Sassuolo: the machine is clearly glitching without Francesco Caputo, even though Roberto De Zerbi tried a new solution with Filip Djuric as false-nine and Maxime Lopez as no.10 instead of Giacomo Raspadori. The move did not fully pay off as they could not take advantage of the situation against Roma. Jeremie Boga has not fully turned the corner despite the recent goal and Djuricic is noticeably impaired. Their only weapon at full strength is Domenico Berardi, who has notched three goals and one assist in the season but has hit the net in just one of the past six rounds. Djuricic and Boga are obviously worth waiting for given their explosive potential. They have collectively failed to hit the net in two straight matches. They have always been carried by their attackers, therefore players like Manuel Locatelli and Rogerio, who are okay contributors, remain on the fantasy fringes.
Recommended picks: Berardi, Boga, Djuricic.
Benevento: they have scored just once in the past four matches, no less with fullback Gaetano Letizia, which does not make them an interesting fantasy destination, however at least their pecking order is clear since Gianluca Lapadula (three goals) is the head of the table and the player that has the most chances in any given tilt and Gianluca Caprari is right behind him. Roberto Insigne has scored once but has not been seen after that, while Riccardo Improta is surging and is dynamo in the midfield. Bryan Dabo will probably return to the XI after COVID, but he and Artur Ionita have not made a peep in the final third. Left-back Daam Foulon could come back to lineup as well but, while decently active, he has not been as good as his teammate on the other flank.
Recommended picks: Lapadula, Caprari, Improta.
Crotone: they have not scored in the past four rounds and have not created that many chances either. Simy is the only player with multiple goals (three) in the season, but he has had troubles getting open and receiving the ball in dangerous spots lately, while Junior Messias, Salvatore Molina and Emmanuel Riviere have all found the target once. Ahmad Benali played just half an hour last week but it looks like he has not aggravated his injury and they surely need all the firepower they can get. Milos Vulic has been pretty decent and picked up an assist and will probably get the nod here as both deep-lying playmakers Luca Cigarini and Jacopo Petriccione are out. With Messias and Molina, they do have some pace to exploit the counters, while left wing-back Arkadiusz Reca is a constant presence on offense.
Recommended picks: Simy, Messias, Molina.
Spezia: M’Bala Nzola did it again versus Lazio, registering his fourth goal of the season, with a lovely strike one as well. However, he is out because of personal reasons and the next man up is rookie Roberto Piccoli, who has had some glimpes of talent but is pretty raw. Diego Farias continues to be effervescent but also to squander scoring opportunities, while Emmanuel Gyasi took a little step back and did not follow up the goal of the previous round, but the match-up was challenging. Farias has been generally been picked over Kevin Agudelo when healthy. Tommaso Pobega and Daniele Verde might return in this round, providing a decent boost to their offense as the former has found the target twice and the latter has been pretty petty. In any case, Nahuel Estevez has held his own pretty well and has often been in the thick of it too, so the coach will have some choices to make in the midfield. Left-back Simone Bastoni (two assists) has been a surprise, while Salvador Ferrer has been as lively as in the second division, but he has a to face a good amount of veteran competition.
Recommended picks: Gyasi, Piccoli, Estevez/Pobega
Torino: they had a very strong start against Juventus, with Nicolas N’Koulou scoring an early cheap goal and Simone Zaza almost delivering the kill-shot, but then another late-game downfall did them in. Sasa Lukic has shaken off COVID so it will be interesting to see whether they will go back to 4-3-1-2 or if they just put him next to Andrea Belotti in 3-5-2, which has worked pretty well thanks to the energy and playmaking of the two wingbacks Cristian Ansaldi and Wilfred Singo. The Serbian youngster was their second-best player before the infection with three goals and one assist. Simone Zaza has had the upper hand over Federico Bonazzoli and Simone Verdi, who is banged up, but the coach still would not think twice before benching him. Belotti has bagged seven goals in the season, but he has cooled off a bit, notching just one in past five rounds while he had to battle knee soreness. The two box-to-box midfielders Soualiho Meite and Karol Linetty are rounding into form and the first one has picked up bonuses in two of the past three outings.
