We’re rounding up what we know on the team news front ahead of Double Gameweek 29 in Fantasy Premier League (FPL).
There’s plenty to catch up on, too, after the March international break brought with it the usual deluge of yellow, orange and red flags.
Summaries of the pre-match press conferences on Thursday and Friday will supersede this piece and help finalise our predicted line-ups but in the meantime, this article takes an early look at the injury situation across the top flight.
MANCHESTER CITY V LIVERPOOL
We’ve not heard much new on Erling Haaland since last Friday, when the striker’s own father commented on the groin injury that led to his withdrawal from the Norway squad over the international break.
Then, Haaland Snr reported that the forward had been facing specialist treatment in Barcelona and was “touch and go” for the Liverpool game in Gameweek 29.
“Firstly, I’m not a doctor and secondly, I think it’s ‘touch and go’, yes. You can’t just go two weeks without training and then jump right into a fight.”
“There must be a progression there. They can gamble on it, but if he doesn’t get proper training with the team, then he won’t play. It is about how he responds to treatment in the next few days.
“He needs a lot of care and ‘knuckling’. There are many sprints and there is a lot to move.” – Alf Inge Haaland on his son’s injury
It is believed that Haaland has since reported back to the UK to continue his rehab.
One Manchester City player who will definitely miss Gameweek 29 is Phil Foden, who needed surgery on his appendix over the weekend.
As for Liverpool, they’ll remain without Calvin Ramsay (knee), Stefan Bajcetic (thigh) and likely Thiago Alcantara (hip) in Gameweek 29.
Luis Diaz (knee) was back in training this week, however, having been out of action since October.
Kostas Tsimikas (rib) will need assessment after limping out of Greece’s friendly against Lithuania on Monday, while Darwin Nunez wasn’t involved for Uruguay at all over the last fortnight – but his injury was merely a “cut ankle” and there’ll be high hopes of his recovery for the weekend.
ARSENAL V LEEDS UNITED
Takehiro Tomiyasu (knee) and Mohamed Elneny (knee) are definitely out of the visit of Leeds, while reports suggest that the game may come just too soon for Eddie Nketiah (ankle).
There is a bit of uncertainty about William Saliba (back/hamstring) after the defender missed Gameweek 28. Football London only say that the centre-back “will now undergo further scans before the scale and severity of the injury are determined, hopeful of making an appearance before the end of the season”. But journalist Chris Wheatley suggests the injury is a minor hamstring strain and that the timeline is a “a couple of weeks or less”.
Kieran Tierney (knock/calf) limped out of Scotland’s win over Spain on Tuesday night and will need to be assessed, while Thomas Partey (muscle) wasn’t risked for Ghana’s second AFCON qualifier against Angolo on Monday – but was at least named among the substitutes.
“Thomas has some small issues, a small injury tissue and we felt it was too big of a risk to start him.” – Ghana boss Chris Hughton on Thomas Partey
Opponents Leeds have their own issues after the March internationals, with Max Wober (hamstring) and Wilfried Gnonto (ankle) both casualties of the European Championship qualifiers. The Whites are reportedly optimistic that neither player is seriously injured, however.
Tyler Adams (hamstring), Adam Forshaw (hip) and Stuart Dallas (knee) are still unavailable.
BOURNEMOUTH V FULHAM
Shane Duffy (calf), Layvin Kurzawa (knee) and Neeskens Kebano (Achilles) were the only players on the Fulham injury list the last we heard but the main FPL team news from the Cottagers concerns all things disciplinary.
Willian will be suspended in Gameweek 29 after being sent off for the denial of a goalscoring opportunity in the ill-tempered FA Cup defeat to Manchester United, while we can expect Aleksandar Mitrovic to be out for much longer than that – he’ll be banned for three games at least after his dismissal for violent conduct in the same game but the Football Association are looking to increase the length of his suspension given that a match official was involved in the incident that led to his red card.
Bournemouth’s injury crisis has eased in recent weeks, with Marcus Tavernier (hamstring) hoping to further boost Gary O’Neil’s options by returning after the international break.
