Late Fitness Check | Week Six

Late Fitness Check | Week Six

A south coast derby kicks off proceedings on Friday in week six, so don’t get caught out by the early deadline!

We’re only eight press conferences in, and with ten more scheduled for Friday, further news updates will be added to our Player Page. Meanwhile, last-minute injury news can be seen on the Injury Report. Remember to keep checking throughout the weekend.

Good luck!

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Southampton – vs – AFC Bournemouth

Moussa Djenepo is ruled out of Friday nights’ clash following a recurrence of the problem which kept him out of week four. “After a few sessions this week he felt a little bit more his muscle, we don’t want to take this risk, so we keep him out tomorrow.” Nathan Redmond (ankle) is back in training, and Ralph Hasenhüttl will make a late decision on his involvement. “I haven’t decided so far [but] it’s good that he could play because Moussa is out.” Kevin Danso was forced to miss the game at Sheffield United after being sent off at Old Trafford; his absence handed Maya Yoshida a recall, and after the win (plus a clean sheet), the Saints boss could retain the same back three meaning Ryan Bertrand, who is fit and available, misses out again.

Eddie Howe expects to have a similar squad to the one which took all three points against Everton. Lloyd Kelly is a possible addition after playing for the U21s midweek, but Simon Francis, who played in the same game, is likely to return in the Carabao Cup five days later. “We’re pretty much in the same place, but the squad is getting stronger.” Summer signing Arnaut Danjuma (foot) is back on the grass training, although he won’t be considered just yet. David Brooks (ankle) and Dan Gosling (hip) are working towards their recovery. No timeline on Adam Smith (hamstring) following a second scan. “We first thought it was going to be a long-term absence. We’re now hopeful it’s not going to be, but with hamstring injuries, it’s difficult to tell exactly what he will miss.”

Leicester City – vs – Tottenham Hotspur

No fresh injury concerns for the Foxes; only long-term absentees Daniel Amartey (ankle) and Matty James (Achilles) are expected to miss out. Ben Chilwell trained away from the group on Thursday morning, but Brendan Rodgers confirmed there are no issues with the full-back. “He just had a bit of recovery inside, but he’s fine.”

Tottenham made five changes in Greece from the win over Palace, but expect a more familiar-looking line-up on Saturday. There was a first start of the season for Dele Alli while Davinson Sánchez and Tanguy Ndombele returned after their recent injury problems. Danny Rose and Serge Aurier were rested completely and should return to the 18. Giovani Lo Celso (hip) continues his on-field rehabilitation and is targeting his comeback at the end of October. Tottenham are monitoring the progress of Ryan Sessegnon after he complained of irritation in his hamstring prior to the Champions League game. Juan Foyth (ankle) is edging closer; although after seven weeks out, the Carabao Cup game at Colchester next Tuesday is a more realistic target.

Burnley – vs – Norwich City

Sean Dyche confirms that Gudmundsson is fit, but a late decision will be made on his squad inclusion after a short spell out with a calf problem. “Johann has had a few days with the physio last week and this week, and he’s making good progress. He seemed happy with it, but we’ll wait and see.” Danny Drinkwater (ankle) is not yet back in full training, and it sounds as if the midfielder is still a few weeks away. “He then has to play a bit of catch-up. He will need a game as well. When the physio says he’s injury-free, then we can step it up with the sports science and begin joining in with the group.” Everyone else is okay, no issues with Robbie Brady who returned to the squad last weekend.

The Canaries arrive brimming with confidence and will be looking to follow-up their historic win over the Champions. No-one gave Norwich a realistic chance of beating City, especially given their extensive injury list which meant eight players missed the game. Patrick Roberts was ineligible against his parent club, but Daniel Farke may not be able to rely on any other returners. Mario Vrancic and Moritz Leitner (both calf) are the closest of those side-lined; however their availability will not be confirmed until Friday.

Everton – vs – Sheffield United

Richarlison appeared to tweak his hamstring at the Vitality minutes before his withdrawal on Sunday. There was no mention from Marco Silva post-match, and there have been no updates from the club this week, so hopefully, his substitution was precautionary. André Gomes will be assessed “day-to-day” after missing the defeat to Bournemouth through injury. “It’s the ribs. It’s something we will have to see day-by-day how he recovers from that situation. What we want to do is get him ready as fast as we can.” Jean-Philippe Gbamin and Jonas Lössl remain out.

Callum Robinson was benched in week five after returning from international duty with a slight hamstring issue. However, the forward has “trained really well [and] he’s raring to go.” Billy Sharp misses out following his dismissal against Southampton, and Mo Besic is unable to face his parent club.

Manchester City – vs – Watford

John Stones injured his thigh on Tuesday morning in training making a routine pass and the England international, who only returned from a similar issue at Carrow Road, is ruled out for a minimum of four weeks. “The problem is muscular.” With Aymeric Laporte out until the new year, Fernandinho deputised against Shakhtar, although Pep could look to Joao Cancelo with Kyle Walker playing in a more central role. Phil Foden should recover from the virus which stopped him travelling to Ukraine, and Benjamin Mendy ended five months of injury frustration with a brief cameo in the Champions League.

Quique Sánchez Flores will be without Craig Cathcart (thigh) for the match at the Etihad, but the defender will return to training next week. Isaac Success “will be out for a bit longer” after suffering a groin injury. Troy Deeney remains sidelined following knee surgery. The returning Head Coach may look to recall Danny Welbeck after the forward missed out against his former employers due to fitness concerns. “Basically, for the first match the most important thing is to take the players who are more fit, or with more minutes played because it’s more safe I think, for the immediate performance.”

