Inter: Romelu Lukaku suffered a thigh injury that will cost him at least one game and the Nerazzurri will have to make up for the loss of their target man, something that rarely happened last year. Alexis Sanchez is dealing with a small problem as well, therefore Lautaro Martinez, who has slowed down after opening the campaign with three straight goals, will have to shoulder the attack, then they will hope Andrea Pinamonti can be decent right away. They also briefly used Ivan Perisic as second-striker in the last game. Stefano Sensi is back on the shelf with his customary muscular problems: Christian Eriksen had some flashes last week, but so far him and Marcelo Brozovic have produced nothing too exciting. Their best midfielder has been Nicolò Barella (two assists), while Arturo Vidal has mostly taken care of the dirty work. At some point Radja Nainggolan will get in on the action, but it has not happened yet. Fortunately, Achraf Hakimi (one goal, two assists) was a false positive and he will resume plowing the flank from the start here, while Ashley Young has shaken off the virus and will challenge Ivan Perisic, who has been solid (two assists) but has not really taken off. Their back-line has improved with Alessandro Bastoni back in the fold.
Recommended picks: Martinez, Perisic, Hakimi.
Parma: they had a rather confusing performance against Spezia, but they somehow managed to nab a late equalizer thanks to a small surge and a Juraj Kucka penalty kick for his first goal of the season. The return of Andreas Cornelius did not really move the needle much, while Roberto Inglese is still unavailable due to COVID. Their whole attack has been underwhelming, in particular when it comes to Gervinho, still scoreless after four games: the only one getting something going has been Yann Karamoh (one goal, one assist), but the coach has yet to fully unleash him. They have instead gotten something out of the midfield since Hernani has found the target twice and Jasmin Kurtic once in three appearances. Wylan Cyprien figures to be the best of the lot once acclimated, but the process could take some time.
Recommended picks: Karamoh, Cornelius, Kurtic.
Udinese: their attack interrupted its drought in the last fixture as Stefano Okaka had a quality brace, but it was not enough to salvage some points. Now they are waiting for Kevin Lasagna to get going and if he does not, Ignacio Pussetto or Gerard Deulofeu are ready to steal his lunch money. The returning Argentinian forward has found the target once, while the Spaniard has looked very rusty after the ACL injury. Rodrigo De Paul keeps engineering most of their offense but he has not been rewarded with bonus points yet, same thing for Roberto Pereyra, but they are probably bound to because they have been positive contributors. Thomas Ouwejan has mid-range value because of his crossing, Jens Stryger Larsen could be back in the XI and he is serviceable.
Recommended picks: Okaka, De Paul, Pereyra.
Milan: Zlatan Ibrahimovic apparently just scores braces and he put together his third one in the Roma clash. He was joined in the stat-sheet by Alexis Saelemaekers, who made his debut on that from in 2020/21 after winning the starting job some time ago. Hakan Calhanoglu came back extra quickly from his ankle sprain and looked completely fine: he is pretty much in the same boat as De Paul, but at least he has had an assist to show for his playmaking. Ante Rebic might be cleared in time from his elbow injury, but, in the meantime, Rafael Leao has been outstanding: he is up to two goals and three assists after setting up two teammates on Monday. Their starters going strong caps the minutes for Samu Castillejo and Brahim Diaz. Star left-back Theo Hernandez has notched one in each category so far.
Recommended picks: Ibrahimovic, Leao, Calhanoglu.
Spezia: the Aquilotti threw away a game they had in hand versus Parma, where they had pulled the strings for about 75 minutes and hit the net with defender Julian Chabot and Kevin Agudelo (first goal of the season). Mbala Nzola quickly supplanted Roberto Piccoli as fill-in starter while Andrej Galabinov recovers and fed Agudelo. Emmanuel Gyasi (one assist) was held in check Sunday but he is always a meaningful part of their offense. Daniele Verde and Diego Farias came off the bench in the last fixtures, but they had both scored the week before and they are sneakily deep and well-assorted in every position. They have had revolving doors in the midfield, also due to COVID-related issues: Matteo Ricci has been the best of the bunch so far, but Paolo Bartolomei and Tommaso Pobega have potential.
