Serie A Fantasy Preview – Round 37


Parma: Dejan Kulusevski willed them to victory, again, versus the lowly Brescia with an assist and a scorcher and he is finishing his stay in style, while Gervinho has been pretty paltry in recent matches, scoring just once in the last seven. Gianluca Caprari took advantage of his increased minutes and converted a PK, while among the other back-ups Luca Siligardi has been the liveliest. Roberto Inglese is tough to trust since his minutes are still spotty. Juraj Kucka returned from a short absence and he and Jasmin Kurtic are surely capable of doing damage offensively. Matteo Darmian is coming off his first goal of the season and also Riccardo Gagliolo notched one lately but their fullbacks will have their hands full defensively in this one.

Suggested picks: Kulusevski, Kucka, Caprari.

Atalanta: the Orobici are no longer running circles around the opponents, perhaps saving some energy for Champions League, but somebody always manages to clock in and it was Duvan Zapata’s turn versus Milan, while Ruslan Malinovskyi missed a PK. Luis Muriel had instead found the target against Verona and, they are those who are the most likely to score in any given round, since Josip Ilicic is hurt and Alejandro Gomez is more accustomed to dishing assist. Some rotation is always looming and that could aid Mario Pasalic, who has put together interesting numbers, but his role and playing time is uncertain. Robin Gosens has rarely gone too many games without hitting the net.

Suggested picks: Zapata, Muriel, Malinovskyi.


Inter: the Nerazzurri and Romelu Lukaku feasted on Genoa, as they are ones to do against the minnows. While the big Belgian continues to run rampant, Lautaro Martinez has rarely been himself in the restart and Alexis Sanchez, who light a fuse in that game too, is clearly in better shape. Their wing-backs there Victor Moses and Cristiano Biraghi both had an assist, but it is likely Antonio Candreva and Ashley Young start here and they too have been productive. Christian Eriksen is at least back at playing regular minutes, but he has picked up bonus points only because of clean sheets. Marcelo Brozovic resurfaced after a while with an assist. Their back-line has tightened things up with three clean sheets in the last four matches.

Suggested picks: Lukaku, Sanchez, Candreva.

Napoli: they downed Sassuolo thanks to two unusual contributors as Elseid Hysaj scored his first goal in Serie A and Allan his second of the season. Dries Mertens is suspended for this one so Arkadiusz Milik is likely to get another chance to start, but the supply line for him comes and goes. Lorenzo Insigne and José Callejon are both in pretty good form, while Matteo Politano recently snapped out of his season-long slump. It is instead a bit strange that Fabian Ruiz and Piotr Zielinski are not really able to contribute in a massive way to their offense despite their big role, although the Spaniard has logged few assists in the resumptions. Mario Rui will be well-rested and he can be a factor.

Suggested picks: Insigne, Callejon, Milik.


Lazio: the result against Verona was incredibly misleading thanks to a pair of PKs and late counters, but, as they recovered some pieces, the Biancocelesti have recaptured their form and Ciro Immobile fully benefitted with a hat-trick. It could be another ripe game for him and their other stars, as Sergej Milinkovic-Savic found the target twice in a row and Joaquin Correa immediately delivered in his first start after the knee injury: there is chasm in quality between him and Felipe Caicedo. One goal and one assist in the last four games instead for the maestro Luis Alberto. Manuel Lazzari is back of suspension and he has been a force in July.

Suggested picks: Immobile, Correa, Milinkovic-Savic.

Brescia: Diego Lopez rested whoever had any ding or bruise in the Parma game, so sparing Alfredo Donnarumma and Birkir Bjarnason among their relevant players. It was Daniele Dessena who came through to keep them in the game and he has amazingly scored twice in a row. Ernesto Torregrossa and Florian Aye would be their lead guys once again should the absences be confirmed and their wingers Jaromir Zmrhal and Nikolas Spalek have been decently feisty, but the match-up is daunting and the situation is clearly dire.

Suggested picks: Torregrossa, Spalek, Zmrhal.


Sampdoria: they vowed not to be the sacrificial lamb versus Juventus and in fact they were not since, even if they did not score, Gaston Ramirez and Fabio Quagliarella came very close. The Uruguayan attacker snapped out of his funk there. However, they are in for another challenging match-up and they no longer have much motivation. That could lead to some rotation with Federico Bonazzoli, Manolo Gabbiadini maybe Gonzalo Maroni getting the nod and some regulars being rested, while Morten Thorsby is suspended and that opens up a spot in the midfield. Karol Linetty and Jakub Jankto have been dynamic lately, but they are rarely a good bet to pop up in the stat-sheet.

