Serie A Fantasy Preview – Round 30


Juventus: the Bianconeri are thriving offensively thanks to the great form of both Cristiano Ronaldo and Paulo Dybala, who scored in three consecutive matches. Douglas Costa contributed off the bench versus Genoa and he can be a factor even if he rarely plays full matches because of his injury history. Juan Cuadrado picked up an assist in the past match and he has been effective despite the more defensive role. Rodrigo Bentancur is in outstanding form but is not very prone to picking up bonuses. Their run of clean sheets was interrupted by a consolation goal, but they will be facing a sputtering attack in this one.

Suggested picks: Ronaldo, Dybala, Costa.

Torino: the first two post-lockdown outings had created some hopes for a turnaround, but they vanished quickly as they lost badly to Cagliari and suffered a comeback versus Lazio, where they got the lead only because of a penalty. Moreno Longo went back to his physical 3-5-2 Tuesday, which does not have much fantasy appeal, especially with Simone Verdi in the lineup, as he has been very disappointing throughout the season. After being spared, the peppier Alex Berenguer and Simone Edera could back in the XI, while Simone Zaza shook the small injury that sidelined him. Helped by penalties, Andrea Belotti has hit the net in three straight and he and Cristian Ansaldi have been their only reliable men.

Suggested picks: Belotti, Ansaldi, Berenguer.


Sassuolo: despite rotating like mad men, the Neroverdi were impressive against Fiorentina and Gregoire Defrel bagged a brace. The Frenchman is not a full-time starter but has been better than before recently. He will not unseat Francesco Caputo, but can be deployed with good returns in a pair of different roles and he sees the goal more than some of their other attackers. Caputo and Domenico Berardi will be back in the XI in this one, maybe Jeremie Boga and Filip Djuricic will get a day off, while Hamed Traore resurfaced in the past game. It should be a ripe match-up given Lecce’s defensive struggles.

Suggested picks: Caputo, Berardi, Boga.

Lecce: Fabio Liverani has tried out everybody, but the injury to Gianluca Lapadula is proving to be difficult to overcome because Khouma Babacar, Filippo Falco and Riccardo Saponara have not delivered in the last three games and Marco Mancosu’s penalties have been their only lifeline. It is too little given how lousy they are in the back. Diego Farias logged few minutes after an injury against Sampdoria and they might trot him out for longer to see if he lights a fuse, while Antonin Barak was able to start and he has some sneaky fantasy potential if he rediscovers his best form.

Suggested picks: Mancosu, Falco, Barak.


Lazio: the Biancocelesti clawed back again versus Torino, more deservedly this time, led by the usual Ciro Immobile and a lucky goal by Marco Parolo. However, both Immobile and Felipe Caicedo are suspended in this one, which creates a big problem as they are left with only Joaquin Correa up front, since the youngster Bobby Adekanye and Raul Moro, who could have been emergency options, are injured. They will probably have to tweak their system and Luis Alberto and Sergej Milinkovic-Savic could advance their positions, becoming even more appealing fantasy wise. On the wings, Jordan Lukaku fared well off the bench in Turin and Jony and Manuel Lazzari have been constantly good in the past fixtures.

Suggested picks: Correa, Alberto, Milinkovic-Savic. 

Milan: the Rossoneri finally tied the SPAL game thanks to an own-goal after a never-ending siege and countless chances, while Rafael Leao, who has been productive off the bench versus the minnows, scored the first goal. Zlatan Ibrahimovic managed to come back for a brief stint and he is 50/50 to get the start, while they lost Samu Castillejo to a muscular injury. Alexis Saelemaekers has been pretty energetic when he got to play, but it remains to be seen whether he can will be trusted in a big spot. They can move some pieces around to make up for the absence of the Spaniard, for instance Lucas Paqueta, who actually played well versus the Estensi, or Giacomo Bonaventura. Hakan Calhanoglu and Ante Rebic did not come through Wednesday, but they are quite clearly the head of the snake and have done their good share of damage in the last two weeks.

Suggested picks: Rebic, Calhanoglu, Ibrahimovic.