Newcastle United – vs – Brighton and Hove Albion

Andy Carroll has an outside chance of making the bench on Saturday after a specialist gave him the green light to step up his training. Fabian Schär (calf) is also expected to make the game while Sean Longstaff (ankle) could come under consideration. DeAndre Yedlin is getting “closer and closer” to a return after missing the previous five months. “It’s just about going out and proving every day what I can do in training. My objective now is to get back to 100 per cent and get to the point where I’m battling for a place on the field.”

Martín Montoya missed the draw with Burnley due to a fever and tonsillitis, but Graham Potter confirmed the Spaniard has recovered. “It’s as you were on the injury front.” Leandro Trossard (groin) is making good progress, but this week comes too soon. Bernardo (back) has an outside chance of making the squad, but Leon Balogun and Alireza Jahanbakhsh returned from international duty with niggling issues, and neither will be considered. Yves Bissouma was named in the 18 last Saturday although he isn’t ready to be considered for a start. “I think it was more just to help him reintegrate with the group,” Potter said on his return. “It was good for him to be out there but, at the same time, with the way the game was going, I didn’t feel it was the right time to put him on.”

Crystal Palace – vs – Wolverhampton Wanderers

Martin Kelly (groin) re-joined the squad on Wednesday, and barring an issue, the centre-back will come into Roy Hodgson’s thinking after Palace shipped four to Spurs. Mamadou Sakho bore the brunt of the flak, but in his defence, he is just returning from a long-term knee injury. Scott Dann is working but continues to be hampered by the hand injury he suffered in the Carabao Cup, and Connor Wickham (ankle) could train before Sunday to give the Eagles a clean bill of health.

Nuno Espírito Santo said it was a “bad, bad performance” against Chelsea which saw Wolves concede five at Molineux. “We started the game well but the mistakes we made, we cannot go and repeat them. The game changed with the goal. We lost concentration. I am dissatisfied.” Willy Boly is back from suspension and Ryan Bennett, a surprise tactical omission from the squad, could also be recalled. Confidence is low, and Wolves will be looking to avoid a third straight defeat having lost to Sporting Braga in the Europa League on Thursday.

West Ham United – vs – Manchester United

Winston Reid (knee) will look to build fitness with the U23s before Manuel Pellegrini considers the defender for a first-team return. The New Zealand international has spent the best part of 18 months working his way back from injury. Michail Antonio (hamstring) is the only other player ruled out as West Ham look to maintain their five-game unbeaten run (all comps).

United edged past Kazakhstan side Astana 1-0 on Thursday, but only Marcus Rashford and Nemanja Matic remained from the win over Leicester. Solskjaer will look to revert to a more experienced side after Axel Tuanzebe, Angel Gomes, Mason Greenwood and Tahith Chong were given their chance to shine. Daniel James picked up a knock last weekend, and his availability cannot be guaranteed. Paul Pogba and Luke Shaw have been training away from the main group while Anthony Martial was not part of Wednesdays’ open session. Diogo Dalot and Jesse Lingard are fit, but Eric Bailly will not be back until December.

Arsenal – vs – Aston Villa

Unai Emery confirms Kieran Tierney will feature for the Under-23 side at Wolves on Friday evening. The Scotland international is yet to play for the club having arrived from Celtic following surgery to remedy a groin complaint. Héctor Bellerín is also in line to return after recovering from a serious knee ligament injury. Sead Kolasinac was replaced late on in Frankfurt, but Emery was quick to allay injury fears: “He played on Sunday, tonight and he felt a small problem, but I think he’s fine.” Alexandre Lacazette (ankle) continues his rehab with an expected return to play next month, and Dinos Mavropanos (groin) played an hour for the development side last Sunday. Rob Holding is very close to being considered – Mesut Ozil and Sokratis were both rested for the trip to Germany.

Jonathan Kodjia had surgery on his cheekbone following a training ground injury which is expected to keep him out for the remainder of September. James Chester is working normally, but Dean Smith will not rush the club-captain back. Matt Targett (hamstring) is “probably” looking at this game for a return, although he is yet to feature in the league. Trezeguet returns from a one-match ban.

Chelsea – vs – Liverpool

Good news for Mason Mount although Sunday may still come around too quickly. There were concerns when he limped off with an ankle injury against Valencia CF midweek, but an initial scan has cleared him of serious injury. However, there is still a lot of swelling around the joint, and he will have further imaging once this subsides. Antonio Rüdiger was injured on his return – a small groin problem – but hopefully, that won’t keep him out for too long. Callum Hudson-Odoi is not far off, but Lampard wants the winger to build fitness with the U23s. “We have to be careful because it was a major injury. We’ve actually got him back ahead of time, but we have to make sure the strength is right in the area because it could lead to other injuries.” Reece James is in a similar position, but N’Golo Kante (ankle) could return to the matchday 18.

Divock Origi suffered an ankle injury in week five, but Jurgen Klopp confirms that it is not too severe. “We expect him [to be out for] between one and two weeks, but it depends a little bit on when he can deal with the pain. It is nothing really; it’s a feeling, but it should be fine.” Andy Robertson managed to overcome a minor knock to start on Tuesday (vs Napoli) and Naby Keita will work with the group ahead of this weekend and will hope to make the bench. Alisson Becker is “much better” although there is still no definitive timeline. “The target was always after the next international break.”

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