Fantasy Football: Rooney, Moses and more of this weekend’s best picks

Fantasy Football: The Sport Review tips the best transfers to make ahead of this weekend's Premier League games

Harry Reardon
By Harry Reardon

Goalkeepers

Ben Foster (£4.5m) Since the gung-ho five-star show against Manchester United, Leicester City have quietly stopped scoring, with three blanks in their last four games. West Brom, meanwhile, are a bit hit and miss at the back, but Ben Foster has three clean sheets in eight matches, and is worth a punt on keeping out the Foxes and Newcastle this weekend and next. Just remember to whip him out again before the Baggies face Chelsea and Arsenal in a few weeks’ time.

Defenders

Per Mertesacker (£6m) Arsenal against Burnley, we fear, could be quite horrible. Burnley have settled into the scrappy-and-giving-it-110%-but-ultimately-just-a-little-bit-rubbish-in-pretty-much-all-areas newly promoted team template, while Arsenal have fallen back into their own routine of making extremely hard work of powderpuff opposition and relying on sporadic moments of individual magic. Not that we’re suggesting that Mertesacker, bless him, is the magician in question. No, this time we’re picturing the bundled-in free-kick after 85 minutes of the worst 0-0 you’ve seen in years type of thing.

Santiago Vergini (£4.5m) Sunderland have, over the last two weeks, conceded a goal every 18 minutes. Before that, however, they had let in just seven in seven matches. We’re succumbing to the warm embrace of the law of averages, along with the thought that if Gus Poyet has been working on anything over the last fortnight, it’s probably been defending, to say that it all settles down again against Crystal Palace, Everton and Leicester. And if anyone’s going to pop up with a goal at the right end – well, you saw Vergini’s finish against Southampton, right?

Midfielders

Mohamed Diame (£5.5m) This column is nothing – with apologies for the mixed animal metaphors – if not as blinkered as a horse and as stubborn as a mule. It has probably been predicting a Southampton collapse, which has steadfastly refused to arrive, for around the last three weeks. And it is not the sort to stop now, either. It will keep on doing it until the Saints do eventually lose again, probably some time in about March, and it can sit back and feel all smug. Diame has four goals in his last six, and will end it all for the Saints this weekend, so there.

Victor Moses (£5.5m) In a similar vein – for why simply crash when you can crash and burn – let’s call the West Ham capitulation too. On first glance, against a Sam Allardyce team, there may be little use in having no fewer than 14 players in your squad who are registered as midfielders for Fantasy Football purposes, but hell, Victor Moses and Jonathan Walters at least have been questionably categorised. Moses has four assists in five, and will part the Claret and Blue sea this weekend.

Strikers

Wayne Rooney (£10.2m) Sure, he’s expensive. But he’s also probably been the most effective of Manchester United’s strikers this season. With both teams looking as shaky at the back as a handmade Halloween costume, the Manchester derby could turn into a shoot-out, and we’re backing Rooney to pull most of the strings for the visitors.

Ayoze Perez (£4.8m) With a leap aboard the Perez bandwagon (after all, this column missed the bandwagons for Sergio Agüero, Saido Berahino, Graziano Pelle, Diego Costa and Leonardo Ulloa, and is damned if it’s going to make bandwagon-missing any more of a habit than it already has), this column notes with approval an increasing number of first team minutes for the 21-year-old Spaniard and a far from shabby performance against Spurs last weekend topped off with a rather fine goal.

Captain’s pick

He’s captain of his club, he’s captain of his country, and if you give him the armband this weekend, Rooney could be the captain of your Fantasy Premier League soul.

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