Suggested picks: Bonazzoli, Gabbiadini, Quagliarella.

Milan: they were pretty depleted but still withstood the assault against Atalanta and actually got the lead thanks to a gorgeous free kick by Hakan Calhanoglu, who has now leapfrogged Ante Rebic and Zlatan Ibrahimovic as their best player of the resumption, having notched three goals and five assists in the last four matches, an ungodly tally. Ibra bagged against Sassuolo, while just one goal for Rebic in the last five rounds. Samu Castillejo came back from injury and he could become the fourth wheel of their front-line over Alexis Saelemaekers, while Giacomo Bonaventura and Rafael Leao are hindered by the fact that they are mostly used as subs. The most meaningful returns though are those of Ismael Bennacer and Theo Hernandez (six goal, five assists).

Suggested picks: Calhanoglu, Ibrahimovic, Rebic.


Sassuolo: a matter of inches denied them of four goals in Napoli and the result could not have been more misleading as the Neroverdi pulled the strings for most of the tilt. Filip Djuricic, Domenico Berardi and Francesco Caputo all did their thing but the VAR bit them. The trio is looking very sharp, Djuricic in particular, but the other two are more prone to scoring. Hamed Traore is finally surging and could have had a pair of assists in Naples and he might fill in for Jeremie Boga again, since Lukas Haraslin has not been great besides scoring once. Jeremy Toljan returned from injury just as Mert Muldur appeared to pick up one of his own and, while not equally prolific, he is a quality right-back too, while Rogerio has been on fire on the left flank.

Suggested picks: Caputo, Berardi, Djuricic.

Genoa: some absences contributed to it, but they almost punted the Inter game, resting, partially or completely, some of their linchpins like Lasse Schone, Goran Pandev and Iago Falque; this match-up is much easier though. Andrea Pinamonti has gotten cold, Antonio Sanabria is hurt and Andrea Favilli and Mattia Destro have not done anything of note in the season, so Pandev is back to being their most reliable striker. Domenico Criscito has drilled eight PKs in 2019/2020. Their midfield actually improved fantasy-wise due to physical problems, because Lukas Lerager and Filip Jagiello have been more active offensively than Stefano Sturaro, Francesco Cassata and Valon Behrami, but the grittier ones are best suited for the situation.

Suggested picks: Pandev, Falque, Jagiello.


Udinese: Kevin Lasagna returned after a one-game absence but it was Stefano Okaka who downed Cagliari with his second goal in the last four appearances and the seventh in the season. Ilija Nestorovski and Seko Fofana instead had hit the game in the previous game, while Rodrigo De Paul has been outstanding for a few games in a row now, even though it has not necessarily translated to bonus points. Ken Sema is on the up and up as well and dished an assist against Juventus. Jens Larsen did the same in Cagliari but he is suspended for this one, so Hidde Ter Avest should get a chance. Lecce are very shaky in the back and tend to concede on counters, an art that the Zebrette master.

Suggested picks: Lasagna, Fofana, Okaka/Nestorovski.

Lecce: Filippo Falco returned to the stat-sheet after five months, although he had been active assist-wise, and Marco Mancosu notched one more, on open play for a change, but that was not enough to come away with points from Bologna, as the match ended in bitter fashion. Gianluca Lapadula had some chances but did not knock one on goal, although he is looking good and had a brace in the previous outing, where Riccardo Saponara scored too. They are not lacking firepower now that some elements have shaken off their injuries, but unfortunately they can not stop an opponent to save their lives.

Suggested picks: Mancosu, Lapadula, Falco. 


Verona: they have run out of defenders and so Milan Juric was forced to field a wacky lineup against Lazio and the same will happen here, although the match-up will obviously help. Sofyan Amrabat deservedly scored his first goal of the season thanks to a PK, Matteo Pessina, Fabio Borini and Eddie Salcedo were the recipient of the best chances. Even if he has not hit the net in a long time, the youngster has been impressive in his last performances, while Pessina has been their most consistent weapon. Mattia Zaccagni sees ample playing time but is not as prolific, Valerio Verre and Samuel Di Carmine’s form has subsided as Borini surged in recent games.

Suggested picks: Pessina, Salcedo, Borini.