Illia Zabarnyi (ankle) confusingly reported for duty with Ukraine before returning to the south coast to continue with the latter stages of his rehab, while Jefferson Lerma pulled out of the Colombia squad after picking up an injury in Gameweek 28.
Bit-part player Junior Stanislas (knock) was ruled out for “7-10 days” with a “small injury” at the beginning of March so should be fit based on that initial prognosis.
BRIGHTON AND HOVE ALBION V BRENTFORD
Adam Lallana (muscle) and Jakub Moder (knee) won’t return until late in the season, while Jeremy Sarmiento has reportedly joined then on the sidelines for up to six weeks after fracturing his foot while away with Ecuador.
Tariq Lamptey (knee) has been back in training this week, however.
The main cause for concern for owners of Brighton players is not injury but fatigue and travel time, with Kaoru Mitoma, Alexis Mac Allister, Pervis Estupinan and Moises Caicedo representing their countries in far-flung corners of the globe. We’ll be taking a closer look at that in another international break round-up later today.
Brentford saw Aaron Hickey (knock) limp out of Scotland’s win over Spain on Tuesday, while they’ll be without Shandon Baptiste in the first half of Double Gameweek 29 after his red card against Leicester City.
The last we heard, Vitaly Janelt (knee) and Kristoffer Ajer (calf) were requiring further assessment on injuries that saw them miss out in Gameweek 28.
Keane Lewis-Potter (knee) remains absent but Mads Roerslev (thigh) was only “touch and go” for the Leicester game a fortnight ago so could be much closer to availability.
CRYSTAL PALACE V LEICESTER CITY
South London Press report that Vicente Guaita (hamstring) has returned to training this week, with Sam Johnstone (calf) not far behind him.
Joachim Andersen pulled out the Denmark squad with the calf problem that forced him to sit out Gameweek 28, so further news is awaited on him.
Youri Tielemans (ankle) and James Justin (Achilles) remain out for the Foxes, while Harry Souttar (ankle) is a fresh concern after returning home from international duty with Australia early.
Jonny Evans (muscle) lurches from one injury to the next, meanwhile, with a mid-March “setback” ruling him out of Gameweek 28 and Northern Ireland’s internationals.
Victor Kristiansen (ankle) should be nearing a return as his initial four-week recovery timeline is about complete.
NOTTINGHAM FOREST V WOLVERHAMPTON WANDERERS
Nottingham Forest’s chronic injury woes somehow got worse over the break, with Brennan Johnson (groin), Chris Wood (thigh), Serge Aurier (knock), Wayne Hennessey (knee) and Andre Ayew (knee) either limping out of their respective nations’ games or returning to Forest without kicking a ball.
“We were aware of something last week and then he went and played 90 minutes on the Friday[v Newcastle] and wasn’t available to meet up on the Sunday. Like I said, everybody’s responsible for him. It’s very special to be in that changing room and play for your country.
“You shouldn’t take that for granted. The people responsible for him shouldn’t take that for granted and should appreciate and respect that as well.” – Wales boss Rob Page on Brennan Johnson
Willy Boly (hamstring), Dean Henderson (thigh), Giulian Biancone (ACL) and Omar Richards (leg) remain out but Cheikhou Kouyate (match fitness), Scott McKenna (hamstring) and Taiwo Awoniyi (groin) could all be in contention to return in Gameweek 29.
Ryan Yates (shoulder) and Emmanuel Dennis (knock) suffered injuries in the defeat to Newcastle United, so further news is awaited on that pair.
Hwang Hee-chan (unspecified), Chiquinho (knee) and Sasa Kalajdzic (knee) remain out for Wolves, who will also have Jonny and Matheus Nunes suspended.
Hugo Bueno (hamstring) could be nearing a return, however, as he was ruled out for around 3-4 weeks at the beginning of March. Boubacar Traore (muscle) should also be back in contention after a return to training before the break.
Julen Lopetegui reported that Nelson Semedo injured his knee in the defeat to Leeds two weeks ago, so an update is awaited on the right-back.
CHELSEA V ASTON VILLA
Chelsea have nine players ‘flagged’ but the bulk of them should be back for Gameweek 29.
