've not had a proper session since the game, so hopefully both of them can get through that. I don't think there's anything [wrong] with Paul. Anthony has done some rehab work, so he will try a session today, so I would imagine he would be available to be involved. He seemed happy yesterday.” Romelu Lukaku (£10.7m), Juan Mata (£6.2m) and Alexis Sanchez
(£10.0m) are all options in attack if Martial is not deemed fit enough to start.
On opponents Leicester, OGS added: “I watched their game [against Liverpool] on Wednesday and it is a team full of energy and pace. So of course, they defend well, because they drop back and defend, so it's hard to break them down and they've got the pace up front with [Jamie] Vardy, [Demarai] Gray, [James] Maddison, [Marc] Albrighton. [Also] Leicester beat Chelsea. So it's going to be a tough challenge, but we like challenges.”
On injuries, Rafa Benitez said: “Mohamed Diamé (£4.8m) Karl Darlow (£4.4m) and Joselu (£4.7m) have all been training but are not ready for the game. Paul Dummett (£4.4m), Ki Sung-yeng
(£4.7m), Rob Elliot (£4.3m) and Jonjo Shelvey (£5.3m) are very close – hopefully they will be available against Wolves [GW26].”
The Magpies chief may be tempted to stick with the same XI for the clash against Spurs after Newcastle beat Man City at home on Tuesday. Benitez added: “After Watford, everyone was very negative. After beating Man City, we have won two games at home in a row in the Premier League. Everyone has more confidence now and we have to make sure we keep doing the same.”
New signing Miguel Almiron (£6.0m MID) will not be part of the matchday squad tomorrow due to not yet having a work permit, though fellow recruit Antonio Barreca
(£4.5m DEF) will be in the 18. On the duo, Benitez explained: “Barecca is in the squad but Almiron cannot play. They come here with a real desire to do well. Almiron can play in different positions – as a No 10, as a winger – and he is an offensive player with pace. Barreca is another good option. For a while, we have been looking for a player on this side [left of defence].”
Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg (£4.4m) sustained a head injury in the Saints’ 1-1 draw at home to Palace in GW24. Ralph Hasenhuttl said on Thursday: “I don’t know how Pierre is with his head, it was a hard hit. The cut is not so important, but you always have to pay attention [with those injuries]. But he is a strong guy and I think he can handle this. Otherwise, I don’t know of any new injuries.” If the Danish midfielder is ruled out, Stuart Armstrong (£5.1m) could be in line for a start.
Ben Davies (£5.6m) remains sidelined for Spurs, as do Harry Kane (£12.4m) and Dele Alli (£8.9m). On Kane’s recovery, Mauricio Pochettino said: “I cannot tell you if he is ahead of the schedule. We assess him day by day. He is showing on social media that he looks very strong, very fit and will put in 200% to try and return ASAP. We need to assess but we are happy in the way that he is recovering.” On the other two injured players, the Spurs boss added: “Dele is the same as Harry, maybe he is closer than Ben Davies but is still going to be out for tomorrow.”
Heung-Min Son (£8.6m) was suffering from cramp by the end of Tottenham’s 2-1 win against Watford on Wednesday. After that match, Poch said of the midfielder: “He [was] very tired. We'll see if he can recover for the next game. If he's okay maybe he's going to be in the starting XI, if not, [then] on the bench. For sure if we need him, he's going to help the team.” The manager added on Friday: “Today is a point to assess him. Yesterday after 24 hours he was so tired and we don’t do too much on training. Today we will train and prepare and will see if he’s in condition to win.”
Pochettino may stick with a three-at-the-back system for Newcastle’s visit, with players such as Eric Dier (£4.7m), Erik Lamela (£6.1m) and Lucas Moura
(£6.8m) all pushing for starts. Kieran Trippier (£6.1m) should oust Serge Aurier (£5.8m) after the Ivorian started midweek.
Kiko Femenia (£4.2m) and Abdoulaye Doucoure (£5.9m) are unlikely to feature for the Hornets in GW25. Asked if the French midfielder would be available, Javi Gracia said on Thursday: “I want him to recover as soon as possible as he is an important player for us. He will be ready soon but in this moment, I don't know when. The players who were injured before the game are in the same situation. We'll see in the next hours their evolution.”
Troy Deeney (£6.0m) and Roberto Pereyra (£6.2m) both picked up knocks in the 2-1 defeat to Spurs on Wednesday but lasted the full 90. Tom Cleverley (£5.0m) only managed 65 minutes at Wembley and may not be risked tomorrow. Gracia added: “We don't have a long time to prepare for the next game. We are ready today to recover those who played yesterday and we are all focused on Brighton and trying to do our best. They have enough time to recover today. Maybe tomorrow is the second day when they feel tired, but in three days I am sure they will be ready. We will take a decision on Tom. Maybe it will be tough for him to play more minutes, but in two or three days he will be ready.” Domingos Quina (£4.4m) could earn a start in central midfield if Cleverley is not deemed ready.
Christian Kabasele (£4.4m) was available in GW24 but missed out on the matchday 18. The Belgian and Miguel Britos (£4.3m) are alternatives to Adrian Mariappa (£4.2m) and Craig Cathcart (£4.5m) at centre-half. Ken Sema (£4.6m) is set to challenge Will Hughes (£4.9m) for the right-midfield spot, with the latter another candidate for a central berth.
Marko Arnautovic (£6.9m) will be a late decision for West Ham’s clash at home to Liverpool on Monday night, while Lukasz Fabianski (£4.8m) is set to feature. Samir Nasri (£5.5m) remains out, while Aaron Cresswell (£5.0m) could contend with Arthur Masuaku (£4.3m) for the left-back spot. Manuel Pellegrini said: “We are not sure about Marko. We need to see the development and the pain in his foot. We have 72 hours more to see if he will be able to play. It's more a question for the doctor. We will see on Saturday and if he can kick the ball. Fabianski will be OK. He didn't work today 100 per cent but I think he will be able to work normally tomorrow. Aaron Cresswell is getting better, but Samir Nasri needs one week more.” Chicharito
(£6.1m) and Andy Carroll (£5.4m) are Pellegrini’s options up front if Arnautovic is not passed fit.
Wolves boss Nuno has no injury concerns ahead of the trip to Goodison Park. Willy Boly (£4.6m) returns from suspension, with the Frenchman set to battle with Romain Saiss (£4.2m) for the left-sided centre-back spot. The Moroccan opened the scoring in the club’s 3-0 win at home to West Ham on Tuesday.
On Wolves’ small squad size, Nuno explained: “When you have a small, balanced squad, you can work better. Not every club has the same idea. This is the way we should go, with a small squad and back-ups, giving every player the chance to have minutes because we believe this is the best way to improve.”