SPAL: Marco D’Alessandro capitalized on few good displays in a row with his first goal of the season and, once the horses left the barn, they have been able to score in three straight matches, with Bryan Dabo and Alberto Cerri providing the other two, but the striker is hurt. Andrea Petagna has not stroked one home since late June, while Gabriel Strefezza has struggled to pick up bonuses, but they are still their best players. Mo Fares started against Torino and he can be dangerous with his crossing. Not much of note out of their midfield unless Mattia Valoti is ready to play major minutes.

Suggested picks: D’Alessandro, Petagna, Strefezza. 


Cagliari: Joao Pedro and Giovanni Simeone both had their opportunities versus Udinese but squandered them and their offense lives and dies by their strikers, since the other are mostly ancillary players, especially in the final third. The Brazilian has toiled away in the restart, El Cholito came out guns blazing, then fell into a slump, then scored two matches ago. Nahitan Nandez is disqualified and that is a significant loss that adds to the other massive ones of Radja Nainggolan and Luca Pellegrini. Marko Rog and Artur Ionita will have to step up, while Gaston Pereiro had some okay signs in the last tilt, but he is extremely boom-or-bust. Their flank game has not produced.

Suggested picks: Simeone, Pedro, Rog.

Juventus: Cristiano Ronaldo scored but missed a PK in the title-clinching game against Sampdoria, Federico Bernardeschi finally hit the net after two years, while Paulo Dybala subbed off and will not be risked. That leaves an opening for Gonzalo Higuain, but, despite scoring against Sassuolo, he is no longer the player he used to be, also for lack of consistent minutes. Ronaldo will try to give it another go for the top scorers’ chart, but at this point it is firmly in Immobile’s hands. Adrien Rabiot, one of their best players lately, is disqualified. Miralem Pjanic has been pretty good with three recent assists, then Rodrigo Bentancur is coming off a maintenance day. They really do not have any deep reserve that could shine in this situation.

Suggested picks: Ronaldo, Higuain, Bernardeschi.


Fiorentina: even if Giuseppe Iachini is giving everybody a shot in the front-line, they could not create much against Roma, although they did find the equalizer thanks to a towering header by Nikola Milenkovic for his fourth goal of the season. Bologna are a quality team but they are also well-known for giving up cheap goals. Patrick Cutrone has been their most prolific striker with three goals in the last five rounds, good performances but no end product for Christian Kouame and Franck Ribery, while Dusan Vlahovic has been a little marginalized. Federico Chiesa rifled one home four matches ago but has been lacklustre after that. Gaetano Castrovilli is back from suspension, but Alfred Duncan and Rachid Ghezzal have been more threatening.

Suggested picks: Cutrone, Ribery, Kouame.

Bologna: they took full advantage of the date with Lecce as Musa Barrow notched his sixth goal since the resumption, Roberto Soriano his second in the last four games, Rodrigo Palacio interrupted a famine that had going on since February and Riccardo Orsolini notched an assist. So good news all around for their attackers, but El Trenza is suspended, so now it is up to Nicola Sansone to try to bounce back as well. Federico Santander and Andreas Skov Olsen might get another shot here since the coach is trying to keep everybody involved and evaluate them. The Danish youngster did play a little better than usual in the last match.

Suggeted picks: Barrow, Soriano, Orsolini.


Torino: scoring just once versus SPAL must be considered a disappointment, although Simone Verdi bagged a gem and has been pretty lively lately. Simone Zaza and especially Andrea Belotti could not capitalize on a golden opportunity: the former has two goals in the last five tilts, the latter has not found the target in the past three after a devastating streak. Alex Berenguer was used on the flank but the role is pretty limiting. Cristian Ansaldi has been on the rise on the other one. Sasa Lukic hit the net in a recent game and he should get the start here with Tomas Rincon disqualified.

Suggested picks: Belotti, Verdi, Zaza.

Roma: Edin Dzeko and Henrikh Mkhitaryan were stymied by Fiorentina, but it was Jordan Veretout who came through with two PKs. The Armenian has logged three goals in the last five fixtures, the Bosnian had amassed eight points in the previous two. Lorenzo Pellegrini will miss time with a fractured nose and that will give either Nicolò Zaniolo or Carles Perez a chance to start and they both have big potential, although Zaniolo’s minutes are still being watched closely. Bruno Peres and Leonardo Spinazzola have been excellent since they devised a 3-4-2-1 that frees up the two wing-backs.

Suggested picks: Mkhitaryan, Dzeko, Zaniolo.

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