Reece James (hamstring), Raheem Sterling (hamstring) and Wesley Fofana (hamstring) were all pictured in training on Tuesday, while Edouard Mendy (finger) has also been back on the training ground of late and Football London suggest that Mason Mount (abdomen) could be in contention.
Kai Havertz‘s withdrawal from the Germany squad was only illness-related, meanwhile.
Armando Broja (ACL) is definitely out and the Villa game may come too soon for Thiago Silva (knee) as he targets an early-to-mid-April return, while news is awaited on the match-readiness of Cesar Azpilicueta (head) after his hospitalisation in mid-February.
Aston Villa may have lost Matty Cash (muscle) for three weeks if reports are to be believed but Leander Dendoncker (hand) returned to action in a behind-closed-doors game over the break and Philippe Coutinho (thigh) and Boubakar Kamara (foot) should be close to a comeback based on previous quotes from Unai Emery.
WEST HAM UNITED V SOUTHAMPTON
Vladimir Coufal (heel) returned to action with the Czech Republic over the international break, leaving Lukasz Fabianski (eye) and Michail Antonio (calf) as the only flagged West Ham players.
David Moyes didn’t specify a timeline for Antonio when grilled before Gameweek 28 but previously said that Fabianski “won’t be too far away” by the time domestic football resumes in April.
Tino Livramento (knee) and Juan Larios (muscle) remain sidelined for Saints, who saw Che Adams limp out of Scotland’s win over Cyprus with calf tightness.
Armel Bella-Kotchap was subbed off with an arm injury in Gameweek 28 amid fears he may have dislocated his shoulder.
NEWCASTLE UNITED V MANCHESTER UNITED
The news is broadly positive from Newcastle, with Sven Botman pictured in training after illness forced him out of the Dutch camp over the break.
Anthony Gordon (ankle) is also on the cusp of a comeback and Joelinton returns from suspension, while Nick Pope was only ruled out of England duty with a “minor” problem.
Emil Krafth (knee) and Miguel Almiron (thigh) are out, while it remains to be seen if the hamstring tightness that forced Allan Saint-Maximin off a fortnight ago has amounted to anything more serious.
“Allan wasn’t quite right, physically, I didn’t think. He’s been carrying a tight hamstring. I don’t think it’s a pull, it’s just a little bit of tightness.” – Eddie Howe on Allan Saint-Maximin’s substitution in Gameweek 28
As for the other United, Marcus Rashford (knock) was pictured in individual training – away from the main group – on Monday.
Erik ten Hag previously said that he expected Raphael Varane (knock) to be fit for Gameweek 29, meanwhile.
Casemiro (suspended), Christian Eriksen (ankle), Donny van de Beek (knee) and Alejandro Garnacho remain on the sidelines (Eriksen is nearing a return to the grass, at least), while news is awaited on Anthony Martial (hip), who has been in and out of training for some time.
Marcel Sabitzer was an unused substitute for Austria on Monday night, amid concerns over his knee.
EVERTON V TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR
Hugo Lloris (knee) played in a behind-closed-doors game over the break but the news from the Spurs camp is otherwise not good.
Ben Davies (hamstring) and Emerson Royal (knee) are reportedly now set for six weeks on the sidelines, while Ivan Perisic pulled up with what seemed like a calf strain in Croatia’s win over Turkey on Tuesday and was subbed minutes later – time will tell if this was some late-game kidology or a genuine problem.
Richarlison (calf) also looks set to miss the trip Everton, although the suggestions are that he isn’t going to be out for too long.
Ryan Sessegnon (hamstring) has only been spotted doing gym work so is presumably still some distance from a playing comeback, while Rodrigo Bentancur (knee) and Yves Bissouma (ankle) are on the medium-to-long-term injury list.
With Seamus Coleman swiftly recovering from an injury picked up with the Republic of Ireland and Nathan Patterson returning to action with Scotland, the perma-crocked Dominic Calvert-Lewin (thigh) and long-term absentee Andros Townsend (knee) are the only Everton players currently flagged in FPL.