Serie A Fantasy Preview – Round 13

Atalanta-Juventus: after producing at an historic pace through the first ten weeks, the Goddess failed to score in their last two matches against Sampdoria and Cagliari. Josip Ilicic and Ruslan Malinovskyi are suspended, but the Slovenian attacker has appealed, but they will get a boost from the return of Duvan Zapata, who is expected to feature at least in limited capacity. He notched six goals in seven appearances before getting hurt. Luis Muriel is no longer red-hot, as he has not found the target in the last three rounds, but he will be again their main scoring option from the jump. Alejandro Gomez is going through something similar, but he always has loads of potential as an assist-man. Mario Pasalic is likely to move to the hole and he can pretty sneaky there. Robin Gosens has been their best wing-back so far, but also Timothy Castagne has hit the net once.

Paulo Dybala delivered off the bench in the Milan game and both him and Gonzalo Higuain continue to move it along. Cristiano Ronaldo played while clearly banged up and it would not be surprising to see him rest a bit in the short-term. The Argentinian tandem is more recommendable in this one. Douglas Costa has had an immediate impact upon returning from injury and he has the highest ceiling among their no.10s, while Aaron Ramsey showed some rust with Juventus but detonated with Wales. Federico Bernardeschi held down the fort while they were out, but without much success. Among their midfielders, Rodrigo Bentancur is getting more run over Sami Khedira, but they might feature together considering the uncertain status of Miralem Pjanic, while it looks like Blaise Matuidi will be ready to go, but he is risky play.

Milan-Napoli: the Rossoneri did have some chances against Juventus but squandered them and Krzysztof Piatek’s drought is evident and harmful, even though the volume of the feeds still is not great. Hakan Calhanoglu, who has been their go-to-guy since Stefano Pioli was appointed, is suspended, so they will have to turn to either Giacomo Bonaventura or Ante Rebic, who have not showed much so far this season. The ex-Atalanta man used to be a fantasy weapon back in the day, but the massive knee injury is still affecting his game. Suso will be more likely the one soaking up the usage of the Turk and he netted one recently, even though he has not had a truly strong outing in a while. Rade Krunic has leapfrogged Franck Kessie in the pecking order and he does have more appeal, while they are still waiting for Lucas Paqueta to fully break out. Theo Hernandez is a stud and it will be a nice battle on that flank with Giovanni Di Lorenzo, while Andrea Conti is beginning to trend up.

The Partenopei are likely to be without Arkadiusz Milik due to injury and he has cannibalized the scoring over the last few weeks. Their other stars will have to pick up the slack and they need Dries Mertens and Lorenzo Insigne to snap out of their slumps in order to be truly effective up front and the Devil has not been great defensively in the past two months. On the other hand, Hirving Lozano has started to show his value and also Piotr Zielinski has displayed some signs of life, even though he has yet to score. José Callejon has arguably been their most consistent guy throughout the season, while Fabian Ruiz, despite his touches, is slowed down by the role.

Torino-Inter: the Granata are coming off a ‘get-right’ match against Brescia, where they may have finally found a strong partner for Andrea Belotti, as Alex Berenguer bagged a brace off the bench. He could supplant the struggling Simone Verdi in the XI. Simone Zaza should be available and he has had his moments, but also a very short leash, while Iago Falque will miss some more time. They have not gotten anything from the supporting cast as Daniele Baselli, Tomas Rincon, Soualiho Meite, Sasa Lukic, Ola Aina, Diego Laxalt and Lorenzo De Silvestri have combined for zero goals: Cristian Ansaldi and Armando Izzo have been the only one that managed to put his name in the stat-sheet outside of the attackers.

The Nerazzurri finally got some contribution from their ancillary players against Verona as two midfields, Matias Vecino and Nicolò Barella, led the comeback. Romelu Lukaku and Lautaro Martinez had taken care of all of the scoring in the previous contests, with Antonio Candreva chipping in once. While El Toro is their most important offensive hub, the Belgian forward has been more lethal in the box. Stefano Sensi’s return continues to be pushed back he likely will not be 100 percent here too. Stefan De Vrij has provided three assists so far, emerging as a very viable playmaker. Valentino Lazaro has been okay recently, while Cristiano Biraghi got a lot of playing time but has been hit-and-miss.

Roma-Brescia: the Giallorossi crashed and burned in Parma but will have a strong chance to get back on track against the ailing Rondinelle. Nicolò Zaniolo has been conducting the charge over the last few rounds, filling in there for Edin Dzeko, who has instead scored just once in the previous six fixtures. Javier Pastore has actually been performing well but the returns of Cengiz Under and Lorenzo Pellegrini will likely affect him the most, besides obviously giving them back two excellent weapons. Justin Kluivert is always pretty active but his fantasy production does not necessarily match that. Jordan Veretout is in the midst of a very positive stretch, while Aleksandar Kolarov is going the opposite direction.

The Biancoblu were awful against Torino in Fabio Grosso’s debut and can only go up from there. Mario Balotelli and Sandro Tonali have scored their only two goals in the last five contests. The recent trend, and the words of the president, suggest that Balotelli and Alfredo Donnarumma, who started the season on a high note but then faded, might not play together all that often and this is bad news especially for the latter, while Florian Aye has not done a lot with the minutes he received. The new coach has been cooking up some adjustments throughout the break and the possible new lineup might benefit Romulo and Jaromir Zmrhal. They certainly need a spark to avoid dipping too dramatically.

Sassuolo-Lazio: the Neroverdi are moving in the right direction after a late September swoon and that has coincided with the return to the forefront of Jeremie Boga, who has been lighting it up with three goals and one assist over the last five matches. They will have to rely more heavily on him and on Francesco Caputo as Domenico Berardi is sidelined by an injury: the striker is coming off a dazzling brace and is surely capable of the absorbing the output. Gregoire Defrel might get some run but he has been underwhelming so far and they might be better off using Filip Djuricic, who has instead been excellent, in the trident. In the midfield, Manuel Locatelli has gained a lot of ground on Alfred Duncan, while Hamed Traore has disappeared after an okay start.

Ciro Immobile has tallied ten goals in the last seven games and there is nothing much to add to that, while Joaquin Correa has logged five over the last five matches, putting his finishing woes behind him. The Emiliani are not a particularly stingy side, so they could easily keep it going. Sergej Milinkovic-Savic returned to the box score after six weeks versus Lecce and Luis Alberto further padded his mind-blowing assist count. It is a well-known formula but the opponents have been unable to stop it. Francesco Acerbi has been the only one to find the target outside of their vaunted foursome lately, while Manuel Lazzari has finally found his footing at his new club.

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