Serie A Fantasy Preview – Round 35


Atalanta: they were stymied a bit by their mini clones of Verona, but Duvan Zapata still came through, scoring for the third game in a row, and they had few chances to win it especially with Mario Pasalic, who was coming off a hat-trick. Ruslan Malinovskyi was not as effective in the Josip Ilicic’s role, while he had shined as pure no.10, in lieu of Alejandro Gomez, and that is something to monitor because El Papu does not rest often, while Ilicic is in poor conditions and will be managed cautiously. Luis Muriel might be a better candidate for that spot, while Pasalic is always very involved offensively whenever he is fielded. No doubts on the flanks this round around since Hans Hateboer is suspended and both Robin Gosens and Timothy Castagne are strong options.

Suggested picks: Zapata, Gomez, Muriel.

Bologna: other than a golazo by Takehiro Tomiyasu, they played very poorly versus Milan and that was almost inevitable since they decided to rest both Musa Barrow and Rodrigo Palacio, two of the guys that make the offense go. Federico Santander did very little and Nicola Sansone and Riccardo Orsolini had another dud, while Roberto Soriano came up with the assist and he has been trending positively. Same thing for Nicolas Dominguez, but they could go with the more defensive-minded duo in the holding positions here. Andreas Skov Olsen and Mattias Svanberg have fumbled the opportunities they have been given so far. Barrow has hit the net in a bunch of games recently.

Suggested picks: Barrow, Palacio, Soriano.


Milan: another explosion for the Rossoneri offense, with Hakan Calhanoglu once again leading the way and accruing six more points thanks to a goal and assist. Ante Rebic made the stat-sheet as well, interrupting an extra long slump (two appearances) give how his 2020 had gone so far. Then Ismael Bennacer and Alexis Saelemaekers notched their first of the season. Zlatan Ibrahimovic was limited to an assist and has not hit the net in three games, while Giacomo Bonaventura and Rafael Leao could not damage off the bench this time, as the deal was already sealed, but they are surely capable.

Suggested picks: Rebic, Calhanoglu, Ibrahimovic.

Sassuolo: they laid an egg in Cagliari as they could not defend, or enlarge, the advantage despite the opponents being down to ten man for a prolonged stretch. Francesco Caputo notched his third consecutive goal, but other than that they lacked some concreteness, especially with Jeremie Boga, who had to shoulder a big role with Domenico Berardi suspended. Filip Djuricic and Hamed Traore instead had a more defensive role than usual given their other absences, so they were more justified. Giacomo Raspadori was again positive but did not play a lot and they will not be as short-handed in this one. Berardi has been impressive in three straight appearances as well.

Suggested picks: Caputo, Berardi, Djuricic.


Parma: they played a strong first half against Sampdoria but again folded in the second one and their inconsistency within the same contest is baffling. Gervinho snapped out of drought, while Dejan Kulusevski caused an own goal, so they did enough offensively. Gianluca Caprari did not take advantage of his chance to start: if Juraj Kucka and Andreas Cornelius are held out again, it could be up to Roberto Inglese or Yann Karamoh to lead the trident, with the centre-forward being the best option, but he is not 100 percent yet. Jasmin Kurtic has bagged two goals recently, Hernani instead has fired off few shots but to no avail. When they were in form, they were usually dangerous in matches where they got to counter.

Suggested picks: Gervinho, Kulusevski, Inglese.

Napoli: Arkadiusz Milik hit the net mere seconds after entering the pitch for the injured Dries Mertens, but then picked up a yellow card that will cost him this game. If the Belgian wizard does not recover, they will have to go with a false-nine, which could lead to an interesting opportunity for maybe Matteo Politano or Hirving Lozano. The former Inter winger finally found the target and did it in spectacular fashion, so staying close to José Callejon, who had been running away in the pecking order. Lorenzo Insigne has not delivered in four matches, while Fabian Ruiz notched another helper. Should they rotate a lot like in the previous away game, Lozano and Elmas could become pretty interesting.

Suggested picks: Insigne, Ruiz, Politano. 


