Serie A Fantasy Preview – Round Three

Fiorentina-Juventus: despite the two tough losses, la Viola showed some intriguing stuff up front against both Napoli and Genoa. The potential is there, but the whole team needs to tighten up and build up some chemistry. Franck Ribery is primed to get more minutes after the break and they should finally counter-balance a line-up that is always too reliant on Federico Chiesa. The ones that will benefit the most are the centre-forwards and for the time being Kevin-Prince Boateng will likely be the top option until Dusan Vlahovic and Pedro find their footing. Gaetano Castrovilli has already shown that he can be dangerous with his cuts, while Erick Pulgar hit the net twice on penalties and will have more opportunities to put his shooting prowess to good use in a slightly modified role. The Bianconeri instead run out of energies early in the first two fixtures and it almost cost them big time versus Napoli. Their new course goes through Cristiano Ronaldo, Douglas Costa and Gonzalo Higuain: the Brazilian speedster, in particular, has been on a tear. The schedule will get busier and more players will find their way to the XI, but in the meantime Sami Khedira and Blaise Matuidi have been useful contributors and have been a not insignificant part of the offense. The Gigliati have been leaky in the back, while the Madama has been vulnerable on set pieces, so it could be a high-scoring affair.

Napoli-Sampdoria: even in a very bitter defeat, the Azzurri showcased all their offensive potential in Turin, managing to hit the net three times, which is no small feat in such scenario. Lorenzo Insigne and Arkadiusz Milik are banged up and might not be available, but they are now more equipped to replace them thanks to the summer additions of Hirving Lozano and Fernando Llorente. El Chucky is poised to be a fantastic weapon with his agility and finishing chops. Using Fabian Ruiz as no.10 has not panned out either for him or the whole squad, but tweaking the system is not a problem considering their versatility: Piotr Zielinski, for instance, could reap the rewards of a more offensive position, and he provided an assist against Juventus. The Blucerchiati have been horrid defensively so far, therefore the Partenopei will be popular picks, starting with old reliable Dries Mertens and José Callejon. Both fullbacks, Mario Rui and Giovanni Di Lorenzo, have made their presence felt offensively as well. Eusebio Di Francesco’s side is reeling after the first two lickings handed to them by Lazio and Sassuolo: they got Emiliano Rigoni on deadline day, who fits in nicely, but most of the improvement must come from within and the adaptation to the new scheme must be quick. Until then, it is will be tough to select somebody from them, even though they roster last year’s top scorer Fabio Quagliarella, who will face his former team.

Inter-Udinese: the Nerazzurri have spread the wealth around in terms of goals in their two matches against Lecce and Cagliari, with Romelu Lukaku finding the target twice and few of their other attackers once. Their most impressive player has been Stefano Sensi, who has immediately established himself as a massive and classy reference point. The first game after the break is a little wonky for South Americans, but Lautaro Martinez has been super active so far and they will not wait long before trotting out Alexis Sanchez, but it would not be too surprising to see Matteo Politano starting here. The opponent is plucky, but there is a lot to like on both ends for the Beneamata. The Zebrette brought back Stefano Okaka and therefore they are basically the same team as last season with Rodrigo Becao, Ilija Nestorovski, Wallace and Ken Sema now in the fold. Hence, Rodrigo De Paul remains their main playmaker and Rolando Mandragora and Seko Fofana will also occasionally find a way to do damage out of the midfield. Kevin Lasagna has started the season reasonably well and he is always menacing when facing big teams due to his blazing speed on open spaces.

SPAL-Lazio: the Estensi have nothing to show for after two hard-fought matches against Atalanta and Bologna and could be in for another rough go against a potent enemy. Federico Di Francesco could work as second-striker when they have room to counter, but they have struggled creatively when they had to orchestrate some offense. Andrea Petagna and Jasmin Kurtic remain their two linchpins there and Mattia Valoti has had few chances too. Arkadiusz Reca and Jacopo Sala give them two more options on the flanks, where Marco D’Alessandro has not been particularly great so far. The Biancocelesti created a bunch of opportunities in the Derby but were unable to break through a second time. Their design is unchanged, but it looks like in certain moments Luis Alberto and Sergej Milinkovic-Savic have more freedom to charge the box. The Spaniard has been their MVP so far with one goal and two assists. Ciro Immobile usually thrives in this kind of matches and Joaquin Correa has already stung Sampdoria. With Manuel Lazzari and Jony now onboard, there is an embarrassment of riches for the Eagles and the biggest challenge for fantasy owners is to figure out who will score in each round.

Roma-Sassuolo: La Lupa risked a lot in the Derby, but they had their chances to break the tie too, only to be stopped by the woodwork. They were able to ameliorate a bit compared to opener against Genoa, where they gave away silly goals. The international break took away Cengiz Under but also said that Henrik Mkhitaryan is in splendid form and he could be a major element right away. Lorenzo Pellegrini showed well with Italy as well. Jordan Veretout should be to go after some nagging injuries and he could have a big role too, so they have the manpower to make up for some absences. Aleksandar Kolarov scored twice on set pieces and Edin Dzeko and Nicolò Zaniolo have both looked very good. Sassuolo were okay against Torino despite being bested and then dominant against Sampdoria. Domenico Berardi started his campaign with a hat-trick, Francesco Caputo with a goal and an assist. In the second bout the coach actually confirmed the diamond formation, which gives great liberty to Hamed Traore in the hole and solidifies the midfield. In this way though, Jeremie Boga or another striker has to begin on the bench, so there are some downsides, but it could be the choice here in a difficult match-up.

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