Late Fitness Check | Gameweek Eleven

·10 min read



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Once again, we have an early FPL deadline due to the World Cup qualifiers, and fantasy managers' will be hoping to go into this enforced break on a high after last weekends' disaster. The 42-point average ranks as the second-lowest this season.

We've only heard from five clubs' so far, while those players on Europa League duty on Thursday will need to be fully assessed post-match. Keep following throughout, and I will include any significant team news updates as they happen.

Arsenal

Kieran Tierney began training with the team again on Thursday, although Mikel Arteta may look to continue with Nuno Tavares at left-back after the Gunners made it three wins on the spin with an excellent victory at Leicester. Granit Xhaka is said to be targeting a return around Christmas.

Aston Villa

The ankle injury suffered by Jacob Ramsey against West Ham is not as severe as initially thought, and the young midfielder is back in the reckoning. "He trained yesterday," Dean Smith told reporters on Thursday. "It wasn't as bad an ankle sprain as we thought. He had a full training session yesterday, so he's available for selection." Ezri Konsa begins a one-match ban, and Douglas Luiz remains out due to a hamstring problem. There is no old boy's reunion for Danny Ings, who is still in isolation. "Morgan Sanson and Jaden Philogene-Bidace are back training with us." Tyrone Mings should be handed a recall following his surprise omission from the XI last time out. "It's always a big call when you're changing the team anyway," said Smith. "I felt it was the right decision at the time to go and win a football match. He was disappointed, of course, but he took it as the person he is, and he will be looking to get his form on track. There's been a reaction from all the players."

Brentford

Kristoffer Ajer may not play again until the new year after he re-injured his hamstring in the Carabao Cup. Yoane Wissa (ankle) has not responded as hoped, and he won't be back until after the break. Shandon Baptiste (shoulder) is also sidelined, but if Bryan Mbeumo can come through the final session OK, the forward is in contention to start. Álvaro Fernández will continue to deputise for David Raya (PCL knee), who is ruled out until 2022.

Brighton and Hove Albion

Aaron Connolly will return to the matchday squad after recovering from a minor heel issue that kept him out of GW10, but Steven Alzate (ankle) and Danny Welbeck (hamstring) remain out long-term. Dan Burn has not been ruled out just yet after imaging revealed the defender did not suffer any serious damage following an awkward landing ten days ago. Still, Graham Potter may err on the side of caution given his recent injury problems. Adam Webster and Tariq Lamptey can be called upon if required, although the Seagulls may stick with the same side that performed well during the 2-2 draw at Anfield.

Burnley

Sean Dyche has close to an entire squad at his disposal, and confidence in the Clarets camp will be high after securing their first win of the season. Dale Stephens (ankle) has rejoined the group, having undergone surgery in the summer, and a late decision will be taken on Aaron Lennon, who has been ill this week.

Chelsea

Thomas Tuchel will be hoping to call upon Mason Mount (illness), who has missed the last two. Timo Werner, Romelu Lukaku, and Mateo Kovacic are all targeting a return after the international break. Christian Pulisic made his long-awaited comeback in the Champions League midweek, but after missing the previous two months with an ankle injury, a start on Saturday is improbable.

Crystal Palace

Eberechi Eze stepped up his recovery from a ruptured Achilles with an hour-long run out for the U23s on Monday, and the winger will continue to build minutes before being considered for the first team. Will Hughes (back) is pushing for a return to the squad, and Nathan Ferguson is the only other player listed in the treatment room.

Everton

Rafa Benitez will be hoping Lucas Digne can recover from the hamstring niggle that kept him out of the defeat at Molineux on Monday. The left-back was not risked after complaining of discomfort, although he could play on Sunday if he trains normally. The game comes too soon for Yerry Mina, Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Abdoulaye Doucouré, while the status of André Gomes remains unclear. Fabian Delph is back in contention following 45-minutes from the bench against Wolves.

Leeds United

Luke Ayling, Patrick Bamford, and Robin Koch have all spent a significant spell out this term, and even if they manage to train ahead of the game, none are considered Marcelo Bielsa fit. Júnior Firpo is the only player with a realistic chance of being involved following his return for the development side last Friday. Leeds will be looking to build on the 2-1 win at Norwich and move away from the relegation zone.

Leicester City

This week, a sickness bug swept through the Foxes camp, but Brendan Rodgers is confident that Harvey Barnes and James Maddison can recover despite the pair missing out in the Europa League. Ricardo Pereira (muscle) was also absent from the squad that faced Spartak Moscow, although again, the problem is not thought to be serious, and Sunday is realistic for a return. Marc Albrighton will not recover in time, and he will be given an additional two weeks over the break to overcome the injury he picked up in Moscow. James Justin (ACL knee) is near to a return after nine months out.

