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Team News

Late Fitness Check GW3

by Ben Dinnery
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:04 pm ET

The midweek Carabao Cup fixtures won’t have a great deal of bearing on team selection as most top-flight sides made wholesale changes in Round Two. However, there were a couple of big casualties, with Kyle Bartley and Jon Walters both suffering serious ligament injuries to their knee and ankle respectively. But it wasn’t all bad, as the games provided an excellent opportunity for players on the fringes of the first-team squad to stake their claim.


Jermain Defoe certainly benefited from 90 minutes having seen his start at Bournemouth hampered by a niggling groin problem while Newcastle supporters will be pleased to see Rolando Aarons hit the ground running after a year out. The winger – who grabbed a goal and an assist – was one of the few highlights on another hugely disappointing night for the Geordies.


Liverpool will be hoping to continue where they left off against Hoffenheim. Jurgen Klopp’s men swept their German counterparts aside in the Champions League play-offs with a three-goal 11-minute blitz in a scintillating first half. City rivals Everton were also on the European trail and it was new boy Glyfi Sigurdsson who stole the show in Split with a wondrous 50-yard strike in his first start for the club.


Remember to keep following throughout for all the latest news, views and insight ahead of game week three.

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AFC Bournemouth – vs – Manchester City

Defender Simon Francis [hamstring] and winger Junior Stanislas [groin] “are both out still," as well as long-term absentee Callum Wilson confirms Eddie Howe. The Bournemouth boss is hoping to use the Carabao Cup victory over Birmingham as a springboard to kick start the Cherries season following back-to-back league defeats: "Whenever you win a game, you get a good feeling no matter what the competition. Several players played well and they've certainly put themselves in the frame." Jermain Defoe comes into contention for a start “as are a number of other players."


Benjamin Mendy [hamstring] will travel with the squad in the absence of Kyle Walker who misses out following his sending off against Everton: "I don’t know if he will [start], I think Danilo is going to play [at right-back]." Pep confirms Ilkay Gundogan is set to feature for the development side on Friday night [against Leicester] as continues his return to full match fitness: "Gundo is going to play with the second team today to improve his rhythm," he said. "He’s much, much better."



Crystal Palace – vs – Swansea City

Ruben Loftus-Cheek has a groin injury and won't be available for the visit of Swansea. Wilfried Zaha [knee] is improving but “he’s still in recovery." The Eagles are hoping he can return within a month. Yohan Cabaye and James McArthur both started against Ipswich in the League Cup midweek and Frank de Boer must now consider whether either is ready for the Premier League. Jairo Riedewald missed the defeat at Anfield due to "growing pains" but the Palace boss was “hopeful” of a return: "It's a very long season, so we didn't want to risk him. He should be okay."


Paul Clement says he's "not exactly sure" how long Kyle Bartley will be out after the defender suffered a medial knee ligament strain at MK Dons. "It could be 6-8 weeks [or] it could be a little bit longer." Leon Britton started training again [on Thursday] after missing the defeat to Man United through injury: "He is back" and comes into the reckonings for this weekend. The trip to Palace on Saturday is "too soon" for Fernando Llorente "so he's not going to be available." He was close however, and "it's very likely" he will be ready after the international break. Clucas comes under consideration following his arrival from Hull City: "Sam is fit and is in good shape,” Clement said. “He doesn’t need any extra physical work. It’s just about whether I see it as right for him to go straight into the team for tactical reasons." Jefferson Montero remains on the sidelines.



Huddersfield Town – vs – Southampton

The Terriers have signed 23-year-old full-back Florent Hadergjonaj on a season-long loan deal, but David Wagner won’t consider the Switzerland international just yet, as he wants to do some work in training first. Abdelhamid Sabiri is in a similar position and won’t be considered for the clash with Southampton. No fresh injury concerns but Huddersfield do still have Nahki Wells, Martin Cranie, Jonathan Hogg and Jon Stankovic in the treatment room.


Mauricio Pellegrino will make a late decision on whether new defender Hoedt is included in the match-day squad. "Wesley is a young international player who can help us to be stronger in defence. He is left footed and the kind of player we don’t have. Hopefully he will settle as quickly as possible into the team but we will decide tomorrow [Friday] if he plays.” Virgil van Dijk will not be in the Southampton line-up and there is no news concerning his future: "I don’t have this information and I don’t want to give any opinion about that. It is a situation where nothing has changed. I have nothing to say.”



