Serie A Fantasy Preview – Round Four – Top Matches


Napoli: they did not get to play the third game because of well-known reasons, but the first two were pretty indicative. Victor Osimhen has yet to score, but he has had a major impact anyway and he is bound to break through soon. In the meantime, Dries Mertens has led the charge (two goals, two assists), helped by the resurgent Hirving Lozano, who has kept up the momentum from the restart. The injury to Lorenzo Insigne and Piotr Zielinski and Elijf Elmas getting COVID might slow down the deployment 4-2-3-1 in full force, but that should be the way forward and the arrival of Tiemoué Bakayoko cements it. The absences could give Matteo Politano and/or Stanislav Lobotka a bigger role than usual and the former scored in the Genoa romp. If Atalanta do not adjust the way they defend, they could make some sweet music on counters.

Suggested picks: Mertens, Osimhen, Lozano.

Atalanta: they have been the most prolific team across Europe through three games and, since Duvan Zapata bagged his first goal against Cagliari, all their regulars but Ruslan Malinovskyi, have hit the net. And the rich will get richer as Aleksey Miranchuk will be available after the break, but likely just in small doses as he adapts to the new League. Alejandro Gomez is currently Serie A’s leading scorer, while Luis Muriel has notched two goals and one helper. Robin Gosens, Hans Hateboer, Mario Pasalic and even Marten De Roon and Sam Lammers have all had their moments so far, so there is plenty of options to pick from. They will face an opponent that is clearly superior than their previous ones, so another offensive blast is unlikely, but they are tough to stop for everybody.

Suggested picks: Gomez, Muriel, Zapata. 



Inter: after two great offensive performances versus Fiorentina and Benevento, the Nerazzurri could not put more than one in the bag in the Lazio clash, although they looked in control for at least an hour. Lautaro Martinez has been ungodly and has found the target in three straight matches, something that had never happened in Italy before, Romelu Lukaku is on a par with him in terms of goals thanks to a brace. Achraf Hakimi (one goal, two assists) has been predictably uncontainable on the right wing and he is gearing up for a battle for the ages with Theo Hernandez, and whoever gets the upper hand could swing the whole Derby. Among their midfielders, Roberto Gagliardini has been the only one to score, but he is not a lock to play, while Ivan Perisic and Nicolò Barella have provided an assist each. Arturo Vidal generally shows up in big games. Stefano Sensi is suspended, but it is not a given that his minutes will go to Christian Eriksen.

Suggested picks: Lukaku, Martinez, Vidal.

Milan: the Rossoneri fully took advantage of the easy schedule to open the season and have been fueled by the solid showings of few different contributors, who have taking turns in making it to the stat-sheet. They will get Zlatan Ibrahimovic back after COVID, and he had a brace in the opener, instead Ante Rebic is still iffy because of an ugly elbow injury. However, Rafael Leao scored twice against Spezia and he is certainly in a much better spot now compared to where he was two or three weeks ago after a lengthy quarantine. Hakan Calhanoglu is the engine that makes them go, but he has been limited to just one assist so far despite his high usage. Theo Hernandez opened his seasonal tally with a screamer in the last bout. In Serie A play, Brahim Diaz has been more convincing than Alexis Saelemaekers and Samu Castillejo, but the Belgian youngster has done some damage in the Europa League.

Suggested picks: Ibrahimovic, Calhanoglu, Leao.



Sampdoria: the Blucerchiati bounced back in a difficult spot, nipping Fiorentina at the post after two rough outings, propelled by a Fabio Quagliarella penalty kick and a gem by Valerio Verre. The veteran striker had hit the net against Benevento as well and is still firmly their primary scoring threat. They parted ways with Federico Bonazzoli, while Gaston Ramirez stayed at the club: the Uruguayan fantasista will compete with Manolo Gabbiadini, who has been limited by an injury before the break, and Balde Keita, once he will have shaken off coronavirus, for minutes next to their offensive linchpin each week. Maybe Verre will find a way to get some playing time as attacking midfielder and he showed at Verona that he can be a weapon in that position. Antonio Candreva has already proven he can be a difference maker down the left flank. Jakub Jankto is likely to return from a small injury, but he is boom-or-bust. Lazio could be seriously undermanned in the back and perhaps they can exploit that.