Liverpool

Roberto Firmino limped off during the Champions League tie with Atletico Madrid on Wednesday, and having already missed around a month with a hamstring strain earlier in the season; he now looks set for another spell out. At least that should ensure game time for Diogo Jota, who always seems a rotation risk. Ibrahima Konaté looks to be the preferred partner of Virgil Van Dijk in the Premier League after starting the last two – Joel Matip was paired with the Dutchman midweek after Joe Gomez picked up a calf injury. Fabinho should return in midfield while Thiago Alcántara is back to bolster numbers with James Milner, Naby Keita and Harvey Elliott all sidelined.

Manchester City

Kyle Walker needs to have a foot injury assessed, but if he fails to recover, then Oleksandr Zinchenko could come in at left-back with Joao Cancelo switching flanks. City will also be forced into a change at centre-back as Aymeric Laporte is banned. John Stones is favourite, although Nathan Ake offers Pep another option.

Manchester United

United have been hit by another setback to French defender Raphael Varane who has been ruled out for around a month after suffering a hamstring strain in Italy on Tuesday. The injury could force Solskjaer into a tactical switch – ditching his current three central defenders – if Victor Lindelof fails to recover from the knock he picked up in training. Thankfully, it isn't long-term, and he will feature for Sweden, but whether he can be ready for Sunday remains to be seen. Paul Pogba is the only other known absentee following his dismissal against Liverpool – he serves the second game of his ban.

Newcastle United

Martin Dúbravka returned to the matchday squad in GW10, and if Graeme Jones wants to freshen his side, he could replace Karl Darlow. The temporary boss may also be tempted to recall Joe Willock despite an ongoing toe issue and Miguel Almirón, having seen his side crumble to Chelsea in the second half last weekend. Jonjo Shelvey could also add another dimension to the United attack who are still searching for their first three points.

Norwich City

Time is already running out for the Canaries, and Daniel Farke needs a response from his players soon if they harbour any hope of surviving this season. Billy Gilmour continues to be overlooked, and his time at Carrow Road may end in January, while another loanee, Brandon Williams, also finds himself of the fringes of the starting XI. Todd Cantwell needs to prove his fitness before being considered. Ben Gibson returns after his ban, but Christoph Zimmerman and Sam Byram remain out.

Southampton

Armando Broja is back, and "he is ready for the weekend", according to Ralph Hasenhüttl. The Chelsea loanee was in fine form before picking up an ankle problem, but he may struggle to displace Adam Armstrong or Che Adams after the Saints won last time out. "The rest are also fit (which includes Moussa Djenepo), except for Jack Stephens - so I have nearly a full squad available." Tino Livramento was singled out for praise following an excellent start to the campaign that saw him nominated for Player of the Month: "He's a very, very grown-up 18-year-old, it's unbelievable at that age to be that serious for his game and for his work on the pitch."

Tottenham Hotspur

Antonio Conte took charge for the first time on Thursday evening in the Europa Conference, and the Italian went strong, making just one change to the side that lost to Manchester United – Giovani Lo Celso made way for Sergio Reguilón. Spurs took a commanding first-half lead (3-0) against Vitesse but almost threw all their hard work away after the visitors scored twice and Cristian Romero was dismissed. However, they managed to hold on for a narrow win. With a quick turnaround, it may be GW12 before we see the influence of the new manager.

Watford

Francisco Sierralta and Kiko Femenía should be close, but after several weeks out, Claudio Ranieri may decide against risking either player. Emmanuel Dennis returns after his ban, and the Nigerian is on standby for an instant recall following the passing of Juan Camilo Hernandez' father. There has been no official word from the club on Ken Sema; however, Sweden coach Janne Andersson confirms the midfielder has been forced to withdraw from the national team due to injury. "[It's] sad that Ken needs to cancel; I hope, of course, that he is back as soon as possible. He has been with us [before], so we know what qualities he has."

West Ham United

There was a heart in the mouth moment on Thursday when Michail Antonio was named in the West Ham side who were taking on Genk in the Europa League. Thankfully, the striker came through the encounter unscathed before being replaced after 58 minutes. David Moyes had referenced a "couple of knocks and niggles” ahead of the tie, but following the return of Alex Kral and Ryan Fredericks, the Hammers treatment room is now empty. Vladimir Coufal started his first game in over a month.

Wolverhampton Wanderers

Ait Nouri could retain his place even if Marcal (calf) is cleared following an impressive display against Everton. The French U21 international has proved himself an able deputy as Wolves continue their unbeaten run that stretches back to September. Adama Traoré has slipped down the pecking order, and it seems as if Trincao is the preferred option alongside Raúl Jiménez, with Hwang Hee-Chan on the opposite wing. Of those currently receiving treatment, none are expected to return this year.