Firmino and Jota injury latest as Kane ‘has to play’

We round up the key Fantasy Premier League (FPL) talking points of the day in FPL Daily, a weekday series that serves non-Premier League matchdays and days when we don’t bring you a team news/press conference round-up.

NO FIRMINO OR JOTA AGAINST LEEDS

Jurgen Klopp has confirmed there is “no chance” Roberto Firmino (£8.7m) Diogo Jota (£8.4m) will be fit for Wednesday’s Double Gameweek 26 clash against Leeds United. The duo missed Saturday’s 3-1 win over Norwich City with muscle and ankle injuries respectively, and will now be monitored ahead of Sunday’s Carabao Cup final.

“For tomorrow, no chance and for the final we will see. I don’t know at the moment. It will be easier for me to say no now but they are pushing. They’re not on the pitch for training which is not a good sign. We have to see what we can do with the boys in the next few days and then we’ll make a decision later in the week.” — Jurgen Klopp on Roberto Firmino and Diogo Jota

KANE “HAS TO PLAY”

In Tuesday’s pre-match press conference, Antonio Conte revealed Harry Kane (£12.2m) is fit to face Burnley, despite suffering a knock on the back in the win at Manchester City on Saturday. He then went on to suggest he would play even if he had one leg, highlighting his importance.

“Harry had a hit on his back but he has to play. Even if he has one leg, he has to play. He is good. Harry knows his importance to the team.” — Antonio Conte on Harry Kane

Elsewhere, Oliver Skipp (£4.4m) Japhet Tanganga (£4.2m) are still out, while Sergio Reguilon (£5.3m) remains a doubt.

Skipp and Tanganga, they are recovering. They’re not ready, they’re still not ready for the game against Burnley. Sergio Reguilon, at yesterday’s training session, he wasn’t present but we’ll see today. I think the situation is the same as the last game but we hope Skipp, Tanganga, Sergio recover very soon because we need all of them.” — Antonio Conte

Conte then went on to discuss squad rotation, including the forward options now at his disposal.

“Sonny and Kane, I always say that we are talking about two players that are very good, at an important level. My expectation when you have these two players are higher than other players. I think Sonny played a bit but then had a serious injury and to lose him for one month and a half wasn’t good for us. Also, because when you recover you need a bit of time to be fit, to have good form. Now he’s fit, he’s an important player for us.

There’s a good connection between him and Harry but also don’t forget that Lucas Moura is an important player and now we have Dejan, Deki Kulusevski. He is young but he’s ready for this league. You have seen in a tough game that he can give us a lot this season. Then there is also Steven Bergwijn. He had a little problem before the game against Manchester City in his calf and now he has recovered. We have many games ahead and we will need all these players.” — Antonio Conte

BIELSA ON LEEDS’ DEFENSIVE PERFORMANCES

Leeds United will once again be without key trio Liam Cooper (£4.4m), Kalvin Phillips (£4.7m) Patrick Bamford (£7.7m) at Anfield on Wednesday, plus Robin Koch (£4.3m), who suffered a blow to the head after a collision against Manchester United.

Marcelo Bielsa also touched on his team’s recent defensive performances, which has seen them concede 30 goals in their last 10 Premier League matches.

“I did not say the defense needed to improve, I said the defensive system needed to improve. The consistency the players in midfield offer allows us to strengthen the defensive system. The characteristics of the players in the midfield give it a more defensive or offensive profile. I said all of this to explain because we have compeded 50 goals, second most conceded in the league. I have to account for this because I am responsible.

I wanted to explain in the game against Manchester United we did not have Phillips, Koch or Pascal (Struijk). Three players who take on the role of defensive players to solidify them. We don’t resolve that with bringings in. If not, we would have four players for that position. Imagine being able to count on all three for that position. It’s a privilege. At the same time, occasional situations like this are presented. Strangely, the fourth player in that role is the best player of the team in the second half, Forshaw.

Analysing the last game, we created eight chances at goal and the opponent created eight chances at goal as well. They managed to score double the goals we did. When I analyze the defensive behaviour, I refer to the structure I generate. After you have to analyze why? What are the real reasons and how to avoid this from happening? That’s my function and when you have played these games and these goals the conclusions are clear.” Marcelo Bielsa

NO NEW INJURY CONCERNS FOR PALACE

Patrick Viera has provided a fresh injury update ahead of Crystal Palace’s visit to Watford on Wednesday, confirming full-backs Joel Ward (£4.5m) Nathan Ferguson (£4.5m) remain out.

Notably, there was no mention of Vicente Guaita (£4.6m), who was withdrawn from action at half-time against Chelsea with a slight injury at the back of his knee. However, his manager did say the rest of his squad had been training, which is encouraging for his owners.

“We know that Nathan Ferguson and Joel Ward will not be part of the game tomorrow. The others all trained this morning.” — Patrick Vieira

Conor Gallagher (£6.2m), meanwhile, comes back into contention after missing Saturday’s game against parent club Chelsea.

CAVANI TO MISS ATLETICO TIE

Edinson Cavani (£8.4m) will be absent again for Manchester United’s UEFA Champions League last-16 first leg against Atletico Madrid. The Uruguayan forward has missed the last three games with a groin injury and also had a stomach problem prior to Sunday’s win at Leeds.

“Edinson (Cavani) will not be part of the group. He has not been training for the last couple of weeks. He has a problem with his groin. As long as he doesn’t feel able to sprint, it doesn’t make sense to push him.” — Ralf Rangnick


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