In amongst the chaos of his latest infamous suspension and the summer-long transfer saga it was easy to forget just how good a footballer Luis Suarez is. Last Sunday we were given a timely reminder.
The return of everyone’s favourite Uruguayan – this may be an exaggeration – to Premier League action couldn’t have come at a better time for Liverpool or a worse one for Sunderland, and after his brace against the Black Cats on Sunday the Reds will now be looking to Suarez (£11.0m) to fire in a winnable looking home clash against Crystal Palace this weekend.
Following a slip-up the last time they were on home soil when they lost to Southampton, Liverpool and boss Brendan Rodgers will know that they can’t afford to drop any more Anfield points in the early stages of the season if they want to keep pace with the boys at the top.
In recent weeks, Rodgers has unveiled a new 3-4-1-2 formation which promises to give Fantasy bosses plenty to think about.
The setup is designed to get the most out of both Suarez and five-goal forward Daniel Sturridge (£9.7m), but it is also set to see plenty of Liverpool’s defenders such as Kolo Toure (£5.0m) and Mamadou Sakho (£5.5m) get minutes on the pitch, with Jose Enrique (£6.2m) certain to get forward from left wing-back and Victor Moses (£6.3m) likely to get into attacking positions in the continued absence of Philippe Coutinho (£8.6m) through injury.
All of which makes Liverpool an interesting prospect for Fantasy bosses at the moment, but they are by far the only one ahead of a weekend which promises much.
For Arsenal, the only club currently above the Reds in the league table, every weekend is one to look forward to at the moment.
The top of the table Gunners go to West Brom on Sunday afternoon chasing a sixth straight Premier League victory, and they’ll go there with the likes of Mesut Ozil (£10.5m) and Aaron Ramsey (£6.4m) in the sort of form which has seen them amass huge ownership percentages in the Fantasy game.
At The Hawthorns they’ll be looking to load the bullets for the in-form Olivier Giroud (£9.4m).
The Frenchman scored his first Premier League goal on this weekend last season, and he’s come a long way since then.
West Brom’s superb win at Old Trafford showed that they’ll be no pushovers, but the form that the Gunners are in makes them impossible to ignore here, and Giroud and company can bring Steve Clarke’s men back down to earth.
Elsewhere, a suspension to Fernando Torres (£8.4m) means that Samuel Eto’o (£8.9m) could start Chelsea’s trip to Norwich, whilst Robin van Persie (£14.0m) is set to return for Manchester United at Sunderland just as there is another doubt over the fitness of Wayne Rooney (£10.9m).
Manchester City’s clash with Everton is a high quality start to the weekend, and given the Merseysiders’ fine record of only having lost on one of their last six trips to the Etihad, it could pay to trust the likes of Romelu Lukaku (£7.6m) and Ross Barkley (£5.3m) to impress again for the visitors following their fine performances in the Monday night win over Newcastle.
The Geordies go to Cardiff this weekend, and the hosts will be looking to build on the fine win they earned at Fulham last Saturday through a late winner from Jordon Mutch (£4.4m).
However, the real midfield influence for the Welsh side comes from Peter Whittingham (£5.1m), who has played every minute of every league game this season and has registered a goal and two assists.
He’ll be looked to by the Bluebirds this weekend and could be a good addition to your side too, particularly if you need a replacement for Hull’s impressive three-goal midfielder Robbie Brady (£5.3m), who will be out of action for the next month following a hernia operation.