Serie A Fantasy Preview – Round 24

SPAL-Juventus: Luigi Di Biagio devised a new system in his debut, arraying his men with a 4-3-3. While they failed to get the win, they attacked more than usual and Andrea Petagna bagged the ninth goal of his campaign. Federico Di Francesco has always been playing in very offensive role, but he is more comfortable out wide and the trident was completed by Mattia Valoti in that case, although Gabriel Strefezza will have his chances too. The duo gets a bump thanks to the coaching change, likewise Mirko Valdifiori, who resurfaced and can be a decent weapon on set pieces, as a matter of fact he picked up an assist with a corner kick. Simone Missiroli is back at box-to-box like earlier in his career, joining the sneaky Lucas Castro. On the downside, Arkadiusz Reca, and Mohamed Fares when he will be ready, will feature as fullback, so few meters behind what they were accustomed to doing. Scoring has been one of their main issues so far, as they have no reliable contributors behind Petagna.

Paulo Dybala came through against Brescia in a day where Cristiano Ronaldo rested, while Gonzalo Higuain was denied by a goal-line clearance. The Portuguese ace should be out there on Saturday, looking to extend his scoring streak, although it will be another three-match week for Juventus, culminating in the clash with Inter, so it is not totally sure yet. Juan Cuadrado featured as winger, de facto filling in for Douglas Costa, and some reports suggest that he is set to stay in that position, at least until the teammate comes back, and that the Bianconeri will continue using 4-3-3, ditching the trequartista. The Colombian international hit the net as well and looked very good so he could be a fantasy option, at least in the short-term. If Miralem Pjanic is forced to sit out this one due to his minor hamstring problem, Aaron Ramsey would get another shot and they are trying to get him in condition. Rodrigo Bentancur, who has been a productive assist-man lately, would be a little hurt because he would play in a more defensive position. Adrien Rabiot has been steady but he is not a big offensive presence, same for their fullbacks, Danilo and Alex Sandro.

Fiorentina-Milan: La Viola had a rare offensive explosion against Sampdoria, helped by a pair of penalties. Dusan Vlahovic and Federico Chiesa both looked like a million bucks in that contest, the Italian starlet in particular, and his arrow has been pointing upwards in 2020 after a ho-hum first half (four goals in the last five matches). Vlahovic can have scintillating performances as well, but his starting job is not as secure and Patrick Cutrone would be very motivated for this match-up. Alfred Duncan made his debut and he put up very good numbers at Sassuolo (one goal, five assists) before a tactical switch damaged him in Sassuolo. Gaetano Castrovilli has not put his name in his stat-sheet in a while, even though he is generally their main creator. Dalbert and Pol Lirola (two assists in the last five games) have been able to take advantage of their role more effectively lately, partaking in some goals.

The sheer presence of Zlatan Ibrahimovic opens up some lanes and the best one at exploiting those has been Ante Rebic, who bagged the fifth goal in the last five appearances versus Torino. Stefano Pioli has slightly tweaked his scheme to a 4-4-1-1 instead of having two strikers, and that has hurt Rafael Leao’s stocks, but made the formation sturdier. Hakan Calhanoglu was a late scratch against Torino: the injury is not believed severe and he is questionable for the game. Lucas Paqueta flopped in a fill-in start, while Giacomo Bonaventura fared well off the bench and he is always assertive when it comes to shooting. The Turk was in a nice groove before the hiccup and would play in a very prominent role and also his most natural one. Theo Hernandez has slowed down a bit in the last month, while Samu Castillejo continues to be solid down the right flank and he is coming off his first assist of the season.

Genoa-Lazio: Davide Nicola first and foremost shored up the defence upon being hired, but they have also found success on the other end. Antonio Sanabria has emerged as a consistent scoring option (three goals in the last six matches, including a remarkable one last week), so they now have another guy they can count on besides Goran Pandev and Domenico Criscito, who continues to deliver from the penalty spot. The veteran attacker is however iffy after tweaking his knee in the last match and their young options, Andrea Pinamonti and Andrea Favilli, have been underwhelming so far. Lasse Schone had been trending positively but picked up an injury as well Valon Behrami and most of the other midfielders carry very little fantasy value. Stefano Sturaro has surprisingly been their most offensive-minded midfielder, but he is suspended in this one: the role could pass to Francesco Cassata. Paolo Ghiglione is on the shelf and Petar Ankersen is not as good of a crosser.

