Matchweek 3 of the new Premier League season will build up ahead of Monday night’s big clash between Manchester United and Liverpool, while Tottenham Hotspur hosts Wolves and Arsenal travel to Bournemouth until then to continue their strong start. Chelsea meet Leeds and Manchester City meet Newcastle United on Sunday.
Fantasy Football executives will be keeping a close eye on team news ahead of Saturday’s FPL deadline at 11am BST as signings roll in and some players are yet to find their fitness. Here we take a look at the key team news from the pre-game press conferences and predict the line-ups to inform our Fantasy Premier League decisions.
Fastening: Tottenham vs Wolves, Saturday 20 August 12:30pm
Spurs team news: Antonio Conte has confirmed that defender Cristian Romero will be unavailable due to an adductor injury. “He had a little problem against Chelsea in the last part of the game,” said Conte. “After the game he felt a slight pain in his adductor muscle. We checked him out. The player wanted to be available, but in this situation we have a lot of games to play, so it would be foolish to take a risk. Because of this, he is unavailable against Wolves.”
Romero has been key to Tottenham’s strong defensive record under Conte and Davinson Sanchez will be his likely replacement in the back three. Elsewhere, Ivan Perisic and Richarlison provided positive momentum from the bench at Stamford Bridge and the Croatian could get his first start at left-back in place of Ryan Sessegnon. At right, Conte faces another decision between Emerson Royal and Matt Doherty – but the Brazilian looks set to retain his place.
Expected Spurs line-up: Lloris; Sanchez, Dier, Davies; Emerson, Hojbjerg, Bentancur, Perisic; Kulusevski, Kane, son
Wolves team news: Nelson Semedo and Adama Traore could start while Goncalo Guedes will be pushing for his first engagement. Raul Jimenez is out with a knee injury and Morgan Gibbs-White will sign for Nottingham Forest.
Fastening: Bournemouth v Arsenal, Saturday 20 August, 5:30 p.m
Arsenal Team News: Emile Smith Rowe, Fabio Vieira and Cedric Soares are nearing full fitness after appearing for Arsenal U21s midweek, while Takehiro Tomiyasu and Kieran Tierney are pushing for full commitments after both coming on from the bench last weekend.
“Everyone is fine,” said Mikel Arteta. “Cedric, Fabio and Emile played for the U21s. They’re fine, they’ve been training all week, so they’re available.”
It wouldn’t be a surprise if Arteta appointed an unchanged team unless he wants a more natural right-back in Tomiyasu instead of Ben White. Gabriel Jesus and Gabriel Martinelli are two of the Premier League’s most in-form forwards and will once again lead the line alongside Bukayo Saka.
Expected Arsenal line-up: Ramsdale; Tomiyasu, Saliba, Gabriel, Zinchenko; Partey, Xhaka; Saka, Odegaard, Martinelli; Jesus
Team news from Bournemouth: Scott Parker said striker Dominic Solanke will be assessed before the game after missing the trip to Manchester City last weekend with an ankle injury.
Fastening: Leeds v Chelsea, Sunday 21 August, 2pm
Chelsea Team News: N’Golo Kante is out for “weeks” with a hamstring injury, Thomas Tuchel has confirmed, while Chelsea are once again without Mateo Kovacic. Chelsea will also be without Christian Pulisic with an Achilles problem, while Armando Broja is also unavailable. “N’Golo Kante’s injury is pretty serious, we’re talking weeks. That’s not good news,” said Tuchel. “We are disappointed and sad because he is super important and super fit. amando [Broja] is out for days but will not be in Leeds and Mateo Kovacic is out with a knee problem.”
Tuchel has to choose between Marc Cucurella and Ben Chilwell at left-back in one of several interesting lineups. “If we play a back four, I would say that they fight for a place, and not in a back five,” added Tuchel. “Ben is a clear full-back and Cucurella can do both [centre back or wing back].”
Estimated line-up of Chelsea: Mendy; James, Silva, Koulibaly; Loftus Cheek, Gallagher, Jorginho, Cucurella; Mount, Havertz, Sterling
Team news from Leeds: Patrick Bamford picked up another problem against Southampton so Rodrigo is likely to start in attack. Leeds have several defensive concerns with Luke Ayling, Stuart Dallas and Junior Firpo out while Liam Cooper is in doubt.
Fastening: Newcastle United v Manchester City, Sunday 21 August, 4:30 p.m
Manchester City Team News: Aymeric Laporte is still recovering from knee surgery so Nathan Ake will join Ruben Dias in defense. Kalvin Phillips is available after missing the game against Bournemouth last weekend. “Some small things for some players but the rest is okay,” said Guardiola, while new left-back Sergio Gomez will make his debut in the squad.
Elsewhere, Bernardo Silva could make his first start of the season, now his future seems more secure. With Erling Haaland and Kevin De Bruyne sure to start, Guardiola has to pick two from Phil Foden, Riyad Mahrez and Jack Grealish.