Inter: everybody but their two top strikers ate in a morale-boosting romp of Brescia. They will be facing a better team this time around, but another suspect defence, therefore Romelu Lukaku and Lautaro Martinez, who both got too rest a bit recently, are premiere picks. Alexis Sanchez has been excellent after Serie A’s return, while Christian Eriksen exploited the easy fixtures to get back on track, but the leash should be short with him given his irregularity. All four wing-backs have had decent outing recently and have been able to pick up  points. Marcelo Brozovic was on the bench in the last game and could be back in the lineup here and he is surely their best central midfielder.

Suggested picks: Lukaku, Martinez, Eriksen.

Bologna: Musa Barrow punched another one home to make it two in a row and he has been clearly been their top dog in the last three games, confirming what was going on before the stoppage as well. Riccardo Orsolini has scored one, while their other attackers Rodrigo Palacio, Nicola Sansone and Roberto Soriano, despite some chances, have been unable to. Nothing new in terms of trends, as Barrow and Orsolini are clearly their biggest threats, while Palacio is helpful but not very cold-blooded. Soriano can be a tactical weapon is big games. Takehiro Tomiyasu has been pretty muted, Mitchell Dijks is still working to get in the best shape after months on the shelf, so their production out of their fullbacks is not as punchy as it could be right now.

Suggested picks: Barrow, Orsolini, Soriano.


Brescia: the Rondinelle were run over by Inter, but they actually had a big chance early, but Alfredo Donnarumma squandered it. The striker has taken full advantage of Mario Balotelli’s absence and has scored twice recently, while Ernesto Torregrossa has been pretty involved but unable to make it to the stat-sheet. Diego Lopez has streamlined the rotation and Romulo actually left, so in the supporting roles it is going to be a lot of Birkir Bjarnason, Jaromir Zmrhal and Simon Skrabb, but neither has been effective so far. The Icelandic international has had some good seasons scoring-wise in the past but has not replicated them with Brescia. Skrabb probably has the highest potential.

Suggested picks: Donnarumma, Torregrossa, Skrabb.

Verona: the Scaligeri’s ‘cooperativa del gol’ is humming as everybody up front has found the target in the last few matches and and they are producing at rate that was unseen prior to the stoppage. Samuel Di Carmine and Darko Lazovic have led the way, followed by Matteo Pessina, who is suspended in this one, Valerio Verre, Matteo Zaccagni and even Marius Stepinski. Only Giampaolo Pazzini and Fabio Borini have not scored, but they were strong contributors in February and March. Playing time has not been a factor for the midfielders, as some have delivered off the bench, while it has impacted the strikers, so it will be better to check who is getting the nod before making a choice.

Suggested picks: Lazovic, Borini, Verre.


Cagliari: another game, another goal for Giovanni Simeone, who has been en fuego in the last four outings, even taking some scoring opportunities away from Joao Pedro (17 goals in the season). The chemistry between the two has reached incredible levels. Radja Nainggolan has come back strong from an injury and fired one home two matches ago, same as Nahitan Nandez, whose role is however more defensive. Another top-heavy team, as the ancillary players, like Marko Rog or Artur Ionita, are not all that involved in the offense. Luca Pellegrini is suspended, Gaston Pereiro likely out again with a small injury.

Atalanta: the insane depth of the Bergamaschi’s attack showed up again in the Napoli game where, even with Duvan Zapata and Alejandro Gomez bottled up, Josip Ilicic and Luis Muriel not playing and Ruslan Malinovskyi suspended, it was Mario Pasalic and Robin Gosens who stepped up and secured another quality W. The Colombian strikers had produced in the previous rounds, El Papu as always instead is more assist-oriented, while Ilicic is not right physically and might take him a while to be in gear.

Suggested picks: Zapata, Muriel, Gosens.


Parma: Dejan Kulusevski has been balling in the last three games and has been one of the best players in the League in June. Andreas Cornelius and Gervinho both hit the net in one of the recent matches, but they have not been as consistent as the Swedish starlet. But they are good bets for this one given the sorry state of Fiorentina. Juraj Kucka will be back from a day off and might have a pep in his step. Back-ups Gianluca Caprari and Yann Karamoh have not given them much in their limited playing time, so hierarchies remain very clear.

Suggested picks: Kulusevski, Cornelius, Gervinho.

