We have officially made our way past the halfway point of the 2019/20 Serie A season, and the table is certainly beginning to tell us a lot about who are the contenders and who are the pretenders.
Last week, AC Milan picked up their first win of 2020 with a 2-0 result over Cagliari. Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Rafael Leão provided the goals for the Rossoneri who produced one of their best collective efforts to date. Meanwhile, Lazio squeaked out their 10th straight league win thanks to Ciro Immobile’s 20th on the campaign, while Inter and Atalanta played to an action-packed 1-1 draw at San Siro.
Injuries to Merih Demiral and Nicolo Zaniolo marred what was an exciting finale on Sunday between Juventus and Roma, the former of which held on 2-1.
Now, after a slew of midweek Coppa Italia fixtures, we turn our attention to round 20 and give you the five names you should consider adding to your fantacalcio roster.
Theo Hernandez (DEF, AC Milan, Value 16.69) – This past summer, Paolo Maldini sat down with Theo Hernandez over a meal in Ibiza in hopes of luring him to the San Siro. Initially, opinions were mixed on the former Real Madrid’s arrival, but he quickly turned skeptics into believers by successfully taking the starting LB job from Ricardo Rodriguez, scoring goals and putting in one impressive shift after the other. With 5 goals and 2 assists in 16 matches across all competitions, Hernandez has entered himself into the conversation for Serie A’s best fullback; this, along with his performances make him a must play, especially for the goal potential as an added bonus from a defensive position. Milan host Udinese on Sunday, so pick up the emerging young French international.
Ismaël Bennacer (MID, AC Milan, Value 6.92) – Theo’s teammate, who also arrived with him last summer, has been just as influential this season, and in an area where Milan fans needed it most. Bennacer’s midfield play since completely taking the starting role from veteran Lucas Biglia has been a sight to behold, with his tidy movement, vision, enthusiasm and impact in the buildup paying serious dividends despite the Rossoneri’s offensive record. The Algerian’s per 90 metrics in six appearances since December 1 (55.7 passes completed, 3.7 long balls completed, 2.6 tackles made, 2.5 interception made and 2.2 dribbles completed) jump off the page, but if he starts padding his assist department with passes such as the one Krzysztof Piatek buried on Wednesday in the 2-0 Coppa Italia win, it will add a whole other tier of value to his name. Pick up Bennacer at a meager 6.92 as he is easily one of the best value plays in fantasy.
Patrick Cutrone (ATT, Fiorentina, Value 4.50) – After a disappointing six month spell in England, Cutrone returned home to Italy last week when he completed his move to Fiorentina. For a team bereft of a solidified strike option, the 22-year old is a perfect fit and compliments the rest of the supporting cast quite well as a pure number nine. In Iachini’s 352, we fully expect the ex-Milan bomber to play up front with a more technical player like Federico Chiesa, and find additional support through wingbacks like Pol Lirola and Dalbert. If you are looking for a low-risk, high-reward option, Cutrone may be your man as it’s expected the Italian will get the start vs Napoli and boasts the potential to score like he did vs Atalanta midweek, capping off great movement and positioning with cool finishing.
Adrien Rabiot (MID, Juventus, Value 5.25) – It has taken him some time to get settled and up to full match fitness, but Adrien Rabiot has grown into a reliable midfield option for Maurizio Sarri this season after spending most of the last one out of the picture with PSG. The Frenchman showed off his box-to-box profile, versatility and passing ability in the 2-1 win over Roma last weekend, making him a dependable player for Sarri this weekend at home against Parma. 5.25 is cheap considering Rabiot is now in solid form and with still more to offer as he now has the coach’s blessing.
Francesco Acerbi (DEF, Lazio, Value 16.93) – The veteran Italian defender may not get as much applause from the public as Immobile, Alberto and Milinkovic-Savic do on a regular basis, but there is no denying Acerbi’s importance for Lazio. A captain, stout central defensive anchor and incredibly reliable, Acerbi’s role in the current 10-match win streak looms large and will continue to do so throughout the remainder of the season if the Biancocelesti wish to become surprise Scudetto champions. The current third place holders host relegation contenders Sampdoria at home, a match which has cleansheet potential for Simone Inzaghi’s side. Make room for Azzurri international at 16.93.
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