Recommended picks: Nzola, Gyasi, Agudelo.
Juventus: same as last week, the big question mark is whether or not Cristiano Ronaldo will be back and in what kind of shape, as Alvaro Morata’s days as tip of the spear could be numbered despite his solid production. Dejan Kulusevski has flat-out been their best player so far and he has hit the net twice, followed by Aaron Ramsey (one assist). Paulo Dybala was inconsistent in his first start and now the matter for him is to fully get into shape. Federico Chiesa will be back from suspension and, red card aside, he has been pretty good as well in his two first matches. Juan Cuadrado is often lively but he is not always on point. Their midfielders have a limited impact in the final third, even though they could have some upside.
Recommended picks: Morata, Kulusevski, Dybala.
Napoli: the Partenopei found a brick wall through the middle versus Benevento, which stonewalled Victor Osimhen and Dries Mertens, but they found other ways to do damage, with Lorenzo Insigne (second goal) and Matteo Politano wreaking havoc on the flanks and Andrea Petagna cashing in for his first goal. The Italian winger (two goals and two assists) may not be a regular starter, but he has taken advantage of his opportunities and has also been productive off the bench. It also feels like Gennaro Gattuso has a short leash for Hirving Lozano despite his blistering start (four goals). Piotr Zielinski and Elijf Elmas could be weapons down the road, but they will need some time after a lengthy absence due to COVID and their role is not very clear in their new design: Fabian Ruiz, for instance, is very far away from the goal now. They will be facing a better team than last week, but much laxer in the back.
Recommended picks: Osimhen, Mertens, Insigne.
Sassuolo: they have now bagged at least three goals in four consecutive matches, with Francesco Caputo (five goals) leading the way and Domenico Berardi (three goals and two assists) and Filip Djuricic not far behind. The Serbian fantasista in particular has been en fuego recently. Gregoire Defrel and Lukas Haraslin have been okay when deployed, but the return of Jeremie Boga just adds another dimension to their offense, even though he is completely himself yet. Rogerio is back as well and he is simply better than Georgios Kyriakopoulos, while Mert Muldur has had a rather muted start of the year. Maxime Lopez is likely to be a bigger factor than the other pivots that rotate next to Manuel Locatelli. It looks like Caputo and Djuricic might have picked up some physical problems late in the week, which would be greatly damaging for their firepower, but Hamed Traore and Giacomo Raspadori would be see major minutes, although against a strong defence.
Recommended picks: Caputo, Djuricic, Berardi.
Roma: they had a fiery effort to combat Milan in Monday’s clash and Edin Dzeko scored for the second straight game (he had a brace last week), so he is definitely past his initial mini-slump, while Jordan Veretout keeps burying PKs: he has already converted three and added one goal on open play. Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Lorenzo Pellegrini have yet to hit bullseye, but they have had a good amount of success as playmakers as the Armenian has set up three goals, the Italian two. It does not look like Pellegrini will be hurt much by the more defensive position, also thanks to set pieces. Pedro has been super lively and has bagged two goals, while Leonardo Spinazzola has yet to rack up bonus points but has been a problem for opponents motoring up and down the left flank.
Recommended picks: Dzeko, Pedro, Mkhitaryan
Fiorentina: Gaetano Castrovilli was magnificent with two goals and one assist and powered them past Udinese in the last round. Franck Ribery has been in and out of the lineup due to routine injuries and so, while they are waiting from one of the strikers to take the brass ring, the #10 has been head and shoulders they most reliable guy and he has already put his name in the stat-sheet four times, already surpassing his production from his entire last season. Right behind him there is Cristiano Biraghi, who has tallied one goal and three assists. They have begun integrating José Callejon, but he has understandably looked rusty since he spent the offseason without a team: he could be very interesting if fielded again as second-striker, but it looks like Ribery is poised to return. Christian Kouame and Dusan Vlahovic have bagged one goal each, but they are alternating and therefore hard to trust in any given matchday. Giacomo Bonaventura has been a little dragged down by their slow playing style and has more defensive duties than originally thought.
Recommended picks: Castrovilli, Ribery, Biraghi.
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