Fiorentina: the only good news coming from a disheartening loss against Sassuolo is that Patrick Cutrone ended an extra-long scoring drought and, during his time at Milan, he was actually quite streaky. Dusan Vlahovic will finish serving his suspension. Gaetano Castrovilli looked absolutely gassed against Sassuolo, Franck Ribery too, taking a clear step back from the previous matches, while Federico Chiesa has yet to get it going in the resumption. Rachid Ghezzal has been unusually bubbly, while Alfred Duncan provided an assist in the past game. Their flank-game has been subpar even though Dalbert and especially Pol Lirola have had some good stretches in the past.

Suggested picks: Cutrone, Ribery, Ghezzal.


Sampdoria: the Blucerchiati escaped the Lecce clash with a seminal win powered by two Gaston Ramirez penalties and they have made it a habit of picking up clutch goals and points when they needed to. Claudio Ranieri announced the return, in at least limited minutes, of Fabio Quagliarella, but we will see in what kind of shape he is after the injury. Manolo Gabbiadini and Fabio Bonazzoli have scored recently: given their slow style they are rarely interesting picks, but the easy match-up helps them out. The dynamic Fabio Depaoli and Jakub Jankto both made an impact in Lecce.

Suggested picks: Ramirez, Gabbiadini, Jankto.

SPAL: the Estensi found themselves stunningly up two-nil against Milan, thanks to a random Mattia Valoti goal and a gem by Sergio Floccari, but self-harmed late with an own goal. Valoti and Mohamed Fares asked to come out in the last game, so their status is uncertain and they could even more devoid on weapons than usual, given that Marco D’Alessandro is suspended. If the absences are confirmed, it will be up to Lucas Castro, Alessandro Murgia and especially Gabriel Strefezza to pick up the slack, with only the last one having done something of note this season. Their leading scorer Andrea Petagna might be due for a maintenance day, but he clearly remains their biggest asset.

Suggest picks: Petagna, Strefezza, Castro.


Udinese: after long underwhelming stretch, the Bianconeri were very vigorous against Roma, where they were able to launch counter after counter and capitalized twice with Kevin Lasagna and Ilija Nestorovski. The Italian striker has scored three times in the last two fixtures but might have picked up an injury. Rodrigo De Paul is coming off an assist and also Seko Fofana and Lukasz Teodorczyk played well in Rome: the latter could be due for a goal after getting two waived off. Ken Sema will be reinvigorated after a day off. Genoa have struggled defensively recently.

Suggested picks: De Paul, Okaka, Teodorzcyk.

Genoa: their back-line is going in the wrong direction after the return of Serie A, as they were quietly  one of the stingiest in February and March but have been very lax in the past three, although they get a pass for the Juventus clash. On the other hand, Andrea Pinamonti scored twice in a row, which is a rarity, and Iago Falque has been effective, something they have not had before and has been very helpful because Goran Pandev, like few other veteran players throughout the league, has not played well. Antonio Sanabria has looked good twice in a row off the bench, but might not be 100 percent physically and thus he is seeing limited minutes. Two of their centre-pieces, Lasse Schone and Domenico Criscito, are out.

Suggested picks: Pinamonti, Falque, Sanabria.


Napoli: the Partenopei had a decent first half in Bergamo but with no end product and were soundly outplayed by Atalanta after intermission, where Dries Mertens, Lorenzo Insigne & co. disappeared. The one standing out a little bit was Hirving Lozano off the bench, one of the players whose stocks have raised a lot after the lockdown, but he remains unlikely to be fully unleashed given their other big names up front. After two games on the bench, it should be Arkadiusz Milik getting the start. Given how bad Roma have looked in the past two games, the Azzurri attackers are surely in play, while their talented midfielders have not been able to come through after Serie A’s return.

Suggested picks: Milik, Insigne, Callejon.

Roma: the Giallorossi were God awful versus Udinese, where Carles Perez was the only one okay contributor, while Diego Perotti got sent off early and Cengiz Under and Nikola Kalinic did nothing. Another side that paid the price for over-rotating: they will be helped out by the return to the XI of their studs Lorenzo Pellegrini, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Edin Dzeko, but they collectively seem to be going in the wrong direction. They desperately need a bounce-back game but this is a tough spot.

Suggested picks: Dzeko, Mkhitaryan, Pellegrini.

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