GW37 Preview: Manchester United and City play twice!
UPDATE Friday 2nd May: Wayne Rooney is now a potential injury doubt for Manchester United’s game against Sunderland.
In his Press conference at 10am this morning, manager Ryan Giggs has said Rooney will be assessed over the next 24 hours before a final decision is made.
Whether or not Ryan Giggs’ tenure in charge of Manchester United stretches beyond these few weeks remains to be seen, but the Welshman could hardly have wished for a better start to his managerial career than the one he got last weekend.
All thoughts of David Moyes were banished at Old Trafford as United strolled to a 4-0 victory over a troubled Norwich City, with smiles returning to faces which has only seen scowls for the vast majority of this season.
Key to those smiles was Wayne Rooney (£11.7m), who returned to form with two goals as his side blew their relegation-threatened visitors away.
Both Rooney and United will have the chance to keep the goals flowing when they entertain both Sunderland and Hull City in the next week, with all three clubs making up half of the sides who face Double Gameweeks in this penultimate week of the Fantasy Premier League season.
Of the six, United have surely been dealt the best hand with two home matches against a side struggling near the bottom of the table then a mid-table Hull outfit who are now just hanging around for the FA Cup final.
Either one or both of those matches seem certain to feature goals for Rooney, whilst some of United’s other attacking talents should also be eyed. Juan Mata (£9.7m) may have only come off the bench last weekend but he scored twice, whilst despite being in and out of the team for the vast majority of his career in England, Shinji Kagawa (£7.1m) has now started five of the last six matches, and all of the last four.
Further back in the team, there is the potential for some more points from Giggs’ men too.
Selecting United defenders has never been a task for the faint-hearted, but the one man you can usually rely on in the side is Patrice Evra (£6.5m), with the Frenchman no doubt keen to put in some good performances at the end of what could be his final season at Old Trafford.
The left-back is ageing and might not be the player he once was, but as United double up this week he could provide valuable points.
Elsewhere, the other side of in Manchester also face two matches this week, with theirs of course being far more important.
With Liverpool’s loss at home to Chelsea opening up the title race once more, City know that only perfection will be needed from here.
They face a huge clash at Everton on Saturday before the slightly gentler task of hosting Aston Villa, and you can be sure that Yaya Toure (£10.3m) will be fit and firing for both of them.
Any concerns over Toure’s potential injury were dispelled with that wonderful lung-bursting run and finish in the win at Crystal Palace, and his influence will be crucial as City go into two matches in which they simply cannot drop points.
Sergio Aguero (£12.7m) will also be key of course, but it has been Edin Dzeko (£7.1m) who has been in the greater form recently and he’ll also be a threat.
Of the other sides facing two matches this week, some interesting options leap out.
Having drawn at City and won at Chelsea, Sunderland surely won’t feel too overawed heading to Manchester United, and if you don’t believe that Rooney, Evra and co are the men to back there then either Fabio Borini (£6.2m) and Connor Wickham (£4.6m) could be useful, whilst Hull’s front two of Shane Long (£5.5m) and Nikica Jelavic (£6.5m) are another pair who need to be respected.
Back in the land of those that only play once this week, Swansea’s Wilfried Bony (£7.3m) has been in inspired form of late and will look to be so again as the Swans host Southampton, whilst Eden Hazard (£10.3m) could return to Premier League action for Chelsea against Norwich.