Serie A Best Fantasy XI – Round 26

Thomas Strakosha (seven points): the Lazio goalie was the only one that managed to keep a clean sheet out of the eight teams that played over the weekend and he helped out with some strong saves, especially in the first half.

Luiz Felipe (four points): he had big shoes to fill as the Biancocelesti’s defensive leader, Francesco Acerbi, was unavailable against Bologna, but he stepped up and quarterbacked the back-line with command and tidiness.

Kostas Manolas (four points): he provided a crucial contribution at both ends, blocking a sure-fire attempt when the game was still nil-nil and then breaking the deadlock with a thunderous header, notching his third goal of the season. He has taken a more significant role with Kalidou Koulibaly on the shelf and he is finally starting to look like his Roma self.

Giovanni Di Lorenzo (four points): he snuck behind the opposing defenders and tucked home a goal that turned out to be decisive factor given that Torino scored few minutes later. He continues to be a steady hand in both phases out on the right flank for Napoli.

Luis Alberto (eight points): even though he had continued to mastermind the offense with the usual class, he had not set up a teammate or scored a goal in a while. Despite appearing to pick up an injury in the early going, he managed to do both versus Bologna, with a surgical strike from the edge of the box and the usual timely through ball for Joaquin Correa.

Josip Ilicic (eight points): another dazzling display for the Slovenian attacker, who turned an ordinary tap-in into one of the finest goals of the season, bamboozling the goalie and the defenders, who were expecting a fist touch finish, with a nasty touch against the grain. He added an assist for good measure.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan (eight points): it was not totally certainly until some time after the game, but Roma’s final goal was credited to him for a slight deflection on a sharp Aleksandar Kolarov free kick that is not really visible. In any case, he took the creative reins in Cagliari and orchestrated several good action and created the second Nikola Kalinic goal with a bursting run through the box.

Joaquin Correa (six points): his last few months had been mired by a calf injury and the constant duel with Felipe Caicedo, who prevented him from gaining much momentum. He got the nod on Saturday and made the most of it, breaking out of his slump with the help of a deflection. As if they needed it, Lazio are getting back on form one of their most explosive players.

Riccardo Saponara (five points): even though he missed a pair of matches with a thigh ailment, he has been completely rejuvenated by the move to Lecce and exhibited his broad skill-set versus Atalanta, where he the temporarily willed his team back in the game with a magnificent curled shot and a perfect assist for Giulio Donati.

Duvan Zapata (14 points): the Colombian forward had been fairly productive even when he did look super right, but he is now fully back after a hat-trick. He capitalized on great dishes by his teammates for three point-blank finishes. Atalanta’s offense can even go up a notch with their top goal poacher up and running.

Nikola Kalinic (ten points): he relieved Edin Dzeko and furnished his best impression of the recent stellar version of the teammate, pouncing on a pair of juicy balls and springing Justin Kluivert loose with a tremendous through ball on the third goal.

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