As the English Premier League gets set to kickoff after an entertaining (but always annoying) interruption for international play, Hurricane Florence is lashing the southeast coast of the United States. All of us here at NMA extend well-wishes to our readers affected by this storm.
This weekend’s forecast for England, though, promises near-perfect conditions for playing football. Let’s review the team news you need to know to set your fantasy squads for Game Week 5.
Alert: This is the early game for the scoring period, so all you managers in fantasy formats with deadlines within minutes of kickoff have a chance to read confirmed starting-XI lineups for these two star-filled teams. Stay tuned to this site down to the wire for the panic-filled Q&A!
Erik Lamela’s recovery from a hamstring injury continues, and he may be available to Mauricio Pochettino this weekend. But the Argentinian gaffer will be without Hugo Lloris, Moussa Sissoko and Dele Alli. Lloris is unavailable due to a thigh injury, while Sissoko and Alli are dealing with hamstring issues. Son Heung-Min has rejoined the squad after winning gold for South Korea in the Asian Games, but he played 8 games in 26 days during that tournament. With Lucas Moura in fine form, it seems likely that Poch will give Son a breather this weekend.
Simon Mignolet has returned to fitness, but Dejan Lovren will miss out with a pelvic issue, and Adam Lallana will not be ready either. Alex Oxalade-Chamberlain is a long-term absentee with a serious knee injury.
Junior Stanislas remains unavailable with a long-term knee injury, and Charlie Daniels apparently has not returned to training since picking up a “niggle” on international duty (although Diego Rico may have displaced him anyway.) Tomorrow is probably too soon for Marc Pugh, as he continues to nurse a hamstring problem. Ryan Fraser withdrew from the Scotland squad after picking up a knock in training and is now a doubt to face Leicester.
Claude Puel has no new injury concerns in his squad, and Soyuncu is now “fit and ready.” Matty James remains out-of-action with an Achilles injury.
Cesc Fabregas is struggling with a knee injury, and Maurizio Sarri has ruled out a start for him, although he could make the bench. Ruben Loftus-Cheek also picked up an injury on international duty and is a doubt to make the squad. David Zappacosta and Emerson Palmieri are ill.
Two weeks ago Josh Murphy missed Cardiff’s match against Arsenal with a knock, but he has returned to training and could be ready to feature tomorrow.
Ben Hamer and Ramadan Sobhi will both miss out with knee injuries, and Jonathan Hogg will serve the final match of his three-game suspension.
Wilifried Zaha missed Game Week 4 with a groin injury, but he has now returned to training and is “in contention” to play tomorrow. James Tomkins and Pape Souré could also return from injury. But Christian Benteke picked up a knee problem on international duty, so he’ll join Scott Dann and Connor Wickham on the sidelines. Roy Hodgson has confirmed that Aaron Wan-Bissaka is healthy, and that Max Meyer and Cheik Kouyate are now fit to start.
Raheem Sterling was Pep Guardiola’s only new injury development. A back injury forced the forward to withdraw from the England squad, but he has been cleared fit for the weekend.
Tim Ream, Tom Cairney, and Neeskens Kebano all remain sidelined for Slavisa Jokanovic.
Newcastle vs Arsenal
Rafa Benitez has no new injury concerns this weekend. Florian Lejeune and Javier Manquillo remain unavailable, but Matt Ritchie, and Jonjo Shelvey have been cleared fit.
Carl Jenkinson, Sead Kolasinac, Laurent Koscielny, and Ainsley Maitland-Niles all remain out. Lucas Torreira sustained a knock on international duty, but has since been spotted training with Arsenal. Alex Iwobi has recovered from illness and has been training with the team as well.
Miguel Britos could be ready to make the squad list after sustaining a knock several weeks ago. Gerard Deulofeu has returned to training, but tomorrow comes to soon for him to expect to see any action. Tom Cleverley remains absent as he recovers from a serious Achilles injury, and his fantasy prospects may be extinguished.
Marcus Rashford will serve the first game of his three-match ban for head-butting Phil Bardsley. Marouane Fellaini (back) and Luke Shaw (head) are doubts. Shaw has cleared the concussion protocol but Jose Mourinho remains unsure whether he will play him. Marcos Rojo and Diogo Dalot have returned to training but need to build match fitness before they can make a squad sheet.
Wolves vs Burnley
Raúl Jiménez missed Mexico’s defeat at Team USA on Tuesday after picking up a muscle injury against Uruguay. He is a slight doubt for the Burnley match. Ivan Cavaleiro remains absent with a persistent back issue.
Stephen Ward picked up a knock while on duty with Ireland but has been passed fit. Johann Berg Gudmundsson is also clear to play. Robbie Brady, Stephen Defour, Nick Pope, and Ben Gibson all remain sidelined. Keeper Tom Heaton is 100% healthy, so only tin-foil hat conspiracy theorists can explain why Arrrggh Joe Hart Arrrggh could continue to start in goal.
Everton vs West Ham
Marco Silva’s injury headaches only got worse over the international break. Seamus Coleman suffered a possible stress fracture in his foot while on international duty and could be out for a couple weeks. André Gomez, Phil Jagielka, Michael Keane, James McCarthy, Idrissa Gueye and Yerry Mina are all set to miss through injury, and Richarlison will serve the final game of his 3-match suspension. On a positive note, Theo Walcott is in contention to return after a rib injury, and Bernard and Dominic Calvert-Lewin have been passed fit.
Javier Hernandez has been ill for over a week and will not feature this weekend, and Jack Wishere has an ankle injury that will keep him sidelined. Andy Carroll, Manuel Lanzini, and Winston Reid remain long-term absentees.
Charlie Austin (hamstring) and Shane Long (toe) have not trained this week, but Mark Hughes is confident they’ll be in contention for Monday.
José Izquierdo and Florin Andone continue to build match fitness but probably will fall just short for Monday. Bruno (hamstring) has trained all week and should be available for selection. Pascal Gross suffered an ankle injury in Game Week 4 and is a doubt.
In addition to injuries picked up during the break, keep in mind that many of the EPL’s international players could also be travel-fatigued after long transcontinental flights. Stay tuned to NMA for all the latest updates on injuries and other team news that could affect your fantasy squads! And as always, if you see any news near the deadline, please share in the comments.