Did you all enjoy that international break as much as Zlatan Ibrahimovic did? Thought not. Do you want us to get on with the real stuff again then? Thought so.
When we left the Premier League it had just been lit up by a second half showing from Javier Hernandez (£7.6m) at Villa Park, where his two goals and well angled volley off Ron Vlaar’s backside turned Manchester United’s 2-0 deficit into a 3-2 win in the manner which seems to be in United’s DNA.
Sir Alex Ferguson responded to the goals by promising Hernandez a start in Saturday evening’s clash with Norwich City at Carrow Road, and then almost immediately withdrew both Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie from their international squads with the kind of injuries that only midweek national service can bring out.
Key to Ferguson’s thinking may have been that of his four recognised forwards only Hernandez wasn’t scheduled to play in an international this week, and so with the ‘Little Pea’ not shooting off to Mexico he’s had a full week of training and setting his sights on Norwich’s less than convincing defence.
One or both of Rooney (£11.8m) and Van Persie (£13.7m and still rising) are almost certain to play on Saturday, but perhaps not from the start as Ferguson entrusts his frequent super-sub with what would be only a second Premier League start of the season. Hernandez might not be a long term option for your team but if you need a forward for this weekend alone then there aren’t many better choices, although there is Luis Suarez (£10.0m).
Now elevated to the status of one of only five players in Fantasy Premier League who’ll cost you a double-figured amount of millions to purchase – Rooney, Van Persie, Sergio Aguero and Eden Hazard before you ask – there is a compelling argument for Suarez being the most watchable player in the English game right now.
Another goal at Chelsea last weekend made it three in his last three and eight league strikes this season for the Uruguayan, who shares top spot the Premier League’s scorers’ chart alongside Van Persie but will be looking to go out on his own when Wigan come to Anfield on Saturday.
You’ll have read elsewhere and witnessed for yourselves just how much Suarez carries the Liverpool attack – although Raheem Sterling (£5.3m) continues to prove popular after our early nod in his direction – but the forward does come with a cautionary tale, with his four bookings so far this season leaving him just one yellow card away from a one-match suspension. He’ll be fit and available for Wigan though and looks a good bet to find the net.
He’s wanted in Manchester if you believe certain stories, but for now Roberto Mancini will have to make do with just selecting from Aguero (£11.0m), Carlos Tevez (£9.5m), Edin Dzeko (£7.5m) and Mario Balotelli (£8.6m) – it’s a tough life – and once again internationals are likely to play their part for the visit of Aston Villa to the Etihad Stadium.
Aguero played for Argentina in Riyadh on Wednesday whilst Tevez didn’t, and with Dzeko and Balotelli also in midweek action then it could pay to bank on Tevez to be the hero against the Villains.
Elsewhere on a Gameweek which could generate a lot of points, the North London derby promises goals and a battle between Santi Cazorla (£9.4m) and Gareth Bale (£9.7m). Spurs defender Steven Caulker (£4.8m) has also shown that he’s got an eye for the net in the past week and could be a good long-term option.
Chelsea’s trip to West Brom is far from simple and with Hazard (£10.2m), Juan Mata (£9.5m) and Oscar (£7.8m) all looking somewhat sluggish against Liverpool last week they could struggle, whilst Everton’s Marouane Fellaini (£7.6m) and Nikica Jelavic (£8.5m) will hope to team up again at Reading.
The meeting of the division’s bottom two at Loftus Road might not look to have many points on offer, but QPR’s Junior Hoilett (£5.8m) is likely to be central to everything the home side do against leaky Southampton, and the presence of our third key player to watch this Gameweek could benefit both Rangers and you.