Bologna: the Felsinei have been unconvicing in their two road games, against Benevento and Milan, while they hanged four goals on Parma on their lone home one. They had their chances against the Sanniti but could not knock one through. They lost Andreas Skov Olsen for significant time during the break and so Riccardo Orsolini will recapture the starting job, but he will have to watch out for Emmanuel Vignato if he does not wake up. Musa Barrow has taken a bunch of shots but has yet to score, the leading man in that regard has been Roberto Soriano and also Rodrigo Palacio has notched one. The absences of Gary Medel and Andrea Poli will force them to field either Mattias Svanberg or Nicolas Dominguez, who carry more value because they participate more in the final third. Sassuolo tend to leave some room to counter and they have a pair of speedsters.
Suggested picks: Barrow, Soriano, Palacio.
Sassuolo: they have already bagged nine goals, scoring four against both Crotone and Spezia. Bologna are better defensively than the two newly promoted teams, but surely not a juggernaut in that regard. Francesco Caputo has spearheaded the assault, but everybody has cooked since Domenico Berardi, Filip Djuricic, Gregoire Defrel and even Manuel Locatelli have all find the target once. Jeremie Boga has finally shaken off COVID, now the matter for him is to find an acceptable shape after missing the whole pre-season. They have yet to unleash Mert Muldur this season and Rogerio has been on the shelf, so the output coming from the fullbacks has been more subdued than in the past.
Suggested picks: Caputo, Berardi, Defrel.
Spezia: the Aquilotti will not have their top scorer and reference point Andrej Galabinov for some matches. Back-up Roberto Piccoli shares most of the traits, but he is at his first year in Serie A. If they want to, they can go with a false-nine, especially now that they have brought back M’Baye Nzola. Galabinov had netted all of their three goals, assisted once by Emmanuel Gyasi and once by Matteo Ricci, who have both fared well. Simone Verde and Kevin Agudelo have had some decent stretches during games but they can surely do more, like their box-to-box midfielders, Giulio Maggiore, Paolo Bartolomei and Tommaso Pobega, who all have the potential to pick up some bonuses after what they have shown in Serie B in recenty years.
Suggested picks: Gyasi, Verde, Piccoli.
Fiorentina: the Viola were lacklustre versus Sampdoria and the absence of Franck Ribery was too noticeable. The Frenchman, who was transcendent against Inter, is back for this one, while Gaetano Castrovilli, who has already found the target twice, might not be at 100 percent. It will be their first game without Federico Chiesa and, even though he was not always super consistent, some adjusting will be necessary given that he was a fulcrum. Pol Lirola and José Callejon, who has been without a team for months and will need some time to be up to speed, will replace him tactically, but it remains to be seen who will step up in terms of touches and leadership. Castrovilli, Ribery and Giacomo Bonaventura are all good candidates. Dusan Vlahovic blasted one through in the last game, Patrick Cutrone scored with Italy U-21, but it looks like their standard configuration is not going to feature more than one pure striker and Christian Kouame, who has notched one goal as well, is currently the frontrunner.
Suggested picks: Ribery, Kouame, Bonaventura.
Torino: the Granata swapped one weapon, Alex Berenguer, for another, Amer Gojak, in the final days of the transfer market window and the ex-Dinamo Zagreb will be in constant competition with Simone Verdi to play as no.10 and he might actually be more natural for that position. They also added Federico Bonazzoli to challenge Simone Zaza, who has been so-so in the first two outings but has good chemistry with Andrea Belotti, who has netted their lone two goals. They have not shown many improvements compared to last season, maybe the break helped the coach fully install his system. Soualiho Meite and Karol Linetty, but also the fullbacks, have not been particularly involved in the offense: they could have some value if they remedied that.
Suggested picks: Belotti, Zaza, Verdi.
Cagliari: the Sardinians are in a similar spot as the new manager’s hand has not been very visible, but they also had a terrible schedule to open the campaign. Giovanni Simeone scored in the opener but then was wasteful in the other two matches, their other cornerstone Joao Pedro has registered one goal and one assist despite a new position, so he is going to be the best pick out of them week in and week out. Razvan Marin has had some issues asserting himself but he has set up a goal with a corner kick, Nahitan Nandez and Marko Rog have been the usual dynamos, but their activity in the box depends on the difficulty of the match-up. Riccardo Sottil shined with Italy U-21 but he will have a new quality competitor in Adam Ounas, who did not impress at Napoli but does not lack talent.
Suggested picks: Pedro, Simeone, Sottil.
Udinese: from the fantasy standpoint, they were the team that improved the most in the final stretch of the window as they added three potential studs in Roberto Pereyra, Gerard Deulofeu and Ignacio Pussetto. While Pereyra showed well in his first game back, Deulofeu has not played in months due to an ACL tear and Pussetto does not have a clear spot in their current scheme, it might be time for them to ditch it for a more proactive one. Rodrigo De Paul now has more technical teammates to combine with and that is going to elevate him even though he will have to share the load. They have yet to hit the net and Kevin Lasagna has been poor since he has been put in position to score on few different occasions, Stefano Okaka instead has been MIA. Thomas Ouwejan and Nahuel Molina are intriguing prospects on the flanks.
Suggested picks: De Paul, Lasagna, Pereyra.
Parma: they too added some new weapons late and the most likely to have an immediate impact is Wylan Cyprien, but it also depends on whether he will snatch PK duties away from the teammates, while Valentin Mihaila and Juan Brunetta will have to wait for their turn. Jasmin Kurtic put his signature on the W over Verona, immediately delivering after a two-game absence and he and Juraj Kucka are going to benefit from a more offensive brand of football, but it is not a given that Kucka is going to consistently be the starting no.10 going forward. Andreas Cornelius got hurt again and Roberto Inglese got COVID, so they will again go with the light front-line. Yann Karamoh looked more explosive than Gervinho before the break, but it will tough for him to unseat the more established teammate, maybe they should find a way to co-exist even now that Inglese is back in full capacity.
Suggested picks: Kurtic, Gervinho, Karamoh.
Verona: they signed Nikola Kalinic on deadline day and he is going to be extremely helpful, but he might not be usable right away due to lack of conditioning, so it could be Andrea Favilli running the show again and he put his name in the stat-sheet in his debut. COVID bit them too and they will not have Antonin Barak for a while, which will open up some room for Eddie Salcedo or Ebrima Colley, who will try to complement the playmaking prowess of Mattia Zaccagni behind the striker. Darko Lazovic has overcome the early injury and he is coming off a gorgeous campaign. Marco Davide Faraoni and Federico Dimarco instead might be forced to fill in defensively since they have several absences there. Adrien Tameze and Ivan Ilic could be okay options given their technique if Miguel Veloso is unable to return.
Suggested picks: Lazovic, Favilli, Zaccagni.
Genoa: it is going to be a surreal game as they still have a host of players dealing with COVID, some of which might be cleared just before the match, leaving some doubts about their fitness. The most relevant ones affected are Miha Zajc, Mattia Destro, Davide Zappacosta, Luca Pellegrini and Lukas Lerager. However, they replenished their front-line through the market with Eldor Shomurodov and Gianluca Scamacca, who can both be major cogs and prolific if they adapt quickly to Serie A, and Goran Pandev, who is somehow still their primary playmaker, skated through the outbreak. Paolo Ghiglione and Lennart Czyborra are primed to get an opportunity on the flanks and the former was terrific in the opener, where he dished two assists.
Suggested picks: Pandev, Shomurodov, Ghiglione.
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