Milan-Roma: the Rossoneri had an excellent performance against Lecce, although the quality of the opponents, especially in the back, needs to be taken into consideration. The light front-line worked out wonderfully as Samu Castillejo, Ante Rebic and Giacomo Bonaventura all scored and Hakan Calhanoglu dished out two assists. Even Rafael Leao netted one off the bench. It is set to be confirmed as a whole because Zlatan Ibrahimovic will be at most be ready for a brief stint. Rebic and Bonaventura have the biggest chances to take home bonuses and Roma are not particularly stingy, while Calhanoglu runs most of the offense. Theo Hernandez picked it up where he left off and was one of their engines.
Suggested picks: Rebic, Bonaventura, Calhanoglu.
Edin Dzeko came to the rescue versus Sampdoria and their turned it up once Lorenzo Pellegrini came off the bench, as the midfielder brilliantly set up the first goal. Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Carles Perez and Javier Pastore had some okay moments, but overall lacked some oomph. They are deep and healthy right now up front, so it is possible that the attack is completely overhauled with Cengiz Under and Justin Kluivert, who might be in a better sport physically because of their lighter frame. Aleksander Kolarov has a hot left foot – he hit the post on a free kick – while a Jordan Vereout was denied a beautiful goal by a VAR review.
Suggested picks: Dzeko, Pellegrini, Kolarov.
Napoli-SPAL: the usual Arkadiusz Milik clocked in against Verona, then out of the blue Hirving Lozano resurfaced after months of silence, another evidence that the insane schedule is going to give chances to anybody. Milik’s fantasy potential is only capped by the constant rotation with Dries Mertens, who is also extremely dangerous. Lorenzo Insigne has yet to score after the resumption but he is in promising form, likewise Piotr Zielinski, who is taking a lot of shots. The coach is insisting on Matteo Politano due to the uncertainness surrounding José Callejon’s future, but he has yet to break though. It is an excellent match-up for their back-line, problem is it is not even sure who the starting goalie is.
Suggest picks: Insigne, Zielinski, Koulibaly.
Luigi Di Biagio is trying, but SPAL are laboring mightily to get their offense off the ground and they were shut down by Cagliari too, despite overloading on proactive players in the midfield and on the flanks such as Lucas Castro, Mattia Valoti, Gabriel Strefezza and Marco D’Alessandro. Strefezza, as usual, was the most effective, while Andrea Petagna would have scored if it was not for a monster save by Robin Olsen. Mo Fares had a strong outing in limited minutes and he can be a weapon with his sharp crosses. Better to stay away.
Suggested picks: Petagna, Valoti.
Sampdoria-Bologna: the Blucerchiati are not a very aesthetically-pleasing squad, but they tend to find a way to hang around during matches, even when they should have no business to. It was not enough to take home points against Inter and Roma, but they might in an easier fixture. However, Fabio Quagliarella seems headed for another absence: Manolo Gabbiadini pounced on a loose ball in the last game, Federico Bonazzoli and Antonino La Gumina instead did not do much. Gaston Ramirez does not look in tip-top shape yet, in the midfield Morten Thorsby has been very active and Fabio Depaoli has been okay. Mehdi Leris might see heavy minutes with Jakub Jankto suspended.
Suggested picks: Gabbiadini, Thorsby.
The Felsinei could not crack Juventus’ vaunted defense, but all in all it was the worst possible scenario for the first game after the restart. They will have more room here, with Riccardo Orsolini and Musa Barrow leading the way, as they are ones to do. Rodrigo Palacio also seemed to have juice in his legs, but he is now in a constant duel with Nicola Sansone, who has not been particularly inspiring so far. Their fullbacks have the potential to be game-changers and Mitchell Dijks was not hurt by the lengthy spell on the shelf.
Suggested picks: Barrow, Orsolini, Tomiyasu.