Inter: they were all in all pretty fortunate to draw versus Roma, as an opponent gift-wrapped them a late PK and allowed Romelu Lukaku to make the stat-sheet immediately upon returning from injury. He has now reached the 20-goal threshold, which is impressive in the first season in Serie A. A little step back for Lautaro Martinez, while Alexis Sanchez provided an assist, the fourth in the last three appearances, on top of scoring once, and so that is now a legitimate duel. Small flashes from Christian Eriksen, but he will need to work his way back into major minutes before being relevant again. Nicolò Barella came back, but his best contribution is freeing up the more intriguing Marcelo Brozovic of some defensive duties. Antonio Candreva has been their best wing-back in the resumption, but the others have not been too shabby either so it is just a matter of who is selected this time around.

Suggested picks: Lukaku, Sanchez, Candreva.

Fiorentina: they finally confirmed their progress at home too and that has allowed them to put together a pretty interesting streak. Even if he has not scored, Franck Ribery has led the charge. Federico Chiesa has been deployed in a more defensive position, but he oddly benefited from that and scored two matches ago. Patrick Cutrone instead has done damage in three in a row, either starting or off the bench, while Christian Kouame caused an own goal versus Torino and has been very sparkling. Dusan Vlahovic’s minutes has thus shrunk with the other attackers being in better shape. In the midfield, Rachid Ghezzal and Alfred Duncan have actually outplayed the work-horse Gaetano Castrovilli, who has been battling nagging injuries.

Suggested picks: Cutrone, Ribery, Chiesa.


Lecce: they were very unlucky in the head-to-head match with Genoa, as once again they created more than enough to win it, but were too wasteful, while the opponents were super clinical and got the luck of the bounce. Marco Mancosu missed another PK but then bagged what was meant to be a cross. Their main issue is that they have not had other consistent sources of scoring besides their captain. Khouma Babacar subbed off early with a knee problem and will have to be assessed. Gianluca Lapadula was clearly laboring but they need him. Diego Farias has been faring well but he is not very clutch, some improvements also for Riccardo Saponara. But they need to put it in the net if they want to comeback in the standings: the match-up could help. Antonin Barak has had few chances as well.

Suggested picks: Mancosu, Farias, Lapadula.

Brescia: they did exploit the SPAL game to bounce back after a rough stretch, but, despite a plethora of opportunities, it was Jaromir Zmrhal that came to the rescue, and not their strikers, despite a very sound performance by both Alfredo Donnarumma and Ernesto Torregrossa. The former has scored three times after the resumption, the former twice, plus one assist, and Lecce are pretty lousy in the back. Nikolas Spalek is suspended and Simon Skrabb appeared to hurt his knee, so Zmhral and Birkir Bjarnason should be pretty heavily featured. Also, Stefano Sabelli has a fairly role in games where they have the opportunity to generate some offense.

Suggested picks: Donnarumma, Torregrossa, Zmrhal.


Sampdoria: they are humming now that Fabio Quagliarella is back to peak form (two goals and one assist in the last two appearances) and Federico Bonazzoli has been going like gangbusters. Manolo Gabbiadini also scored a few, so the one taking a hit has been Gaston Ramirez, who has not put his name in the stat-sheet in three outings, and also lost some playing time to the other more effective strikers. Their little surge has coincided with the midfield stepping up: they do not necessarily have a stud there, but Morten Thorsby, Jakub Jankto and Karol Linetty all provided a valuable contribution to the offense. Gonzalo Maroni notched his first ‘Italian’ assist and he might get some run now that they are pretty much safe.

Suggested picks: Quagliarella, Bonazzoli, Gabbiadini.

Genoa: they did not look great while doing it, but they did come out on top in the pivotal clash with Lecce. Antonio Sanabria rather surprisingly got the nod and punched one home right away, only to be pulled at half time, then Goran Pandev created the decisive own goal with a crisp shot. With Andrea Pinamonti not scoring in the past four games, Pandev is back to being their more credible threat. Iago Falque has also slowed down well after coming out of the gate strongly and he is also being tossed around tactically. Lukas Lerager might see some good minutes with Stefano Sturaro and Francesco Cassata both being banged up and he might be worth a flier.

Suggested picks: Pandev, Falque, Sanabria.


SPAL: they managed to interrupt their scoring slump, with a random goal coming from Bryan Dabo, but not to win in Brescia. They had some chances, Andrea Petagna in particular squandered a big one, Marco D’Alessandro reiterated to be in pretty decent shape and Georgi Tunjov is getting an extended look, with okay returns as he seems to have a pretty good foot. The match-up is obviously much difficult in this case and the relegation is mathematical, so there is not much of note even though they have some players, like Gabriel Strefezza, Mohamed Fares or Mattia Valoti, that would have some value in different situations.