Newcastle United – vs – West Ham United

Saturday is too soon for DeAndre Yedlin [hamstring] while Florian Lejeune [ankle] also misses out. Freddie Woodman will provide the back-up for Rob Elliot after an ankle injury ruled Karl Darlow out. Dwight Gayle [virus] will be assessed along with Rolando Aarons who was suffering from fatigue [cramp] on Wednesday following his first competitive start since last August. Jonjo Shelvey serves the final game of his three-match ban.


"Some [players] aren’t match fit [Andy Carroll / Cheikhou Kouyate] but they are all training. We will see tomorrow how it goes," said Slaven Bilic during Thursdays press conference. Manuel Lanzini [knee] will be included in the squad travelling to Newcastle: "He is hungry," while Winston Reid is the only definite injury absentee after pulling up with a calf problem during last weekend’s warm-up at Southampton. Marko Arnautovic serves the second game of his three-match ban.



Watford – vs – Brighton and Hove Albion

Marco Silva confirms: "[It's] the same [squad] as our last Premier League match – Daryl Janmaat, Younes Kaboul and Roberto Pereyra are all out - the others are working well and I will make my decisions tomorrow." Craig Cathcart returned to the Watford bench midweek but the defender hasn’t got the minutes in his legs to threaten a start – he could be named among the substitutes again. Mauro Zarate has stepped up his recovery from serious knee ligament damage: “He started two weeks ago to work with the team, he had a big, big injury and it is not easy to start with the intensity he needs," Silva said. "He has progressed well with his physical condition and has worked a full session with me but it is not ready to play yet." Watford could hand a debut to new loan signing Andre Carrillo who joined the Hornets from Benfica.


Chris Hughton reveals record signing Jose Izquierdo will be involved in Saturdays squad after receiving international clearance. Loanee Izzy Brown should return to the club early next week with a view to the midfielder being ready and available for the visit of West Brom in game week four – he spent the initial phase of his recovery back at Chelsea.  Beram Kayal [fibula fracture] and Sam Baldock [calf surgery] remain the only two lengthy absentees. Glenn Murray [ankle] and Steve Sidwell [back] will be assessed in the build-up to the match at Vicarage Road.



Manchester United – vs – Leicester City

Jose Mourinho believes Ashley Young will return to action quicker than Luke Shaw due to his superior levels of fitness. The pair made their first start of 2017/18 for the U23s on Monday night. The United boss went onto add that Marcos Rojo has stepped up his rehab “just straight runs and repetitions” but insists “there is no rush - we have to respect the timings and they are bringing him to the team around December." Ibrahimović is out of the Champions League group stages: "I don't think there will be any chance of that" and it could be January before the Swede plays competitively again. Zlatan has just signed a new one-year deal at the club despite being sidelined with a serious knee ligament rupture: "A player that gets injured with a Manchester United shirt, fighting for Manchester United, the club has to be there for him."


Wes Morgan has trained this week - following a back injury - and the Foxes skipper will be included in the squad barring a setback. "I expect him to be fighting fit," said Craig Shakespeare. Jamie Vardy looks to be over the ankle injury which forced him off during the dying moments of the Brighton game. Kelechi Iheanacho [toe] is back in training and should make the bench: "We have to be mindful about how [hard] we push him. Gradually, he is getting back to fitness." Harry Maguire hasn't trained following the win over Sheff Utd in the Carabao Cup: "It was a tackle in the first minute and he has had an adverse reaction to it." Vicente Iborra [groin] won’t be back until after the break. Robert Huth needs to build fitness with the under-23s: "We are taking it easy with him, he [has a] sore foot and we have to be mindful.” Papy Mendy hasn’t had any reaction so he is training fully and Danny Drinkwater can also be considered for the first time after shaking off a thigh complaint.



Chelsea – vs – Everton

Eden Hazard is the only Chelsea player who is not fit: "He is improving and today [Friday] he is playing with the Under-23s against Everton." Conte said the Belgium international remains an integral part of the squad and stressed the importance of giving him "the right [amount of] time to recover" from his ankle fracture. The Blues boss said he was "surprised" by Hazard’s recent call-up to the national squad but "respects" their decision. No further news on Diego Costa. Cesc Fabregas returns to the squad after missing the 2-1 win over Tottenham through suspension. Bakayoko revealed earlier this week that he "had to play a bit earlier than planned [in game week two] but I am happy. I reckon I am at 80 per cent." Morata's fitness has improved a lot. With Gary Cahill once again suspended, Christensen could sit alongside Rudiger and Azpilicueta.