Suggested picks: Quagliarella, Candreva, Ramirez.

Lazio: the shellacking by Atalanta is a major factor, but it feels like the Biancocelesti have not been their best selves to open the season, also because of injuries. However, they still got a quality point out of the Inter bout, with Sergej Milinkovic-Savic stepping up in the clutch. It will not aid that Ciro Immobile is suspended, so Felipe Caicedo and Joaquin Correa, or the newcomer Vedat Muriqi that will be available for the first time, will have to step up scoring-wise to make up for the giant hole. Luis Alberto has engineered most of their offense but he has yet to haul in bonus points. They will be depleted on the flanks since Manuel Lazzari and Adam Marusic are out, but at least Mohamed Fares will be ready to make his first start and he was quite good when healthy at SPAL.

Suggested picks: Caicedo, Correa, Milinkovic-Savic.



Crotone: the Squali have arguably been the worst team in the League through three rounds as their attempts to generate offense did them in on the other end, as they have already surrendered ten goals. They have also been ravaged by injuries, but they might get some horses back here, especially Ahmad Benali, their second-best player last season, and Emmanuel Riviere, who found the target in the first match, however it is not certain yet. Simy, who was not great in the first two fixtures, converted a penalty kick and that might get him going. Junior Messias has been their main playmaker so far, while Arkadiusz Reca and Salvatore Molina have shown well on the flanks, but the coach might opt for more conservative choices in this one.

Suggested picks: Simy, Messias, Reca.

Juventus: they surely had a rough international break since Cristiano Ronaldo caught COVID with Portugal and Aaron Ramsey, who was splendid in the first two matches, picked up a muscular injury with Wales. Paulo Dybala is also not 100 percent because of an illness, but he will likely soldier through it give the situation. Those issues leave Alvaro Morata and Dejan Kulusevski as the more interesting options up front and Federico Chiesa could have decent space immediately upon joining the club. The Spaniard has rarely been a very prolific scorer but somebody will need to pick up the slack sans CR7. Federico Bernardeschi has returned from injury, but his role might not be very offensive. Rodrigo Bentancur and Arthur are likely to be featured more going forward after some physical problems to open the campaign and they should have some mid-range value with thier passing. They will face the team that has conceded the most so far.

Suggested picks: Morata, Dybala, Kulusevki.



Roma: the Giallorossi topped Udinese in the previous showing thanks to a great goal by Pedro and have managed to get four points already, including one against Juventus, even though Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Edin Dzeko have been rather underwhelming. The centre-forward in particular has missed some sitters and a transfer market window full of uncertainty must have weighed on him. Despite the subpar start, he is the main cog of their offense and he should quickly get back on track. The Armenian has been peppier, but not clinical. Their new formation and Amadou Diawara’s positive test help out Pedro, who quickly capitalized, and dents Lorenzo Pellegrini, who now plays as pivot. Jordan Veretout scored twice against Juventus, including one on open play, which was a change-of-pace for him. Leonardo Spinazzola has been very dynamic as uncontested starter, while nobody between Bruno Peres, Rick Karsdorp and Davide Santon has taken the reins on the right flank yet. Borya Mayoral and Carlos Perez could be decent rosters if they rest their veterans after international duties.

Suggested picks: Pedro, Mkhitaryan, Dzeko.

Benevento: the Sanniti have been unsurprisingly the feistiest out of the newly promoted clubs and the drubbing by Inter should quickly end up being an outlier. They held Bologna reasonably in check and Gianluca Lapadula bagged an opportunistic goal, his first one at his new club after being hindered by lack of fitness. Gabriele Moncini got hurt, so he will take over the starting job. That W was more typical than the one against Sampdoria, where two defenders put their names in the stat-sheet. Gianluca Caprari had a two-fer versus Inter and he has quickly become a cornerstone, while Iago Falque was given the start right away but did not look particularly well. The alternatives are Roberto Insigne and Marco Sau, who picked up the assist in that tilt.

Suggested picks: Lapadula, Caprari, Falque.

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