Suggested picks: D’Alessandro, Petagna.

Roma: they fumbled away the Inter tilt, as Leonardo Spinazzola was burden and delight since he scored but caused a laughable PK. Besides that, their household names showed up again since Henrikh Mkhitaryan netted his third goal in the past four matches and Edin Dzeko picked up two assists. Lorenzo Pellegrini instead has been seesawing, Nicolò Zaniolo is a little hurt and Aleksandar Kolarov might be stuck in a very defensive role now. In their last cakewalk in Brescia, Paulo Fonseca rotated the squad almost entirely, which means that Nikola Kalinic, Carles Perez and Diego Perotti might start in what is obviously a fantastic spot.

Suggested picks: Mkhitaryan, Dzeko/Kalinic, Perez.


Torino: their road woes reared their ugly heads again in Florence and they were unable to get much going in the final third, so Andrea Belotti’s streak came to an end after seven matches. They should be more at ease at home, but Verona are pretty sound defensively. Simone Verdi was initially rested on Sunday, but Alex Berenguer did not do much, and they should carry on with the scheme featuring Simone Zaza, or one of their young forwards, next to the Gallo. Cristian Ansaldi should be back in the XI as well and he can be a playmaker.

Suggested picks: Belotti, Verdi, Zaza. 

Verona: Milan Juric is back on the committee at no.9 as apparently Samuel Di Carmine has not been prolific enough to lock up the starting role. Valerio Verre was not great against Roma, Eddie Salcedo instead was pretty good versus Atalanta, but the goal came thanks to the usual Matteo Pessina, their most consistent weapon after the resumption (four goals). Little step back for Darko Lazovic in a great battle on the flanks, but he and Marco Davide Faraoni remain fecund sources of offense, similarly to Matteo Zaccagni. But, since Fabio Borini is back as well, the several options at their disposals make it a little tricky for fantasy managers.

Suggested picks: Pessina, Zaccagni, Lazovic.


Udinese: they were pretty good versus Napoli but once again came a cropper late. Rodrigo De Paul found the target again and he has been on a tear with both goals and assists lately, while Kevin Lasagna was held in check after scoring a bunch of times. Stefano Okaka will be back from suspension and he and Seko Fofana will try to take advantage of the room to counter, but their production is not at the same level as their more well-known teammates.

Suggested picks: Lasagna, De Paul, Okaka.

Juventus: a return to normalcy after the wacky Sassuolo game, as Cristiano Ronaldo spearheaded the charge in the Lazio clash and is now up to 30 goals in the season, while Paulo Dybala was his devastating Robin. Douglas Costa and Aaron Ramsey were pretty pedestrian despite starting, Federico Bernardeschi should be back in the XI, but he has not been too impressive either. The Brazilian speedster is way better off the bench. Juan Cuadrado, moved to right-back, and Adrien Rabiot have been their best midfielders after the resumption, while Rodrigo Bentancur is juggling between a couple of positions and that is not helpful fantasy-wise. Miralem Pjanic notched two assists the last time he featured.

Suggested picks: Ronaldo, Dybala, Cuadrado. 


Lazio: they did what they could given that the odds were stacked against them versus Juventus and Ciro Immobile returned to the stat-sheet thanks to a PK and also hit the post. While they can rejoice for that, Luis Alberto and Jony got hurt in the lead-up and they are running out of healthy bodies. Felipe Caicedo and Danilo Cataldi have not really stepped up, so all the actions go through Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, Immobile and Manuel Lazzari. Unless somebody return, the same will happen here, but it might turn out to be enough.

Suggested picks: Immobile, Milinkovic-Savic, Lazzari.

Cagliari: the Sardinians had a very nice reaction down to ten men against Sassuolo and managed to snap out of their drought with Joao Pedro delivering after five tilts with a very clinical goal. He might go on a run. Giovanni Simeone could not score but he changed the course of the contest off his bench. Gaston Pereiro and Valter Birsa were paltry despite the big minutes, the one truly picking it up to replace Radja Nainggolan was Marko Rog, who dished the assist and was very gritty, like Nahitan Nandez, but that is no surprise. They do not have the same amount of quality on the flanks sans Luca Pellegrini, even though Charalampos Lykogiannis, Federico Mattiello and Paolo Faragò are pretty passable.

Suggested picks: Pedro, Simeone, Rog.

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