QPR might be the third-highest scorers in the Championship this season but they have drawn a blank in three of their last four league games.
The 21-year-old, who has scored 11 goals for the club this season, was at the heart of everything good they were able to produce and they will be relying on him to deliver the goods against a Derby side who are prone to getting caught by pace on the counter.
Should Warburton's men pick up a win in midweek, they will move above Phillip Cocu's side in the table.
The last match between these teams finished 1-1 and you have to go back to 2016 for the last time that Derby tasted defeat in this fixture.
Rooney's arrival in January has sparked an improvement in the Rams' performances, with the former England captain pulling the strings behind the striker, chipping in with goals and creating more opportunities for the likes of Tom Lawrence and Martyn Waghorn.
The former Manchester United striker's ability with the dead ball has also proved crucial and it could again on Tuesday against a QPR outfit who have struggled against more physically imposing teams.
Derby have not won in three but taking all three points back up north on Tuesday night would help keep their faint play-off hopes alive.
Queens Park Rangers competition form: LLLDWD
Derby County competition form: LWWLDD
Derby County form (all competitions): WWWLDD
QPR have a fully-fit squad for Tuesday night's game after they came through the game with Forest unscathed but Warburton may be tempted to make a couple of changes.
Andre Wisdom managed the full 90 minutes against Fulham despite being a doubt but he could be rested here to prevent a recurrence of his injury problems.
Queens Park Rangers possible starting lineup:
Kelly; Kane, Hall, Barbet, Manning; Ball, Cameron; Osayi-Samuel, Eze, Chair; Hugill
Derby County possible starting lineup:
Hamer; Bogle, Davies, Clarke, Forsyth; Bird, Shinnie; Jozefzoon, Rooney, Lawrence; Waghorn
We say: QPR 1-2 Derby County
Both sides have been impossibly hard to predict this season but Derby look the more impressive of the two and QPR's issues up front look set to continue on Tuesday night.