Lazio: they had two sweat it out, but the Biancocelesti got the job done in Champions League, positively following up last weekend’s win over Spezia after a stumble. Ciro Immobile is returning to last year’s level of consistency and he is now up to 11 goals in 12 appearances between the two competitions. Joaquin Correa hit the net in Champions League, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic did it in Serie A (third goal) and the two have outperformed Luis Alberto so far, who continues to be their mastermind but as not been as prolific as in the past. Andreas Pereira was not great last week but had a late goal that was called back, while Felipe Caicedo is reportedly a little banged up, but this game might call for his late-game heroics. No bonuses for their wing-backs lately, even though Manuel Lazzari and Adam Marusic have been decently bubbly.
Recommended picks: Immobile, Milinkovic-Savic, Correa.
Verona: Mattia Zaccagni knocked it on goal for the second consecutive round in last Sunday’s lunch match and he is quickly climbing the fantasy power rankings now that he has found his scoring touch as well. He has already dished four assists. Samuel Di Carmine got another start but did not deliver despite some good chances and Andrea Favilli will continue to breathe down their neck. Marco Davide Faraoni set up a teammate for the second time in the season and also Antonin Barak (three goals) had a pretty convincing display even though he had no bonuses. Darko Lazovic made his return after COVID and he and Federico Dimarco featured together, which is a rarity, but it remains to be seen whether that will happen again in a tougher match-up. The Italian fullback is putting together a strong campaign, but the coach generally prefers last year’s linchpin on the left flank whenever he is available.
Recommended picks: Zaccagni, Barak, Di Carmine/Favilli.
Cagliari: they could have some of the COVID cases back in this round, but their physical conditions will need to be verified and their role might not be as big as before right away. Leonardo Pavoletti has looked swell while replacing Giovanni Simeone, contributing with one goal and one assist in the last two games. Razvan Marin made the stat-sheet in Verona after being mostly underwhelming up to that point, but the role does him no favour when it comes to being present in the final third. Maybe he will turn the corner for good after scoring. Riccardo Sottil has not fully taken advantage of the fact that Adam Ounas is sidelined to seal the starting job on the flank. Their stud Joao Pedro has notched six goals and two assists, while Gabriele Zappa has set up three teammates and might again play as winger.
Recommended picks: Pedro, Pavoletti, Sottil.
Inter: they laid an egg and lacked fierceness in Europa League even though they were in a pretty good run of form. Achraf Hakimi re-asserted himself in major fashion with a brace versus Bologna, while Romelu Lukaku found the target for eighth time. The streaky, one way or the other, Lautaro Martinez has not hit the net in the past five appearances, but he has looked pretty good anyway. Alexis Sanchez is not as prolific but has been decently effervescent and it is possible they make some lineup decisions ahead of the midweek clash with Napoli: on paper, it would be Lukaku’s turn to sit, but that will be known only closer to the match. Arturo Vidal is likely out, but it is more of a loss on the pitch than in the fantasy game, while Nicolò Barella played through an ankle injury Wednesday and might do it again here: he has had success as playmaker. Marcelo Brozovic has been rock-solid since returning and served a pair of assists. Roberto Gagliardini has been a steady hand and will fill in for Vidal, while Christian Eriksen was actually a spark-plug versus Shakhtar and could actually be an interesting option in this one if the coach changed his stance on him. While the right flank has been producing, the left one, manned by Ashley Young and Ivan Perisic, has been more muted.
Recommended picks: Lukaku/Sanchez, Martinez, Hakimi/Darmian.
Napoli: they are humming with eight goals in the last two matches; Lorenzo Insigne hit the net in both, while Hirving Lozano re-burst onto the scenes after a little lull against the Squali, registering his fifth goal in the season. Dries Mertens found paydirt versus the Giallorossi and then dished two assists (five total in the season) on Sunday, so he certainly has his mojo back. Andrea Petagna delivered while relieving Victor Osimhen, who is again a big question mark heading into this round. Piotr Zielinski has looked very at ease in his new fluid role between the lines and he is returning to his previous stellar level after being affected by COVID early in the season. He has notched a pair of helpers between Serie A and Europa League play.
