Fiorentina: finally some signs of life for the Viola attack as Dusan Vlahovic snapped out of his scoring slump thanks to a penalty kick and Franck Ribery looked lively against Sassuolo, producing a pair of his vintage slaloming runs. Cesare Prandelli is trying various configurations to get his guys going: it seems like José Callejon is losing some momentum, but he has mostly been replaced by fullbacks, Giacomo Bonaventura is on the rise, while Gaetano Castrovilli has been in a funk for a while, even though he remains their leading scorer with four early goals. Cristiano Biraghi quickly shook off a physical problem and he has three assists and one goal in the season.
Recommended picks: Ribery, Vlahovic, Bonaventura
Verona: Mattia Zaccagni converted a PK for his third goal of the season, plus three assists, but besides that they were mostly stymied by Sampdoria and Samuel Di Carmine fumbled away his opportunity. On top of that, Antonin Barak got a red card, so they will have to make some changes to their design. Eddie Salcedo took a little step back midweek, but inconsistency is normal for youngsters, the solution might see Adrien Tameze playing in a very prominent role and he cashed in on it versus Lazio, or perhaps they will turn to Ebrima Colley, whom they have yet to unleash. Andrea Favilli and Nikola Kalinic will both be missing. Darko Lazovic has not returned to his usual levels, but Federico Dimarco (three assists) has kept up the production out on the left flank: it is possible the Serbian international plays in a more attacking position because of their absences up front.
Recommended picks: Zaccagni, Tameze, Lazovic/Dimarco.
Sampdoria: Valerio Verre found the target against Verona and it looks like they have finally found their right partner for Fabio Quagliarella after testing out the other options. He had set up a teammate in the previous outing, so he has easily outplayed Gaston Ramirez in the last month. The veteran striker (five goals) rested midweek and will be in a pretty good spot in this one, although Antonino La Gumina fared well in the previous match. Antonio Candreva was excluded for some disagreements with Claudio Ranieri: Mikkel Damsgaard was fine, but not great, in relief. The Danish winger has notched two assists in the season, but it is possible the situation gets recomposed quickly. Both their central midfielders, Albin Ekdal and Morten Thorsby, even though they are not all that involved in the offense, have found the target twice in the season. Jakub Jankto is a little seesawing but squarely among their top options as he has registered three goals and one assist.
Recommended picks: Verre, Damsgaard, Quagliarella/La Gumina.
Crotone: they were more than happy to settle with a draw in Udinese and did not generate much offense, which held back Simy and Emmanuel Riviere, who was making his return to the starting XI after ages. The ex-Cosenza man was quite good in Serie B in Cosenza, and scored in one of his rare appearances in the opener, but moving their best player Junior Messias to the midfield to accommodate him does not look like a great idea. The frisky Brazilian was coming off a brace and is surely their main playmaker, although Salvatore Molina (three assists) is rounding back into shape after COVID. They will be without Ahmad Benali again, while Milos Vulic has lost some positions in the pecking order in favor of Eduardo Henrique and Nicolò Zanellato. Left-back Arkadiusz Reca is one of their top weapons. Simy has found the target three times but none since October.
Recommended picks: Messias, Simy/Riviere, Reca.
Torino: as if things were not going badly enough, they were forced to play in then man for the majority of the Roma clash, thus rendering moot any adjustment the coach attempted to make. Andrea Belotti somehow found the target again, moving to nine goals in the season. Federico Bonazzoli had an okay impact off the bench as well, but they have yet to begin starting him, maybe to have an available sub up front since Simone Zaza, Simone Verdi and Vincenzo Millico are all missing. Sasa Lukic has not looked all that great after COVID but he was their second-best player before that, as he had scored three times. With Singo suspended, Mergim Vojvoda will man the right flank and he provided two early assists. Cristian Ansaldi had emerged recently but will probably be shelved as well. Karol Linetty and Soualiho Meite are only mid-tier options in the midfield, while Amer Gojak has been a little unlucky in his couple of starts.
Recommended picks: Belotti, Lukic, Bonazzoli.
Bologna: a mixed day for Musa Barrow in Spezia, where he did make the box-score after some time with a terrific goal from downtown, but then he missed a PK at the buzzer. Roberto Soriano has finally abated a bit since he has hit the net just once in the past six matches, but his seasonal numbers remain superb and, until Barrow finds some consistency, he is their biggest scoring threat. Emanuel Vignato is inevitably getting some run given the absences but he has not followed up the goal he had against San Siro. Nicolas Dominguez found the target in the past game and will be looking to build on that. Rodrigo Palacio has logged one goal and one assist so far.
Recommended picks: Soriano, Barrow, Vignato.
Benevento: another game, another major miss for Gianluca Lapadula, who has left few some goals on the table in the last few matches and has not scored since the beginning of November. However, he has been way more involved than Gianluca Caprari, even though the two have the same numbers in the season (three goals, two assists). They did find the target against Lazio, but through another random goal, by Pasquale Schiattarella, who was then red-carded. Nicolas Viola would have high appeal if starting because of his set piece prowess, but it is unclear whether he is ready to start after so much time on the shelf and the alternatives are just workmanlike. Riccardo Improta got managed midweek, but again looked good even if off the bench: he will be back in the XI, while Roberto Insigne did not fully exploit his chance to start. Iago Falque has been pure quality in his cameos and would be a major asset if his playing time increased, but he is in the same position as Viola.
Recommended picks: Lapadula, Caprari/Falque, Improta.
Genoa: Rolando Maran finally decided to field three attackers together despite the difficult match-up and reaped the benefits as Matteo Destro assembled a brace and Eldor Shomurodov had a strong showing against Milan. Marko Pjaca was not all that impressive but he has been in decent shape this season and has hit the net three times. Destro has surprisingly made it competition with Gianluca Scamacca, who has been pretty good but has not found the target in a couple of months. Paolo Ghiglione provided his third assist in the Milan game, while Luca Pellegrini had one the match before. Their midfield instead does not have much pizzazz.
Recommended picks: Destro/Scamacca, Shomurodov/Pjaca, Ghiglione.
Cagliari: they had a pretty lackadaisical display in Parma, where the coach trusted Alberto Cerri, with meager returns, and Giovanni Simeone was quite poor off the bench. They will probably go back to Leonardo Pavoletti in this one while El Cholito tries to regain his best shape. Joao Pedro was as busy as always but slightly off and his numbers (six goals, two assists) have normalized after a torrid stretch. The good news instead was that Nahitan Nandez looked splendid despite recently getting COVID and has had some success in the final third besides playing a crucial tactical role. Riccardo Sottil instead apparently can not put together two satisfying performances in a row, but Adam Ounas will not be back in this one. They have one of the best duos of attacking fullbacks in the League, Gabriele Zappa and Charalampos Lykogiannis.
Recommended picks: Pedro, Pavoletti/Simeone, Nandez.
Udinese: they pulled the strings against Crotone, but no end product this time despite several tasty chances and so the result was dissatisfactory. Ignacio Pussetto has surely made the leap and will continue to be a regular even when the whole front-line will be at their disposal. Ilija Nestorovski was given a spot start but did not exploit it, Gerard Deulofeu was more dangerous off the pine. Rodrigo De Paul had a little injury scare but should be fine: he is up to three goals and two assists, while his fellow compatriot Roberto Pereyra has dished five assists. Until either Kevin Lasagna or Deulofeu begin scoring, the Argentinian trio is the one to target.
Recommended picks: De Paul, Pussetto, Pereyra.
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