Serie A Fantasy Predictions – Round 19


Juventus-Sampdoria: after a string of close wins over fierce enemies, the Bianconeri draw against Atalanta, in a game where they came back in ten men. It is just their second tie in Serie A. The Blucerchiati are in a marvelous moment, as they have not lost in the last six games and have won in four of their last five. The offensive production remained the same for Juventus in the last four matches, as Cristiano Ronaldo and Mario Mandzukic were the only one to hit the net. Paulo Dybala is stuck in a playmaking role, while Douglas Costa has always been more of an assist man. They are awaiting for some goals out of the midfield and Emre Can and Sami Khedira have some potential there, while Rodrigo Bentancur will be suspended in this one. On the other hand, Sampdoria’s attack is humming as Fabio Quagliarella has scored for eight matches in a row and Gaston Ramirez, Gianluca Caprari and Riccardo Saponara have all found the target recently and even Karol Linetty and Dennis Praet have done some damage. The only one not playing well is Gregoire Defrel, but this could be a decent match-up for his skillset, should he be given the start.

Empoli-Inter: the Azzurri are coming off three straight losses where they have given up way too many goals. Inter snatched an all-important last-second win over Napoli, now they to prove it on the road, where they have failed to prevail in the last four matches. The Azzurri have been counting all year long on Francesco Caputo’s goal and recently also Antonino La Gumina has contributed, while Miha Zajc has faded after the coaching and tactical change, but could return to relevance here since Rade Krunic is suspended. Hamed Traorè is on a decent run. Lautaro Martinez bagged a great one against Napoli and might soon force Luciano Spalletti’s hands as far as the starting line-up goes. Mauro Icardi, Matteo Politano, Balde Keita and the recently revived Ivan Perisic could pick up some bonus points against a lax defense, same for Radja Nainggolan who will return after being suspended by the team for one game.

Lazio-Torino: after a slump, the Biancocelesti are back on track with two wins over minnows in the past two matches, Cagliari and Bologna, which is their specialty. However, Torino are more than that, since they are vying for a Europa League spot and they have yet to lose in away fixtures, where they have tied seven out of nine times. The Eagles have been getting some random goals by Senad Lulic and by defenders on set pieces lately, while Ciro Immobile has uncharacteristically been struck out for three consecutive outings. On a bright noet, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic and Luis Alberto have rounded into form, which makes them a very dangerous team, adding also Joaquin Correa to the equation, even though it is hard to figure out who will take the reins from game to game. As for the Granata, Simone Zaza is starting to perform well enough to encourage Walter Mazzarri to use a trident, which gives them a great offensive punch since both Andrea Belotti and Iago Falque are putting together solid seasons. They have also had good returns from their flank game all year long from all three of Lorenzo De Silvestri, Cristian Ansaldi and Ola Aina.

Parma-Roma: the Ducali snapped out of their funk in an unlikely scenario, in Florence against a surging Viola. They have a history of this massive road wins, but they have dropped in the standings since they had not won in the previous four fixtures. They have not been particularly consistent at home. Roma are the poster child for inconsistency, but the last two home victories over Genoa and Sassuolo brings some positivity. Edin Dzeko returned and could be ready for a full game, while Patrik Schick’s effectiveness hinges on the opponent. Nicolò Zaniolo has been great since bursting onto the scenes and finally put one in the net with a lovely chip. He has shown enough to supplant a healthy Javier Pastore. Diego Perotti has been a positive after shaking off his injuries and Stephan El Shaarawy was called up midweek, so that gives Eusebio Di Francesco almost his full arsenal back, considering that Cengiz Under and Justin Kluivert have held down the forth nicely while they navigating through injuries. Gervinho has not looked particularly bouncy after his latest injury, but it is likely just a matter of time and conditioning, and Luca Siligardi and Matteo Sprocati have been able to pick up some of the slack. Luca Rigoni has hovered around the goal recently.

Napoli-Bologna: the Partenopei caught the first loss in ten games against Inter, where they were denied on the goal line on a chance to win at the buzzer and then conceded. With Dries Mertens and Lorenzo Insigne no longer scoring consistently, their attack has abated. Insigne and Kalidou Koulibaly will miss the game due to red cards. Arkadiusz Milik generally shows up in easier match-ups, Simone Verdi and Adam Ounas could be in a decent spot in case there is some rotation. Bologna’s offence has fizzled in the last three games, where they have been unable to score or attack with any conviction. They have not won since the end of September. Federico Santander, Rodrigo Palacio and Riccardo Orsolini are their fulcrums up front, but the Azzurri have conceded in just three home fixtures.

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