There are a whopping 16 pre-match press conferences taking place today – and we’ve got the key Fantasy Premier League (FPL) team news for Gameweek 9 here.
This is a ‘live’ article and will be updated as and when the pressers are staged on Friday. Make sure to hit refresh for the latest injury updates.
The managers of Sheffield United, Everton, Burnley and Nottingham Forest all faced the media on Thursday, with the headlines from those press conferences also to be found below.
GAMEWEEK 9 TEAM NEWS: INJURY UPDATES
FRIDAY’S PRESS CONFERENCE TIMES
To the surprise of absolutely no-one, Mikel Arteta gave little away about the availability of Bukayo Saka (hamstring), William Saliba (toe) and Leandro Trossard (hamstring).
Judgements on whether they will be fit to face Chelsea will be made after training today.
“Not a lot [to update you on]. We haven’t had a lot of players, it’s the first training we’ll have today. We’ll know more after the session.” – Mikel Arteta on his team news
There were plenty of other comments from the Arsenal boss on Saliba and Saka in particular.
“He’s been working so hard to be fit for this game. Let’s see where he is at today.
“He had a couple of days off, that he needed as well, but the rest unfortunately has not been rest for him because he needed to do the treatment and train and get ready to be available against Chelsea.
“I’m sure he wants to play, yes. I don’t see any player there who doesn’t want to be in the starting XI!” – Mikel Arteta on Bukayo Saka
“It is our responsibility to monitor [our players] but as well it is also in relation to the days off that they get. The way we train, can we take certain parts of training out? It’s not only about the minutes when they are on the field because sometimes we want to rest them there but we ask them to be out on the [training] field for three hours, which isn’t doing them a big favour! There is some balance there but at the end, when you want to be a top, top player, you have to be able to play every three days and play 65 to 70 games. It is what it is.
“I think we have to play him when we see he is in the right condition to play – mentally, physically and that he’s performing. He needs to deserve to play, and that’s another story, but so far when he’s played that amount of minutes and games, it’s because we believed he was ready to cope with that.” – More from Mikel Arteta on Bukayo Saka
“Hopefully [Saliba’s recurring issue won’t continue to plague him], but obviously he’s been carrying that for weeks now and we have to use that time to settle. We believe that it was the best moment to do it.
“[His availability will be] depending again on how he is able to train today.” – Mikel Arteta on William Saliba
“Obviously, we had injuries, and we had the availability that we have, we missed other players as well in midfield that are very, very important, but I’m sure we’ll get them back. It’s about being able to win and continue to perform in the right way [even] when those players aren’t there and now, we’re going to have the opportunity to see them, I’m sure.” – Mikel Arteta on how excited he is to see Messrs Martinelli, Saka and Jesus back on the pitch together
“I do have the idea but I have to see them all together today [to see] how everybody us, because we have had a lot of people travelling around the world with a lot of minutes in their legs.” – Mikel Arteta, when asked if he knew what his team would be for the Chelsea game
Jurrien Timber (knee) remains out.
There was an interesting quote from Arteta on Arsenal’s penalty-taking pecking order, with the Gunners’ head coach confirming that Saka’s standing as first-choice taker has been replaced by a collective on-field decision.
“Well, there is one but then they’ve surprised me this season! I don’t really know who is going to take it. And sometimes, when I see someone is on the ball, I’m still doubting [whether they will actually take it or pass the ball to someone else]. They have the freedom to do it, they practise a lot, and it’s what they decide on the day is the best thing to do.
“It’s a very particular moment and is very related to game-state and what you’ve been doing, how you’re feeling emotionally and confidence wise. I don’t like to get too involved in that. There is some preparation, there are certain players who, if they’re in contention to take the penalty, the practise has to be there – that’s the only thing I demand them to do. After that, it’s their decision.” – Mikel Arteta on whether Arsenal have a penalty-taking pecking order
Harvey Barnes (toe) and Joe Willock (Achilles) are the only Newcastle players definitely on the sidelines for the visit of Crystal Palace, with Willock back in training but not yet match-fit after five months out.
