Gameweek 7 team news: Bamford out, Raphinha fit, James has “a good chance”

Patrick Bamford (ankle) and Luke Ayling (knee) will miss Leeds United’s Gameweek 7 clash with Watford but Raphinha (hip) has been passed fit, as reported by their manager.

Marcelo Bielsa was one of six Premier League head coaches to face the media on Thursday, with the other 14 top-flight bosses set to provide us with injury updates on Friday – be it in the form of a standard pre-match press conference or from embargoed quotes given after tonight’s Europa League and Conference League ties.

We did get a few nuggets of team news from elsewhere on Thursday, including Gareth Southgate’s squad announcement for England’s forthcoming World Cup qualifiers.

We’ll round up the key updates from today’s virtual conference calls so far in the article below. Don’t forget to keep checking our Predicted Line-ups page and Injuries and Bans tab, which will be gradually updated between now and Saturday’s Fantasy Premier League (FPL) deadline.


Leeds will not only have Raphinha available for selection against the Hornets but centre-halves Diego Llorente and Pascal Struijk, too. The pair are returning from injury and suspension respectively.

“Raphinha is available, Bamford isn’t. And another player who was injured but who is [now] available is Llorente.” – Marcelo Bielsa

Bielsa offered us an update on Bamford’s recovery, which hinted that he would be nearing a return after the October international break given that the striker has sustained his ankle problem at Newcastle in mid-September.

“Bamford has an ankle injury that is surely going to take him a few more weeks to resolve, it hasn’t been a simple injury. It will likely take him from the period in which he was injured to when he returns, around a month.” – Marcelo Bielsa

Bamford himself had been discussing his injury on Leeds’ official podcast this week.

“It’s been about 10 days now, since I did it. In that 10 days, I’ve done very little. It’s not ready to run on yet. I imagine within the next 10 days, then I’ll be able to run.

“Once I can start running and changing direction normally, then back in with the team, probably a week.” – Patrick Bamford

Robin Koch (pelvis) and Luke Ayling (knee) are also set to remain out, joining Adam Forshaw (thigh) on the sidelines.

“Ayling has a problem in his knee that is going to require a simple surgical intervention. That will also require some time after this procedure is done.

Koch has a problem in his pubis which is a very rebellious injury. There is no prognostic for when he will be recovered because it can last a short period of time or a long period of time. That’s subject to his evolution.” – Marcelo Bielsa


Graham Potter said that Yves Bissouma (knee) is “making progress” ahead of the clash with Arsenal, adding that a decision on his involvement will be made later in the week.

Danny Welbeck is seeing a specialist on his hamstring issue, while Steven Alzate (ankle), Adam Webster (hamstring) and Enock Mwepu (groin) are all out.


Matej Vydra (back) and Jay Rodriguez (hamstring) could recover for the visit of Norwich City but Maxwell Cornet (hamstring) looks set to sit Gameweek 7 out.

“With Vyds, I think he has got a strong chance of being with us and available. I don’t think Maxwel will be, he’s going well but it will probably be too quick a turnaround. It’s probably too risky.

“Jay Rodriguez is back on the grass with the physio so he has got of chance of being involved on Saturday.” – Sean Dyche

Connor Roberts (match fitness/groin) and Dale Stephens (ankle) remain unavailable but Kevin Long is nearing a return to fitness after recovering from a long-term ankle issue.


Except for Granit Xhaka, who was earlier this week ruled out for three months with a knee problem, the Gunners reported on Thursday that “all other players in the men’s first-team squad are currently fit and available for selection.”


The Hornets confirmed on Thursday that Peter Etebo tore a quad muscle in Gameweek 6 and is expected to be out for four to five months.

In better news, Tom Cleverley (concussion) and Daniel Bachmann (knee) are available for the Leeds game after returning to training.


Longer-term injury victim Jack Stephens (knee) is the only confirmed absentee for Southampton’s trip to Chelsea.

“Jack Stephens is still out. The rest, not so big issues. One or two players a little bit struggling. Yesterday we had everyone on the pitch.” – Ralph Hasenhuttl

Stuart Armstrong (calf) has rejoined training this week and will be assessed ahead of the clash at Stamford Bridge:

“Since this week, he’s training with the team. We will have a look how he is, if he’s part of the squad on the weekend, then we will decide what we want to do with him. He was 42 days out, I think.” – Ralph Hasenhuttl

Theo Walcott and Will Smallbone had previously returned to the training ground earlier in September but have yet to make a playing comeback after their injury-enforced absences.


We’ll hear from Thomas Tuchel and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer on Friday for a final pre-Gameweek 7 update but three of their players were namedropped by Gareth Southgate upon being selected in England’s squad for the upcoming October internationals.

Reece James (ankle), Mason Mount (unspecified injury) and Luke Shaw (unspecified injury) were all called up by Southgate, who suggested all three had a chance of featuring for their clubs this weekend – curiously saying that Shaw was ill, rather than injured as had been intimated by Manchester United.

“Our understanding is that Mason and Reece have a good chance for the weekend, we’ll have to track that. I think Luke’s was more of an illness.” Gareth Southgate

Harry Maguire (calf) and Trent Alexander-Arnold (thigh) weren’t included in England’s squad, having both effectively been ruled out of Gameweek 7 by their club managers earlier in the week.

Dean Smith will face the media on Friday but he gave a bonus team news update on Morgan Sanson (hamstring) and Leon Bailey (thigh) to Villa TV.

“They’re recovering well, they’ve both had muscle strains – only minimal muscle strains but we have to make sure they’re right. We’re hopeful that they’ll be back sooner rather than later.” – Dean Smith

Something to watch out for tonight in the Europa League is the involvement of Vladimir Coufal, who David Moyes reported was a minor doubt for the clash with Rapid Vienna.

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