Serie A Fantasy Preview – Round Five – Other Games


Sassuolo: the Neroverdi were tested by Bologna, but they reacted vigorously and nabbed another win thanks to goal by their usual difference-makers, Francesco Caputo (fourth in the season), Domenico Berardi (third) and Filip Djuricic. The Serbian attacker started off slowly but found the target in the last two outings. Gregoire Defrel and Lukas Haraslin have hampered by injuries, while Jeremie Boga and Nicolas Schiappacasse had to deal with COVID, so the final spot in their front-line is up for grabs. Hamed Traore has first dibs if the absentees do not return, but Maxime Lopez could be an option as well. At some point they will have to start using Boga, but he missed a lot of practice time because of the virus. Mert Muldur and Georgios Kyriakopoulos have yet to turn it on this season, while Manuel Locatelli and Mehdi Bourabia have both hit the net once despite their role.

Suggested picks: Caputo, Berardi, Djuricic.

Torino: they have been rather uninspiring so far and the only thing going for them has been Andrea Belotti, who has somehow found the target four times in three matches despite the limited opportunities. Federico Bonazzoli got off to an okay start by assisting his teammate. Marco Giampaolo picked Sasa Lukic as tactical no.10 in the last game and he fared well, drawing a PK, while Simone Verdi had no impact off the bench and keeps struggling in that role. They may go that route again here while Amer Gojak gets accustomed to his new teammates: the starting job is surely there for the taking. Karol Linetty and Soualiho Meite have been ineffective, while Mergim Vojvoda and Cristian Rodriguez were serviceable in the past game and the former has shown he can be a decent crosser.

Suggested picks: Belotti, Bonazzoli, Lukic. 



Lazio: the Biancocelesti looked like a completely different team on Tuesday against Borussia Dortmund after laying a big fat egg in the Sampdoria tilt and Ciro Immobile being available was obviously key. The capocannoniere will now look to hit the ground running in Serie A as well after a checkered start. They have had a limited amount of success offensively so far: the only other ones hitting the net domestically have been Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, Felipe Caicedo and Manuel Lazzari. Caicedo has already started to lose minutes to Vedat Muriqi, who has played pretty well. Luis Alberto and Joaquin Correa were magnificent against Borussia Dortmund, while they have been just passable in Serie A play. Adam Marusic has shaken off his injury and has already have a big display this season, Mohamed Fares has been fine on the left wing.

Suggested picks: Immobile, Correa, Alberto.

Bologna: the Felsinei are coming off a rough loss versus Sassuolo but, despite the results, they do have a pulse and their offense has been fecund. Roberto Soriano has been great so far and Rodrigo Palacio is right behind him, while Musa Barrow has fired blanks and has not been able to replicate what he did in the resumption, even though he is heavily involved and he takes a lot of shots. Riccardo Orsolini opened his seasonal tally in the past game and he needed that after some subpar outings: he can be a streaky player. With Gary Medel and Andrea Poli both sidelined, Mattias Svanberg and Nicolas Dominguez are getting good minutes and they surely have more offensive upside and, as a matter of fact, the former found the target in the past match.

Suggested picks: Soriano, Palacio, Orsolini.



Cagliari: they are coming off a healthy win over Torino where they were powered by their star duo, Giovanni Simeone and Joao Pedro. The Argentinian striker bounced back after some glaring misses and put together a brace, while the Brazilian had his second opportunistic goal. They have already tweaked their system to have Pedro closer to the goal, which has also benefitted Nahitan Nandez, who played in a wider position, while Riccardo Sottil, who had his liveliest display to date, is fine on either flank. If that continued to be the case, Marko Rog would have less liberty as pivot, but he is was not a significant factor to begin with. Razvan Marin’s role is similar and most of his output is going to come from set pieces. Gabriele Zappa’s offensive prowess has carried over from Serie B, while Charalampos Lykogiannis is generally a steady hand.

Suggested picks: Simeone, Pedro, Nandez.