Ronald Koeman "will have to wait on" Idrissa Gueye who missed the Europa League tie in Split as a precaution – the midfielder has a slight issue with his hamstring. Mo Besic could make his first league start in almost 16 months as James McCarthy [knee] won't be back until after the break and Morgan Schneiderlin is suspended. Davy Klaassen [foot] is out and Sandro Ramirez faces a late fitness test. No change in those injured long term – Yannick Bolasie, Seamus Coleman and Ross Barkley are still some way off being considered.



West Bromwich Albion – vs – Stoke City

Tony Pulis will assess new signing Oliver Burke in training on Friday, however, the winger is expected to be named on the bench. "He's a talented lad with lots of potential. He's gained experience from being in Germany. Pace is vital in the modern game and he will give us that." Jonny Evans [hamstring] should be fine for Northern Ireland next week but the centre-back is unlikely to be involved against Stoke on Sunday. James Morrison will be assessed after making his long-awaited comeback in the Carabao Cup. Gareth McAuley [thigh] "won't be fit again." Claudio Yacob has recovered from the hamstring issue that afforded Gareth Barry his debut at the Amex Stadium.


Xherdan Shaqiri will have a late fitness test: "He felt something early against Arsenal and came off. We are hopeful but we won't take any risks." Scans earlier this week confirmed he suffered a "minor" hamstring strain. Mark Hughes remains "hopeful" that the Swiss international will be available. Erik Pieters is fine after picking up an ankle knock in game week two. The full-back was able to play a part at Rochdale in the Carabao Cup. It’s an old boys’ reunion as Darren Fletcher returns to the Hawthorns for the first time since his move. "I don't think he'll be fazed," said Hughes. However, the West Brom faithful may not be as complimentary to Berahino who is back on his former stomping ground: "I have no idea how they will react to Saido. You don't get a warm response when away."



Liverpool – vs – Arsenal

Jurgen Klopp confirms Philippe Coutinho is "still on our injury list - that hasn't changed." The Liverpool manager has not spoken to the Brazilian FA regarding the upcoming internationals but added “if they want to check him [they can].... [but] he’s not training yet." Trent Alexander-Arnold [dead leg] is only a minor concern "nothing serious" while Emre Can should be fine after suffering a “little twist” in the Champions League qualifying win over Hoffenheim. Gini Wijnaldum returns to the squad following the birth of his son and there are no issues with Divock Origi who missed out midweek: "That shows how big the quality in the squad is."


Laurent Koscielny returns after completing a three-match ban. Alexis Sanchez "has been working very hard" and is back in contention. "He is focused [but] he has not played for long time so will have to decide what I do with him. He looks in good shape." Calum Chambers [groin] is ruled out until mid-September and Santi Cazorla steps up his rehabilitation but the midfielder is still some months away from a return.



Tottenham Hotspur – vs – Burnley

Erik Lamela has commenced outdoor work as he continues his recovery from hip surgery. The initial timeline had the Argentine returning in October although the club are reluctant to put a definitive date on his return. Georges-Kevin N’Koudou should be back in training after the international break, likewise, Danny Rose [knee] who remains on course to rejoin the group in a few weeks. Tottenham supporters may have to wait a little longer before seeing new centre-back Davinson Sanchez as he is waiting for international clearance. "We’ll see if he can be available to be selected for the weekend. Today he is not," said Pochettino. No update on Kieran Trippier who should recover from the minor knock he picked up six days ago.


Jon Walters fails to recover from the injury which forced him off at Ewood Park on Wednesday night. “He injured his ankle ligaments,” confirmed Sean Dyche. “But [it] isn’t as serious as it could have been. He still won’t be back immediately, but there was good news from the scan and we are hopeful it [is] a pretty straight forward situation.” A decision on Jeff Hendrick’s availability will be left until the last minute: “We will have to keep an eye on him. He has a tight calf, so we’ll be monitoring him over the next few days and see what happens. Other than that, we’re ok.” Chris Wood will be hoping to make his first Premier League start having arrived from Leeds United in a deal said to be worth around £15 million.