Time is running out, and with only two gameweeks remaining, it’s now or never. Round 37 hands us another smattering of double fixtures, and if you get it right, you could still finish the season on a high. With no matches on Saturday, we are afforded the luxury of an extra 24 hours before we make those all-important selection decisions. Good on this penultimate weekend everyone!
Mikel Arteta said we would see “what options we have” when asked if he would appeal the red card given to Rob holding in the north London derby. However, the likelihood of the decision being overturned is slim-to-none, and following an injury to Gabriel (hamstring), the Gunners are looking a little light in defense. Ben White will come into the side, but the situation is far from ideal with limited training following a hamstring strain. If Nuno Tavares also returns, Arsenal could be forced into a tactical switch: possibly in a 3-4-3.
Jacob Ramsey has been training with the group for the past few days, and he will be included in the matchday squad. “He’s looking good, looking strong, so that’s a big positive for us,” Steven Gerrard said. Ollie Watkins, forced off against Liverpool, has a chance of being involved if he can work normally in the final session. “He’s got a knock on his ankle. I don’t think it’s too serious; I’m told by the doctor he’ll be coming out tomorrow to try and train, so, all being well, he’ll be available.” Emi Buendia is fine despite picking up a knock on Wednesday. Kortney house and Leon Bailey still aren’t ready to return. “Everyone else is ready to go.”
Sergi Canos is available after missing the last four matches with a hamstring injury, but Ethan Pinnock has not recovered as hoped, and the defender will miss the game against Everton. Mathias’Zanka‘Jorgensen will not play again this season; Saman Ghoddos and Frank Onyeka (both ankle) have an outside chance of making the final game.
Brighton and Hove Albion
“Enock (Mwpeu) did a little bit with the group, but this weekend’s game is still a little bit too soon,” said Graham Potter. “We’re in the same position as we were against Manchester United in terms of [squad] selection.” Jeremy Sarmiento (hamstring) and JakubModer (ACL knee) remain out of contention. The Seagulls could be unchanged following an emphatic 4-0 win in game week thirty-six.
Interim boss Mike Jackson will leave selection decisions until the last moment with several players facing a late test. James Tarkowski (hamstring) is the biggest worry, while Jay Rodriguez has stepped up his recovery. Ben Mee is also outside running, but a place in the starting XI seems unlikely after more than two months out. “Matej Vydra has had an operation on his [anterior] cruciate [ligament]which went well. [He] played 60 minutes with a torn cruciate [against Watford]. How he’s done that, I don’t know. So for him, it’s about getting back.” Jack Cork is fine after picking up a knock last weekend.
The Blues have an FA Cup final against Liverpool to play before Leicester City arrive at Stamford Bridge. Thomas Tuchel hinted that Kai Havertz would start at Wembley, and that would see Romelu Lukaku deployed in the league. N’Golo Kante is pushing to be involved after rejoining the squad. “He tried [Thursday] in team training, hopefully without a reaction. It was a reduced session, so it was not high-intensity.” The Chelsea boss also provided a surprise update on Mateo Kovacicwho was on the receiving end of a red card challenge from Daniel James at Elland Road. “The medical department gave the green light to try it. There is no new injury but heavy pain; it’s heavily swollen, so we’re hoping that maybe time is enough that he makes it.” Callum Hudson-Odoi and Ben Chilwell are out for the season.
Patrick Vieira confirmed James McArthur (calf) would miss the trip to Villa Park, but there were several notable omissions from the open section of Friday’s press conference. Jack Butland was a surprise starter in the absence of Vicente Guaita last weekend, and the status of the 35-year-old goalkeeper is unclear. An ankle injury threatened to end Marc Guéhi’s season prematurely, but imaging confirmed the setback was not as bad as first feared, and the defender remains hopeful of a return. Nathan Ferguson is targeting full training from next week. However, he won’t be considered for the first team, with Vieira confirming he wants him ready for pre-season.
Fabian Delph will not feature in GW37, and Frank Lampard is unsure whether the midfielder can recover to play before the end of the season. Allan is favorite to come in alongside Abdoulaye Doucouré. “Ben Godfrey is close; he could possibly be in the squad,” Frank Lampard confirmed. “Donny van de Beek is getting closer. I would like to think he could be involved on Sunday.” But if not, then Palace on Thursday is realistic. Michael Keane will deputize for Yerry Minawho is targeting the final day for a possible return.