Crotone: they were courageous in the Juventus tilt and perhaps they reaped less than what they sow as they did have few changes to bag another goal. Simy converted his second straight PK, while Junior Messias was the most active man for them offensively. Ahmad Benali is indeed expected to return this week from his calf injury, but it remains to be seen whether he will be limited at first. He scored seven goals out of the midfield last season and he is going to replace Milos Vulic, who has not made much noise so far. It could instead take another week for Emmanuel Riviere, but they got that role covered with Messias and Luca Siligardi. Arkadiusz Reca and Salvatore Molina have both been pretty spry and could be cheap options.

Suggested picks: Simy, Messias, Molina.




Parma: injuries and COVID pillaged them during the break, but they still put out a quality performance on the offensive end against Udinese and they were unlucky to not come away with a least a point. After an assist versus Verona, Yann Karamoh stepped up again sans Roberto Inglese and Andreas Cornelius and hit the net this time. He has surely outplayed Gervinho, who has yet to round into shape. Few of the intriguing newcomers are out so the lineup could be similar, maybe with the addition of Wylan Cyprien, who has some potential but may need some time to establish himself. Hernani has been surprisingly productive and already found the target twice. They could use a more dynamic #10 because Juraj Kucka has been underwhelming even though he had a penchant for scoring in the past, but he just is not very creative. Jasmin Kurtic decided the previous game with an early goal. Despite all the problems, the more proactive ideas of the new coach are beginning to show.

Suggested picks: Karamoh, Kurtic, Hernani.

Spezia: they clawed back in the Fiorentina match on the heels of two goals by newcomers, Simone Verde and Diego Farias. Verde has quickly positioned himself atop of the pecking order on the right wing, while Farias, like Kevin Agudelo, will likely continue to have a more of spark-plug kind of role. Roberto Piccoli struggled while filling in for Andrej Galabinov, Mbaye Nzola was way more incisive and he will likely get the nod here and he does have interesting potential. Emmanuel Gyasi did not shine in the last game but he is always very involved in their offense. Their midfield instead has been more conservative than imagined as they have not relied much on Paolo Bartolomei, who provided a host of assists last season, and Tommaso Pobega, but rather opted for the grittier Alessandro Deiola and Gennaro Acampora. But it is likely going to be a match-up based proposition. Giulio Maggiore is out with COVID. Matteo Ricci has been very solid and has a good foot on set pieces.

Suggested picks: Nzola, Verde, Gyasi.



Fiorentina: they had a marvelous start against Spezia, hitting the net twice in the first five minutes with defenders German Pezzella and Cristiano Biraghi, but then lost the plot and Gaetano Castrovilli squandered a major chance to seal the deal. The starlet has not been great after finding the target in the first two games, but he has also been banged up. Dusan Vlahovic got the nod over Christian Kouame this time, but could not deliver and the three-headed duel for minutes, the other guy being Patrick Cutrone, rages one without one clearly separating himself, which is an issue for fantasy owners. Franck Ribery had a pair of classy plays but perhaps more is expected out of him in easy matches and Giacomo Bonaventura has been rather muted as well. Pol Lirola fully took advantage of an opportunity to start and set up a goal, but José Callejon will soon begin breathing down his neck. Biraghi is in his element in this scheme and he has already cashed in.

Suggested picks: Ribery, Castrovilli, Biraghi.

Udinese: after three scoreless matches, the Friulani broke out versus Parma and notched three, two random ones, by Samir and an own goal, while Ignacio Pussetto had a splendid game-winner. The two new Argentinians, him and Roberto Pereyra, and Gerard Deulofeu are inevitably going to change their approach and they had their best stretches when they were all on the pitch together. Rodrigo De Paul is performing admirably but has yet to take home bonus points: he is due. Thomas Ouwejan has been very good on the left flank and he takes care of some of the set pieces. While the newcomers give them a boost, Kevin Lasagna and Stefano Okaka have yet to find their rhythm even though they both had good chances to capitalize.

Suggested picks: Pussetto, De Paul, Lasagna.

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