Recommended picks: Belotti, Lukic, Zaza.
Udinese: their last game was postponed, plus they lost Ferdinando Forestieri close to it, so Gerard Deulofeu and Ignacio Pussetto were in line to start against Atalanta. Kevin Lasagna has recovered, while Stefano Okaka is out again. The former is set to see decent minutes but has yet to deliver. Pussetto has been their most effective forward lately, while Rodrigo De Paul has been running roughshod on the opponents for some time and Roberto Pereyra has perked up with two consecutive assists. Deulofeu instead has been very rusty coming off an ACL tear, so he will have to show better form before becoming a fantasy option. Marvin Zeegelaar has taken over on the left flank but neither him nor Jens Stryger Larsen are major cogs despite their good level of activity.
Recommended picks: Pussetto, De Paul, Pereyra.
Atalanta: they once again labored in Serie A but then fared better in Europe, which has been their main focus through their recent sticky patch. They have scored just once in the past three matches, which would have been unimaginable last year. Aleksey Miranchuk was the last one to hit the net in Serie A play, but he is out with COVID. While Duvan Zapata has not looked good in a while, also physically, and Alejandro Gomez and Josip Ilicic are in a spat with the coach, Luis Muriel bagged a pivotal goal on Wednesday and perhaps he will be in the XI this time around. Robin Gosens turned out to be a false positive, but he has had a frustrating season with continuous stop-and-go due to injuries. He has notched two goals and two assists in the season. Matteo Pessina’s stocks are skyrocketing with his recent series of solid display and it is only a matter a time until he breaks out scoring-wise given his ample success at Verona in that regard last year. The lineup is once again full of question marks, Ruslan Malinovskyi but start being reintroduced in the rotation.
Recommended picks: Muriel, Pessina, Gosens.
Fiorentina: the game-tying goal arrived at the buzzer and through a defender, Nikola Milenkovic, but at least they showed some more juice in the second half of the Genoa game. No end product but Dusan Vlahovic was more involved than in the previous matches and Giacomo Bonaventura had a pep in his step after he subbing in for Gaetano Castrovilli, who is dealing with a knock. Should he recover, as likely, they have to find a way to feature them together. They need both Franck Ribery and José Callejon to get going to have a credible offense, also because it is quite tough to keep them out of the lineup given their stature. Cristiano Biraghi resurfaced and sent in a plethora of assists after a couple of games where he had to adjust to playing as pure fullback.
Recommended picks: Vlahovic, Bonaventura, Castrovilli/Biraghi.
Bologna: sans Riccardo Orsolini, Sinisa Mihajlovic opted for a tactical switch against San Siro, but the returns were lacking and Emanuel Vignato delivered off the bench once they went back to the usual configuration, which could earn him the starting job this week as Nicola Sansone is supposedly not in great form. Roberto Soriano provided an assist in the previous match, further padding his outstanding fantasy resume (five goals and four helpers) and he continues to be head-and-shoulders their most consistent weapon since Musa Barrow has not fully gotten it going despite his constantly high usage and Rodrigo Palacio, while tactically precious, hits the net very rarely for a striker. Mattias Svanberg and Nicolas Dominguez could be worth a flier in the midfield, while Aaron Hickey and Lorenzo De Silvestri, even though in general pretty good, have failed to pick up bonuses.
Recommended picks: Soriano, Barrow, Vignato/Sansone.
Roma: Paulo Fonseca will be forced to shake things up in this one as Pedro was red carded against Sassuolo and Lorenzo Pellegrini, who could have been a candidate to advance in the formation, has a sore knee. Jordan Veretout is questionable with another ailment, so they could be down some of their most valuable pieces. The situation could lead to a tasty opportunity for Carles Perez, who has been featuring in Europa League, or Gonzalo Villar, who is turning into a very intriguing player. No matter who will fill in, Henrikh Mkhitaryan (five goals, four assists) will be their top dog while Edin Dzeko, who has found the target three times, is looking to recapture the best form after Coronavirus. Leonardo Spinazzola is always very much dialed in.
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