Jesse Marsch said Jack Harrison “should” be in training on Saturday after taking a heavy knock against Chelsea that forced him off before half-time. Raphinha is fine and ready to go, but the availability of Patrick Bamford will not be decided until closer to kick-off. “It’s a little too early to tell. We’ll evaluate that over the next few days.” Daniel James and Luke Ayling will play no further part in this campaign due to suspension.
Wesley Fofana (calf) was a late withdrawal from the squad midweek, but the centre-back has recovered, and Brendan Rodgers reveals he will be with the traveling squad. Apart from the addition of the Frenchman, the Foxes will go to Watford with the “same squad” that faced Norwich.
The Reds have an FA Cup final against Chelsea to navigate before they return to league duty next Tuesday. as it currently stands, Fabinho is the only listed injury absentee after he tweaked his hamstring at Villa Park. The Brazilian may not play any further part in the domestic campaign, although he will “definitely” return in the Champions League later this month.
“They are in treatment. It’s two days,” Pep said when asked for a fitness update on Aymeric Laporte and Fernandinho. “I think until the day of the game; we will not be able to decide exactly the availability of the players.” With John Stones, Kyle Walker and Ruben Dias ruled out for the season, Nathan Ake is expected to start even though an ankle injury has prevented him from training fully in recent weeks. “[The situation] could be better, but I said we have to handle the absence. If there were many games, we’d be in big trouble, but for one or two games, they can do it. Concentration is higher if you play in different positions. Like we saw against Wolves, they can do it.”
Ryan Fraser (hamstring) is ahead of schedule, and the winger could make the squad on Monday night following a return to training. However, it has been over a month since the 28-year-old last featured, and he will be managed. Sean Longstaff is likely to retain his place in midfield after Eddie Howe revealed that Jonjo Shelvey suffered “quite a serious calf injury”. Joe Willock (knee) joins the skipper in the treatment room as he rests a tendon issue that will keep him sidelined until pre-season. Kieran Tripper and Callum Wilson are pushing for starts following minutes from the bench at The Etihad, but any decision on their involvement will be based on how they train ahead of the game. “My job is to make sure I’m doing what’s best for the team,” Howe said. “We’ve got to make sure they’re fit enough to last a long period.”
Adam Idah, Andrew Omobamidele, Kenny McLean, Ozan Kabakand Joshua Sargent are out for the season, and Dean Smith reveals the squad will be the same as midweek. The game comes too soon for Christoph Zimmermannand a thigh injury will keep Mathias Normann on the sidelines. Angus Gunn started in goal at the King Power Stadium, but Smith gave no indication on who would line up between the sticks on Sunday. “He needs to play football games. I said I rested Tim (Krul). I want players fighting for positions, and he has done that.” The Canaries boss confirms decisions on his starting XI would be made with one eye on next season.
The Saints don’t play until Tuesday, so Ralph Hasenhüttl will not be having his pre-match media briefing until after the FPL deadline. Southampton should be close to full strength in terms of personnel, with long-term absentee Tino Livramento, who underwent reconstructive knee surgery this week, being the only current injury concern.
We already know that Matt Doherty, Japhet Tanganga and Oliver Skipp have been ruled out of the remaining fixtures. At the same time, there are serious doubts over the availability of Sergio Reguilon due to a persistent groin complaint. Antonio Conte said there are no guarantees that Cristian Romero will recover from the hip injury he picked up at Anfield that prevented him from playing in the north London derby. Davinson Sanchez is on standby to deputise again after his first league start in three months.
João Pedro will be assessed ahead of the Hornets’ final home game after picking up a knock during the goalless draw with Everton. Hassane Kamara is in contention, having served a one-match suspension, and Nicolas Nkoulou (groin) has returned to training and could be available. Kiko Femenia and Joshua King are still suffering from illness, while Tom Cleverley (ribs) Emmanuel Dennis, Juraj Kucka, Imrân Louza and Ismaïla Sarr (all knee) remain sidelined. This weekend will also come too soon for Cucho Hernandez.
West Ham United
David Moyes says he is looking forward to the game with Manchester City after a full week of work on the training pitches. “It’s a tough game against a good team, but hopefully, we’ll be ready to go come Sunday.” Said…