A mixed week for Manchester United got better around 87 minutes into their Manchester derby loss on Sunday, and they’ve got a man in a headband to thank for it.
Wayne Rooney (£10.7m) has returned to form, with four goals in four games in all competitions since he returned from his head injury, a run which includes the fine free-kick he scored in the dying moments of that miserable 4-1 defeat to Manchester City.
The forward started and captained United in Wednesday night’s League Cup victory over Liverpool, in which he set up the solitary goal for Javier Hernandez. That didn’t really mean anything for your Fantasy Premier League team, but this weekend things could be very different.
United entertain West Brom at Old Trafford on Saturday afternoon, and with Robin van Persie (£14.0m) rated as doubtful after missing those City and Liverpool games, Rooney could be the main man in a contest that the hosts will expect nothing less than a win from.
David Moyes may have struggled somewhat with the size of the United job so far, but the visit of the Baggies should give him the perfect opportunity for three points, and Rooney is likely to be at the centre of the hunt for them.
West Brom may have bounced back from their poor start to the league season with the 3-0 win over troubled Sunderland last weekend, but visiting Old Trafford is a different matter entirely.
They’ve not won there for 35 years, whilst Rooney has scored four in his last three appearances against the Baggies. Backing him to keep up the run this weekend could secure some much-needed points for your team following a tough few weeks.
Those weeks will have been made easier had you been including Arsenal’s early season goal-getter Aaron Ramsey (£6.2m) in your team, and the Welshman will be difficult to ignore again as the Gunners go to Swansea fresh from Mesut Ozil’s (£10.4m) fine display in last weekend’s win over Stoke.
Elsewhere, eyes are inevitably drawn to the weekend’s heavyweight clash between Tottenham and Chelsea.
A first ever Premier League goal in the win over Fulham last weekend isn’t enough to make us start recommending John Obi Mikel (£4.4.m) for your team, but his fellow goalscorer in that victory at Stamford Bridge is certainly worth consideration.
Oscar (£8.7m) is cheaper than teammates Eden Hazard (£9.2m) and Juan Mata (£9.7m), but the Brazilian has outperformed both in the Fantasy stakes so far this season.
Having started four of Chelsea’s five league games, Oscar has scored two goals and picked up the full amount of bonus points in two matches.
Chelsea traditionally have a good record at Spurs, and with Jose Mourinho desperate to get one over on his former protégé Andre Villas-Boas, then backing an Oscar-orchestrated away win could be the way to go.
Manchester City know the way to goal at the moment, and they’ll be looking to continue that against a Christian Benteke-less Aston Villa at Villa Park.
The loss of the Belgian significantly increases City’s chances of keeping a clean sheet on Saturday afternoon, but going forward they look as though they’ll pack a punch as well, with Sergio Aguero (£11.0m), Yaya Toure (£9.1m) and Samir Nasri (£8.0m) all hitting goalscoring form.
They could be joined in that bracket by Liverpool’s Luis Suarez (£10.9m) as the Uruguayan makes his return to league action at managerless Sunderland on Sunday afternoon.
As always with Suarez you never know quite what to expect, but three goals in his two matches against the Black Cats last season suggest that they are opponents he likes facing, and after looking fairly sharp in the League Cup in midweek he could return to top form at the wrong time for the Wearsiders, but the right time for you.