Sassuolo-Verona: the Neroverdi found a way to score three times against Inter and that is surely an achievement, even though one was on a penalty and the last one was rather fortuitous. After missing a pair against Atalanta, Francesco Caputo punished a lousy offside trap on Wednesday, while Domenico Berardi bagged his tenth goal of the season from the penalty spot. Throughout the campaign and in the last two bouts as well, Filip Djuricic has been their best option at no.10, but he probably needs to be taken care physically. Same for Jeremie Boga, who looked bad in the first two tilts. Gregoire Defrel, Lukas Haraslin and Hamed Traore might get to start here. Their fullbacks always tend to be in the thick of it.
Suggested picks: Caputo, Berardi, Djuricic.
The Scaligeri missed some good chances against Napoli, while the opponents were clutcher and took advantage of a pair of rare defensive miscues. Valerio Verre squandered a sitter but, with Matteo Pessina and Fabio Borini at less than 100 percent, he is poised to stay in the XI and he is a bigger threat than Mattia Zaccagni, who instead serves more of a tactical role. Darko Lazovic is in splendid form, while Marco Davide Faraoni is suspended: it will be either Claud Adjapong or Federico Dimarco taking his place; the latter would be better fantasy-wise. It would not be surprising to see Samuel Di Carmine being load managed after two starts in a row: among the candidates to replace him, the slippery Eddie Salcedo carries the most intrigue.
Suggested picks: Verre, Lazovic, Veloso.
Udinese-Atalanta: the Friuliani were handed a triple blow in the Torino tilt as they lost the game, Rolando Mandragora tore his ACL and Rodrigo De Paul picked up his fifth yellow card. They will be undermanned in the midfield the rest of the way and dramatically so in this one. Mato Jajalo and Walace are poised to fill the void, but they are not on the fantasy radar. Seko Fofana, Ken Sema and Stefano Okaka were not particularly noticeable in the last game, Ilija Nestorovski was rather messy as usual. Kevin Lasagna provided a little jolt off the bench. It will be tough for them to must some offense without De Paul, they will rely heavily on counters and longballs and Atalanta could be vulnerable to those.
Suggested picks: Lasagna, Fofana.
The Bergamaschi proved to be tough as nail against Lazio, as such a bad start would have annihilated most teams, but they stuck to their guns and staged a comeback from the ages, fueled by their fundamentals: the flank game, set pieces and then a gem by one of their attackers, Ruslan Malinovskyi in this case. Duvan Zapata struggled a bit, but Luis Muriel was terrible when he came on, so Gian Piero Gasperini could go easy on the rotation, also considering that Josip Ilicic did not seem very fit after an ankle injury. However, he has a lot of options if he decides to tweak the lineup, which would be sub-optimal for fantasy owners.
Suggested picks: Gomez, Malinovskyi, Gosens.
Parma-Inter: the Ducali busted out a terrific display against a cagey opponent like Genoa, with Andreas Cornelius spearheading them and assembling a marvelous hat-trick, then Dejan Kulusevski capped it off with a pearler. While the Scandinavians and Juraj Kucka are back in business, Gervinho has yet to recapture his signature burst. They are going to lurk in this one, but if they hold on, they will be able to unleash their counter-attacking wrath against a fairly slow defence that looked unusually porous in their last match. Hernani might see more run admist some predictable rotations.
Suggested picks: Cornelius, Kulusevski, Kurtic.
Antonio Conte over-rotated the team against Sassuolo, but it was their defence that let him down, because the offensive production was there even sans Lautaro Martinez and Alexis Sanchez has been fizzy in his last appearances. Romelu Lukaku is a certainty, Christian Eriksen instead took a clear step back. Borja Valero scored an extremely rare goal, Roberto Gagliardi had a hilarious miss, so their midfield is keeping up even without its starts on the mend. On the flanks, Antonio Candreva and Cristiano Biraghi are in better conditions than their direct rivals.
Suggested picks: Lukaku, Martinez, Candreva.
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