Inter: Lautaro Martinez snapped out of his scoring slump against Verona, bagging a lovely volley and moving to six goals in Serie A in the season. He has been streaky one way or the other. It was a rare game where Romelu Lukaku (11 goals) did not find the target, while Achraf Hakimi dished his fourth assist and he has been en fuego in the recent matches. Marcelo Brozovic picked up a helper as well on the Milan Skriniar goal, while Ivan Perisic did not a whole lot despite playing in a more offensive role than usual. With Arturo Vidal now fully healthy, that tactical solution probably will not be presented again and in any case the Croatian international has not showed well enough to be an option. Nicolò Barella has been pretty quiet recently but he too has four assists in the season, but his activity in the final third depends on how the midfield is composed. Stefano Sensi and Ashley Young are secondary options.
Recommended picks: Lukaku, Martinez, Hakimi.
Crotone: Junior Messias led the way with a brace against Parma and he has now notched five goals in the year, while Arkadiusz Reca and Salvatore Molina both came through with an assist, their respective fourth in the campaign. They gave a shot to Emmanuel Riviere next to Messias, but the Frenchman, who netted a goal in the opener, has not looked good after a pair of muscular injury. Simy has registered four goals and had interrupted a drought in the previous match versus Sampdoria, his lone score in the last couple of months. Ahmad Benali is still dealing with some physical problems, Luca Cigarini instead will probably return but he is just a small threat on set pieces.
Recommended picks: Messias, Molina, Reca
Atalanta: they fumbled away a game they firmly had in hand against Bologna thanks to an early brace by Luis Muriel, who is their leading scorer in Serie A with seven goals, despite the fact that he rarely starts. Josip Ilicic looked splendid instead versus Roma, where also Duvan Zapata returned to the stat-sheet after a while and Robin Gosens punched in his third goal. Both the Colombian powerhouse and the Slovenian attacker have recorded three assists thus far. It does not look like the Papu Gomez situation will be resolved soon: Ruslan Malinovskyi has only partly taken advantage of it, while Matteo Pessina is more of a tactical weapon here, even though he had shown he could score at Verona last year.
Recommended picks: Ilicic, Zapata, Muriel.
Sassuolo: the Neroverdi finally put together a match where they hit the net more than once and it was not a coincidence that it happened once Francesco Caputo resumed scoring. He had a marvelous start but then a lingering thigh issue kept him on the mend and he did not look great in his first matches upon returning. In any case, he has logged six goals and four assists and, despite the absence, their only player faring better has been Domenico Berardi (seven goals, four assists), whose consistency has just been remarkable: he has picked up bonuses in the past four games. With Filip Djuricic banged up and in suboptimal shape and Jeremie Boga stuck in an up-and-down season, Hamed Traore has surged lately, finding paydirt in two of the last three outings.
Recommended picks: Berardi, Caputo, Traore.
Roma: they quickly bounced back from the Atalanta fiasco by scoring three times against Cagliari, even though the opponents did make it a game late. Henrikh Mkhitaryan failed to make the stat-sheet with a goal or an assist after a very hot stretch, but Jordan Veretout picked up the slack with his seventh goal, reaching the Armenian forward in the club’s scoring chart, while Edin Dzeko is a notch below: he has finally found his groove with three goals in the past four contests. Pedro has lost a lot of steam, while Lorenzo Pellegrini is on the rise but his value hinges on what role he plays. Leonardo Spinazzola is hurt, but their other fullback Rick Karsdorp showed up big time in the past game, notching his third assist.
Recommended picks: Dzeko, Mkhitaryan, Veretout.
Sampdoria: Fabio Quagliarella posted his second consecutive goal, and the seventh in the season, in their losing effort against Sassuolo. Balde Keita resurfaced after months, but he got sent off and will miss this one. Claudio Ranieri went back to Gaston Ramirez in that occasion, but Valerio Verre has clearly outplayed him so far (two goals, two assists). Their second-best player so far has been Jakub Jankto, who has found the target four times (twice in December) and set up two teammates. They have patched things up with Antonio Candreva, who has three helpers, including one in the last game despite playing limited minutes, but Mikkel Damsgaard has produced when he was asked to fill in and he is their most explosive player. The dualism knocks both them down a little.
Recommended picks: Quagliarella, Jankto, Verre.
Benevento: after being pretty active but unproductive for a couple of months, Gianluca Caprari re-burst onto the scenes with a goal and an assist to down Udinese, thus leaving Gianluca Lapadula in his tracks in the Sanniti’s pecking order. The Peruvian striker always has some chances, but he has not delivered since early November and he has the same amount of goals as the peppy right-back Gaetano Letizia. Their other two forwards Roberto Insigne and Marco Sau had hit the net in the previous tilt, but they may both come off the bench in this one since they could go with a more conservative approach in this one. Riccardo Improta has not taken home lots of bonuses but he is always decently exuberant. Their other midfielders instead have not made much noise.
Recommended picks: Caprari, Letizia, Lapadula.
Milan: the resourceful Rossoneri found a way to topple Lazio as well thanks to a late goal by Theo Hernandez, while Ante Rebic and Hakan Calhanoglu had hit the net for the first time in the season in Serie A play in the early going. It is highly unlikely that Zlatan Ibrahimovic will return shortly, but have proven they can survive that, more so now if their two other linchpins have rediscovered their scoring touch. Both had stayed afloat fantasy-wise through multiple assists. When healthy, Rafael Leao has gotten more minutes than Brahim Diaz and Jens Petter Hauge to complete the front-line and scored his third goal of the year versus Sassuolo, but he is not the most reliable player. Franck Kessie (four goals) will return from suspension, while Theo Hernandez is out: his back-up Diogo Dalot is pretty good and equally offensive-minded, but obviously not at the same star level as the Spaniard.
Recommended picks: Calhanoglu, Rebic, Kessie.
Juventus: they had their worst game in ages against Fiorentina, mostly due to a hellish start, and they were held scoreless for the first time in the season. They will look to atone in this one and Cristiano Ronaldo (12 goals) fared okay in the last game prior to the break despite the collective stinker, while Alvaro Morata (four goals, six assists) paid the price for the early red card against Juan Cuadrado. Sans the Colombian winger, Federico Chiesa (one goal, four assists) will likely move to his most comfortable position and he and Weston McKennie have been the two best contributors out of the supporting cast in December. Paulo Dybala, Dejan Kulusevski and Aaron Ramsey will instead need to show better before being on the fantasy radar. Rodrigo Bentancur has been playing well but is role is pretty obscure.
Recommended picks: Ronaldo, Morata, Chiesa.
Udinese: they too are coming off a disappointing result as they could not work their way around Benevento despite their recent strong run of form. Kevin Lasagna had finally bagged one in the previous game, but he wasted some good opportunities there, like Ignacio Pussetto, who however has repeatedly proven his dangerousness (three goals, two assists), differently from the Italian striker that has had a rather poor start of the season. However, Lasagna can be a real weapon in matches like this where they will have some room to counter. Rodrigo De Paul has put up exactly their same numbers as Pussetto and he is their biggest hub of offense, while Roberto Pereyra has yet to find the target, but has dished five assists.
Recommended picks: Pussetto, De Paul, Pereyra.
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