Expected line-up of Manchester City: Ederson; Wanderer, Dias, Ake, Cancelo; De Bruyne, Rodri, Gundogan; Foden, Haaland, Grealisch
Newcastle United team news: Ryan Fraser is said to be available, Eddie Howe has confirmed, but Matt Targett faces a late fitness test. Jonjo Shelvey will be out for 12 weeks with a hamstring injury. Federico Fernandez and Emil Krafth are doubtful.
Fastening: Manchester United v Liverpool, Monday 22 August, 8pm
Manchester United Team News: There has been talk of Lisandro Martinez being used in midfield ahead of the Liverpool visit as Erik ten Hag faces a pressure game at Old Trafford. The United manager made three changes at half-time when his side were 4-0 against Brentford and Raphael Varane and Tyrell Malacia were able to start off the bench after introductions. Anthony Martial is on the verge of a return and could be on the bench so Cristiano Ronaldo should take the lead again.
“Winner [Lindelof] has not returned to the training ground but the good news is that Anthony Martial is back training with the team,” said Ten Hag.
Expected line-up of Manchester United: DeGea; Dalot, Varane, Maguire, Malacia; Martinez, Fernandes, Eriksen; Rashford, Ronaldo, Sancho
Fastening: Manchester United v Liverpool, Monday 22 August, 8pm
Liverpool team news: Darwin Nunez will serve the first game of his three-game suspension following his red card against Crystal Palace. He joins a long injury list that already includes Diogo Jota, Thiago Alcantara and Ibrahima Konate. Joel Matip is doubtful but Jurgen Klopp has backed Joe Gomez to step in at centre-back alongside Virgil van Dijk after missing out on the tie with Palace.
“It’s an opportunity. He returned to team training on Sunday, the day before the Palace game,” said Klopp. “Joe looked great in training this week. He’s been training normally.” Roberto Firmino is “ready” to lead the line alongside Mohamed Salah and Luis Diaz, Naby Keita passed fit while Harvey Elliott and Fabio Carvalho could see minutes.
Liverpool predicted line-up: Alison; Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, Van Dijk, Robertson; Fabinho, Henderson, Milner; Diaz, Firmino, Salah
More team news
Leicester – Southampton, Saturday 20 August, 3pm: Brendan Rodgers said Leicester winger Harvey Barnes should be available but warned he is ready to drop Wesley Fofana from his squad amid uncertainty over his future. Saints striker Che Adams will be fit for the Foxes after suffering a minor injury in last weekend’s 2-2 home draw with Leeds. Romain Perraud, Tino Livramento and Theo Walcott are still unavailable.
Everton – Nottingham Forest, Saturday 20 August, 3pm: Forest manager Steve Cooper has confirmed Ryan Yates and Steve Cook have returned to training but Jack Colback is still ill. Emmanuel Dennis, Morgan Gibbs-White and Remo Freuler have all been signed since Forest’s last game, with Dennis set to be an option at Goodison Park. For Everton, Amadou Onana could get his first start after an impressive display against Aston Villa last weekend. Dominic Calvert-Lewin stays out while Dele Alli appears close to joining Besiktas.
Crystal Palace vs Aston Villa, Saturday 20 August, 3pm: Diego Carlos is expected to be out for several months with a torn Achilles tendon but Steven Gerrard has confirmed he has a full squad elsewhere. Emi Buendia could potentially start ahead of Philippe Coutinho after his thrashing against Everton last weekend. Danny Ings and Ollie Watkins also combined well.
“It’s not about having favorites or the top three, it’s about horses for courses and what we think the game ahead of us demands,” said Gerrard. “We have many attacking options and great talents, all of which bring different skills. They are all extremely important to us and will be throughout the season.”
Patrick Vieira switched to a back five at Anfield but either Odsonne Edouard or Jean-Philippe Mateta will return for Joel Ward if he returns to a four-man defense with Wilfried Zaha starting on the left.
Fulham – Brentford, Saturday 20 August, 3pm: Fulham are left without Harry Wilson and Manor Solomon and are expected to name an unchanged team provided Andreas Pereira is fully fit. Brentford have no new injury problems and could start with the same side that beat Manchester United 4-0. Kristoffer Ajer and Sergi Canos are on the verge of a return, while new signing Mikkel Damsgaard could be on the bench for the first time since arriving from Sampdoria.
West Ham v Brighton, Sunday 21 August, 2pm: Gianluca Scamacca started Thursday’s 3-1 Europa Conference League win against Viaborg and scored his first goal for the Hammers, who are the only Premier League side yet to find a goal this season. Jarrod Bowen was also in the starting XI while Michail Antonio came off the bench, as did newcomer Thilo Kehrer in his opening minutes. David Moyes faces a big decision on whether to give Scamacca his first Premier League start ahead of Antonio now.
Brighton have no injury woes and could name the same starting side for a second straight week unless Graham Potter makes a debut for new left-back Pervis Estupinan.
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