Recommended picks: Mertens, Insigne, Lozano.
Sampdoria: they put up a decent fight with Milan, but their slump continued. It was Albin Ekdal who found the back of the net in that game, while Antonio Candreva and Fabio Quagliarella had both showed up in the previous one versus Torino. The veteran is at five goals, while the ex-Milan winger has added three assists. Jakub Jankto (two goals, two helpers) has ebbs and flow, while they are still searching for an effective second-striker as Manolo Gabbiadini was given that opportunity Sunday but picked up an injury and Antonino La Gumina was unconving. They could go back to Gaston Ramirez, who has been disappointing so far, or finally fully unleash Mikkel Damsgaard, who has showed major flashes in his short cameos. Morten Thorsby has already posted two sneaky goals.
Recommended picks: Quagliarella, Jankto, Damsgaard.
Genoa: they generated very little offense in the Fiorentina match, but still almost came away with the full spoils thanks to a great goal by Marko Pjaca, his third of the season. Despite the lack of positive results, they have been able to score in most of the recent matches and their forwards have generally fared decently given the situation. Gianluca Scamacca has found the target twice, Eldor Shomurodov, Goran Pandev and Mattia Destro, who set up Pjaca on Monday, one each. However, the coach is going with very conservative lineups and using just two of them at the time, even though some would have the skills to adapt to different positions. Luca Pellegrini and Paolo Ghiglione have a decent role in their recent design, Stefano Sturaro and Lukas Lerager have some room to attack but they have yet to exploit it and they are not the most gifted midfielders in the final third.
Recommended picks: Pjaca, Scamacca, Shomurodov.
Juventus: they squeaked it out versus Torino but then trampled Barcelona and now the matter is whether that glorious version of the Bianconeri, which had never truly manifested itself beforehand, will carry over in the domestic league as well. Cristiano Ronaldo had a rare day off in the Derby and the partnership with the struggling Paulo Dybala did not look great. Alvaro Morata won his appeal and would surely be a better option if he gets the nod, but that remains TBD. Juan Cuadrado registered two assists in the previous match and he is becoming indispensable. Weston McKennie has found the target twice in a row, staking his claim for a bigger role, and Federico Chiesa (four assists) in Serie A is also in a row. The Italian winger mostly rested midweek so he will probably get the nod here. Aaron Ramsey and Dejan Kulusevski instead have not had a big impact lately.
Reccomended picks: Ronaldo, Chiesa, Cuadrado.
Milan: they managed again without Zlatan Ibrahimovic in the Sampdoria game, with Frank Kessie nailing another PK and Samu Castillejo bagging a key goal in the second half. Ante Rebic is putting in a lot of effort as false-nine: he has been unable to snap out of his scoring slump, but he has had a pair of assists lately. Same old instead for Hakan Calhanoglu, who remains underwhelming despite playing a big role, having a lot of touches and taking few shots per game. Jens Petter Hauge and Brahim Diaz have showed better in Europe than domestically. Rafael Leao has returned, while Zlatan is about fifty/fifty for this match and will be a late call. He would obviously be a safe pick if cleared. Theo Hernandez has been impressive in the last few outings and he has registered one goal and one assist, plus Parma are quite shaky on the right flank.
Recommended picks: Rebic, Kessie, Hernandez.
Parma: they topped Genoa and tied with Benevento, but the switch to a more offensive scheme has not exactly led to an offensive explosion, even though Yann Karamoh and Juan Brunetta have enjoyed increased playing time. The former had actually done better as a super-sub. The coach will obviously give them some time to see what he has in them as the alternatives are not great. Gervinho has scored four times, but through two braces, so he picked up points in just two out of the first ten rounds. Both centre-forwards, Roberto Inglese and Andreas Cornelius, have failed to produce: the Swedish striker has played the lion’s share of minutes in recent games. They clearly could use at least one to break out. Juraj Kucka is iffy because of a contusion that cost him the previous match. Jasmin Kurtic has found the target once but has not been particularly involved lately: Hernani (two goals, one assist) has done better in that regard.
Recommended pick: Gervinho, Hernani, Karamoh.
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