The Biancocelesti welcomed Sergej Milinkovic-Savic back in the box score at the most opportune time, in the seminal clash with Inter, living up to his big match contributor fame. His numbers (four goals and five assists) are just okay for the season, but he is there when they need him. Luis Alberto has not set up a teammate in seven matches after a tremendous first half of the season assist-wise and he is also a big banged up. Joaquin Correa recovered from his calf problem and looked lively as usual versus Inter, but he has not knocked one on goal since mid-November. Still he is one to look out for if he gets in full form quickly. Needless to say, Ciro Immobile keeps producing (26 goals), while Felipe Caicedo’s minutes will be reduced with Correa back in the fold, but he can do damage even in a limited role. Jony got first crack at replacing the injured Senad Lulic and he uncorked double digit crosses. Adam Marusic finally got fully healthy and he is an option on either flank, but he is not as enticing as Manuel Lazzari.

Atalanta-Sassuolo: the Goddess sunk Roma with two surprise scorers, José Palomino and Mario Pasalic, who was deployed as a tactical weapon off the bench and delivered right away. The midweek Champions League fixture throws a wrench into the procedures and it is possible Ruslan Malinovskyi or Luis Muriel get the nod over the weekend in lieu of one of the starters. In any case, Josip Ilicic, Duvan Zapata and Alejandro Gomez would be in a nice spot against a pretty soft back-line. Ilicic has not hit the net in two matches after a devastating January, while the Colombian tank has done some heavy lifting, even though he does not look in peak conditions yet. Robin Gosens has slowed down as well, but he remains a strong option.

After a positive stretch, the Neroverdi came a cropper in a scoreless day against Parma, where Domenico Berardi and Jeremie Boga, who was under the weather, simply did not have it and that is the danger when your main catalysts are still a tad boom-or-bust. Francesco Caputo was in outstanding form coming into the match, but he unusually squandered a pair of sitters. Hamed Traore is sidelined by an ankle injury, so Filip Djuricic and Gregoire Defrel will have to pick up the slack at no. and they are both fairly intriguing as they are listed as midfielders, like Boga. They attack a lot down both flanks with Jeremy Toljan and Grigoris Kyriakopoulos, while Manuel Locatelli has yet to bag one despite few attempts.

Inter-Sampdoria: the Nerazzurri were not their best version against Lazio, although they faced a very stingy defence, but have a choice match-up here, as the Blucerchiati have been dismal against the top teams and gave up more four or more goals in three of the last five matches. Therefore, Romelu Lukaku and Lautaro Martinez could do their thing and it might be the right game to fully unleash Christian Eriksen, who has displayed superb fantasy potential in short stretches. Ashley Young has exceeded expectations after joining in January, while Antonio Candreva for now has staved off Victor Moses on the other flank. Marcelo Brozovic found the target recently and he is on the up and up, while Nicolò Barella generally takes care of the more obscure tasks.

The Blucerchiati’s problems have been more on defence than on the other side of the ball, because Fabio Quagliarella has snapped out of his funk (four goals in the last five appearances) and Manolo Gabbiadini continues to be a viable second fiddle (six goals). However, Gaston Ramirez is disqualified and it is a major absence because they do not have another player that is as creative. Jakub Jankto and Karol Linetty are the next in line to take care of the playmaking, they can be decent but are not on the same level. Fabio Depaoli returned from injury and he might be given an opportunity and he is pretty dynamic on the flank. Their other central midfielders, Albin Ekdal, Ronaldo Vieira and Andrea Bertolacci, instead have been non-factor fantasy-wise.

How well do you know Italian football? Do you want to battle the best Serie A Fantasy Managers? Play now!

To leave a comment, you must be logged into