Serie A Fantasy Preview – Round Seven

Genoa-Milan: both offenses have looked very anaemic in recent matches, as the coaches, who are well-known for their proactive mentality, seem to have struggled to convey their ideas to the players. The Griffon have failed to score in the past two matches. Christian Kouame has led them with three goals so far and has been the only consistent contributor, while Andrea Pinamonti has been struck out since week one and ceded minutes to Antonio Sanabria and Andrea Favilli, who have not fared much better. They have yet to find a midfielder that can do some damage in the final third: Lasse Schone is too far away from the goal, but his aim on free kick is getting better, Ivan Radovanovic is shooting a lot but without precision and, like Lukas Lerager, he is more of a substance player than a quality one. Riccardo Saponara has not cracked the XI with enough continuity to be a fantasy factor. There is some appeal on the flanks, where Paolo Ghiglione and Marko Pajac have been serviceable.

The Rossoneri had done okay in Turin despite the loss, but took a step back against Fiorentina and were clearly overplayed. The only one to save face recently has been Rafael Leao, who has been bouncy and bagged his first one last week. Suso and Hakan Calhanoglu have done very little in the last couple of outings, while Krzysztof Piatek has been able to produce only on penalties. It has been rumoured that he might be benched, with Leao playing centrally and Ante Rebic, who had an energetic stint against Verona, on the left flank. We are at the point where it would not be necessarily shocking, as the Polish Gunslinger has looked like a fish out of water in all but one fixture. Lucas Paqueta has been hurt recently, but he too could benefit from a lineup shake-up. Suso and Piatek are ex-Rossoblù and Genoa have been very leaky, so there could be a chance for the Milan players to bounce back.

Bologna-Lazio: the efficacy of the Felsinei forwards has decreased in the last three matches, as Nicola Sansone was the only to find the target (on a penalty) and the match-ups, against Genoa and Udinese, were reasonably favourable. Riccardo Orsolini, their most prolific last season, is stuck at one goal, like Rodrigo Palacio and Roberto Soriano. The lack of production out of the no.9 spot, where Federico Santander got some run recently, is a problem. Their offense has impressed only in one game, the comeback against Brescia, but they have the manpower to do some damage if the Eagles leave room to counter. Jerdy Schouten or Mattias Svanberg could get a chance from the jump with Soriano suspended.

After the harsh lesson handed to them by SPAL, the Biancocelesti put away the Parma and the Genoa games with ease and were pretty good against Inter too, even though the missed chances bit them. Ciro Immobile has led the way, followed by Luis Alberto, who was in particularly strong form early. Sergej Milinkovic-Savic is back and netted his first one in the last match, like Felipe Caicedo, who might draw the start here because Joaquin Correa, who has been exuberant but wasteful, is banged up. Manuel Lazzari has not been as dangerous as in his SPAL days, since the teammate do not look to him as often. In case they rotate the squad, Jony and Danilo Cataldi could have a bit of value.

Roma-Cagliari: the Giallorossi sweated out the Lecce game, where Edin Dzeko came to the rescue, and lost two more offensive players to injuries during the week, as Lorenzo Pellegrini will be out for significant time and Henrikh Mkhitaryan will miss at least this one. Justin Kluivert and Nicolò Zaniolo will have bigger role now, especially the latter, since his minutes have been capped by Pellegrini’s emergence at no.10 so far. Alessandro Florenzi or Leonardo Spinazzola might have to be deployed as offensive wingers to make up for the absences and they could both benefit from that, while Javier Pastore could get into the rotation in a meaningful way. A lot will fall on the broad shoulders of Edin Dzeko, who has been amazing. Jordan Veretout might get to play trequartista, which would be very interesting since he has pretty prolific when he had the liberty to attack at Fiorentina.

After three wins, the Sardinians were unable to find a way to score more than once against Verona and this is where not having Leonardo Pavoletti hurts them, as Giovanni Simeone is prone to occasionally have big misses. They can not complain much about El Cholito though, who has scored twice so far. As expected, their other best players have been Joao Pedro, Lucas Castro and Nahitan Nandez, who have all contributed either with goals or assists, while Radja Nainggolan should be ready for more playing time after shaking off an injury. His fantasy appeal will depend on what position they pick for him: he opened the season as pivot, but might move to box-to-box or even no.10 in short order. La Lupa has not been airtight and they do have some speed up front.

Torino-Napoli: Andrea Belotti has been tremendous so far, but they have struggled to identify a second fiddle. Simone Zaza has been feast or famine, Simone Verdi does not seem to have adjusted to his new surroundings and Iago Falque has yet to make his full return after the ankle sprain. The Spaniard should end up being the solution like last year, but he needs time. They got a boost from the return to form of Cristian Ansaldi, who even put his name in the scoresheet in Parma and he is a big playmaker for them. However, they need more out guys like Daniele Baselli, Soualiho Meite and Lorenzo De Silvestri if they want to compete at high levels.

The Partenopei have scored the most goals in Serie A so far, yet there is always the feeling they are leaving something on the table. Dries Mertens has paced them four goals and Lorenzo Insigne is right behind him and should be back in the XI after resting last week. The due was rested in Champions League. Hirving Lozano and Arkadiusz Milik are still at nought and the constant shuffling has not allowed them to find consistency, while Fernando Llorente has proved to be good even in contained cameos. José Callejon continues to be criminally underrated and he has already provided three assists and scored once. The Granata defence has been poor, so their attackers could be in for another fecund day. None of their talented midfielders have performed consistently enough to be on the fantasy radar.

Inter-Juventus: Romelu Lukaku missed the Barcelona clash, but he should return for the Derby d’Italia despite a recent quad ailment that probably affected him even as he was playing. He has not scored in the last two matches but it is clear that he is their main reference point. Lautaro Martinez is always very active but he is not particularly clinical. Alexis Sanchez is suspended after his mixed debut from the start. Matteo Politano would get the nod if Lukaku stayed sidelined. Stefano Sensi is the third best fantasy contributor in Serie A and has picked up points in basically every match, knocking it on goal three times and racking up three assists. Marcelo Brozovic has not been too shabby either, while Nicolò Barella is coming along recently. They have allowed just two goals so far and possess a decent flank game, where all men have been okay.

The Bianconeri are humming offensively and the only one who has yet to score is Paulo Dybala, who however has performed well too. He seemed to have earned the upper hand on Gonzalo Higuain, but the teammate roared back in Champions League and so the duel goes on. Cristiano Ronaldo has not been super clutch but he has been the recipient of several opportunities and found the target in the last two. He is obviously a good pick every time he takes the field, especially in big matches. Aaron Ramsey will be back between the lines after resting on Wednesday and he has been a handful for opponents. Miralem Pjanic hit the net twice in a row with bangers. Their back-line is improving and got two clean sheets in four days, reducing to the bare minimum the chances for the opponents.

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