Eddie Howe said on Friday that Sven Botman (knee) was “improving” ahead of the weekend, while there was mixed news on Alexander Isak (groin) and Joelinton (hamstring).
“I hope so. He’s trained well, he’s looked good, he’s done a lot of work. I’m confident as I sit here now that he’s going to be OK.
“We did have a few injuries, not everything has cleared up and we’re not in perfect order but we’re certainly looking a little bit better.” – Eddie Howe on whether Joelinton will be available, plus other team news
“Alex hasn’t trained with us yet so we’re going to leave it late to see if he’s fit and available.” – Eddie Howe on Alexander Isak’s fitness
Howe confirmed that Sandro Tonali was “available for selection”, despite the Italian midfielder being at the centre of an investigation into illegal betting.
More quotes to follow
Everton have no new concerns for the clash with their cross-city rivals.
Long-term absentees Dele Alli (hip), Seamus Coleman (knee) and Andre Gomes (calf) are the only Toffees on the injury list but Coleman is at least back in training.
“Virtually everyone, apart from the longer term [absentees] Dele Alli and Andre Gomes, [are back fit].
“Seamus is on the grass for the first time with us but he’s had one day, so he needs time after a long period out.” – Sean Dyche
John Egan (foot) and Tom Davies (thigh) are both out for “months” and Chris Basham (leg) potentially for the season, joining an injury list that already included Max Lowe (ankle), Rhys Norrington-Davies (hamstring), Daniel Jebbison (illness) and Will Osula (unspecified).
Ben Osborn (groin) and George Baldock (calf) are closing in on returns, however.
“George is getting closer. Ossie has been back in doing a few days with us this week. One or two coming back, which is good.
“George maybe not [for Gameweek 9], Ossie yeah. We are low on numbers so even if there is a chance for the bench for the last 15 minutes and it is not going to harm them, we will be using them.” – Paul Heckingbottom
Taiwo Awoniyi (groin) is expected to be out another week or two, while Felipe (knee), Nuno Tavares (groin), Danilo (hamstring) and Ola Aina (muscle) remain sidelined – if Steve Cooper is to be believed.
There are two other issues to report: Serge Aurier‘s Gameweek 8 injury forced him to pull out of the Ivory Coast squad, while Gonzalo Montiel (calf) limped out of Argentina’s World Cup qualifier against Peru in midweek.
Moussa Niakhate returns from a ban, at least.
“[Montiel] has only just got back in the country. We’ll assess it ourselves. We’ve seen the initial scans but it does look like a calf injury.
“Serge walked off, as well, at Crystal Palace. He picked up an injury there.
“The ones who were injured before that game continue to be that way. They are not in training at the moment.
“[Taiwo] is progressing well. He’s not far off some training, so let’s see how the next week goes, going into the game after Saturday.” – Steve Cooper, speaking in his pre-match presser on Thursday
Manuel Benson (knock), Michael Obafemi (hamstring), Johann Berg Gudmundsson (muscle), Hjalmar Ekdal (knee) and Nathan Redmond (unspecified) were all on the injury list going into Gameweek 8, while Jordan Beyer missed the defeat to Chelsea and Ameen Al-Dakhil was substituted at half-time of that 4-1 loss before pulling out of the Belgium squad.
Beyer remains out but Al-Dakhil’s injury isn’t serious, while Vincent Kompany hinted on Thursday that some of the other aforementioned names could be closing in on a return.
“There’s quite a few players coming back. I think they’re at different stages, so to make a decision if they’re ready for the battle on Saturday or not, that’s going to be over the next 48 hours for us to decide.
“[Al-Dakhil] withdrew because at half-time against Chelsea, he couldn’t continue. Luckily the news is quite positive for him. Again, a decision to make by Saturday.
“We feared the worst [about Beyer]. He’s not back yet, but we don’t think the extent is dramatic. He’s progressing well within his rehab. He did a little bit of damage landing wrong. We knew he was going to be out for a few weeks but we thought it could have been worse and maybe a few months.” – Vincent Kompany, speaking on Thursday