Serie A Fantasy Preview – Round 18 – Top Matches


Lazio: Ciro Immobile took a little back-seat in the Parma game, where two other fellow attackers shined, Luis Alberto, who broke the deadlock with his third goal in the last five matches, and Felipe Caicedo, who found the target for the second round in a row, moving to six total in the season. The Golden Boot recipient had scored in all the previous five tilts. Sergej Milinkovic-Savic dished his fifth assist to add to his two goals, as his role is slightly different this year, but he has maintained a decent level of production. Manuel Lazzari cashed in on his good moment with his second assist of the season, catching up with fellow wing-back Adam Marusic in that regard. Joaquin Correa (one goal, one assist) could be back at least in limited fashion in this one, but Caicedo has filled in admirably. The Sergeant tends to deliver in big matches.

Recommended picks: Milinkovic-Savic, Immobile, Alberto. 

Roma: Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Lorenzo Pellegrini combined for the early goal against Inter, the former providing his eight assists of the campaign (plus eight goals), the latter hitting the net for the third time in the past seven matches, not coincidentally turning it on once he began playing consistently as attacking midfielder in lieu of Pedro, who missed some time, but the switch had already started before that. Gonzalo Villar provided his first helper in that occasion to set up Gianluca Mancini. Edin Dzeko (seven goals) could not do much damage there but he has been going strong for few weeks now, scoring four goals in his last six starts. Jordan Veretout has not hit bullseye in the last three matches but he is on a par with the center-forward in terms of prolificacy. Leonardo Spinazzola (one goal, two assists) returned and had a quality outing, while Rick Karsdorp has provided three of his four helpers since the start of December.

Recommended picks: Mkhitaryan, Dzeko, Pellegrini.



Napoli: the Partenopei are not exactly going like gangbusters, but they are finding goals here and there to maintain a decent pace in the standings. Lorenzo Insigne nailed a PK versus Napoli to move to seven goals in the campaign, same haul as Hirving Lozano, with two helpers, and the two have been leading the way while Dries Mertens and Victor Osimhen have been out with injuries. Andrea Petagna has been performing decently in relief, but he is not a particularly prolific scorer and he has found paydirt just once in the past six matches despite the ample playing time. After two great displays last week, Piotr Zielinski has flopped in the past two, but he can be a menace on his day. The Belgian attacker could return in this one, but it remains to be seen how many minutes he is ready for. Matteo Politano has been silent in the last month. Tiemoué Bakayoko decided the past tilt with a header, which is a little random, while instead Mario Rui could get hot in terms of assists after providing his first one.

Recommended picks: Insigne, Lozano, Petagna.

Fiorentina: Dusan Vlahovic clocked in once again versus Cagliari, notching his fifth goal in the last six matches and their patience with him has been rewarded since he has been scoring as much as the elite strikers from December on. José Callejon replaced the injured Franck Ribery (three helpers) and served a terrific assist: the Frenchman should be back in this one as his problem was not super severe, but they would certainly be better off finding a way of using them both together. Gaetano Castrovilli (four goals, one assist) will return as well, but he has not shined in a long time and his role changes constantly, which is suboptimal. Considering that Ribery has not exactly been superb, fullback Cristiano Biraghi has been their third best weapon so far with, scoring once and setting up for teammates.

Recommended picks: Vlahovic, Ribery/Callejon, Biraghi.



Atalanta: the machine keeps churning out goals and chewing out opponents as they heaped misery on Benevento too. Duvan Zapata has hit the net five times in as many matches, Luis Muriel six in the same stretch even though he generally sees limited playing time. Josip Ilicic is shouldering major playmaking responsibilities and he has provided five assists in the last five rounds, plus he has found the target twice and showed incredibly well, finally returning to last season’s ungodly levels. Robin Gosens can not have the same level of consistency due to the role, but he has scored four times the last seven tilts. Matteo Pessina is more of a tactical cog to make the scheme sustainable, but he too did some damage recently, while Remo Freuler has notched three helpers: the two midfielders are mid-tier options.

Recommended picks: Zapata, Ilicic, Muriel.

Genoa: Mattia Destro showed up once again in the Bologna game, finding the target for the fifth time in the last five starts and they obviously have to ride him, much to the detriment of Gianluca Scamacca, who had done okay during the previous rough months. Miha Zajc bagged his first goal and he has been clearly been on the up-and-up since the coaching change, while Eldor Shomurodov (two goals, one assist) had turned the corner even before Davide Ballardini took over. Due to the success of the other attackers and the fact that Goran Pandev has resurfaced, Marko Pjaca is losing steam. Domenico Criscito has some value since he takes care of PKs, more so if used as wing-back, but they have gone back-and-forth on that. Davide Zappacosta is a secondary option.

Recommended picks: Destro, Shomurodov, Zajc.



Inter: Romelu Lukaku and Lautaro Martinez both did not score in the Roma clash, but they still mustered two goals thanks to a header by Milan Skriniar and especially a scorcher by Achraf Hakimi, who is now up to six goals in the season, three coming in the past five contests. Lukaku is at 12, Martinez at nine, plus both have registered three assists. Thanks to his free kick prowess, Marcelo Brozovic has been able to log five assists in the last four contests. Arturo Vidal has had some big misses but he is getting more involved in the offense, so he might put one through soon, while Nicolò Barella is going in the opposite direction after a strong start of the campaign in that respect. It is a clearly a top-heavy team.

Recommended picks: Lukaku, Martinez, Hakimi.

Juventus: Cristiano Ronaldo had a wasteful showing versus Sassuolo but knocked one home in the final minutes to post the 15th goal of the season. Paulo Dybala got hurt, but Alvaro Morata (four goals, five assists) has shaken off an injury and is poised to be back in the XI in this one. Federico Chiesa (five/four) could not follow up his stellar performance against Milan, also because of a knock; with Juan Cuadrado and Alex Sandro’s presences in doubt, they will lean hard on him. Aaron Ramsey finally made the stat-sheet for the first time in the season and he is in a positive moment as he had dished two assists in the previous four appearances: he has weirdly had a lot of success against this opponent in the past. The peppy Weston McKennie (two goals, two helpers) is questionable, while Dejan Kulusevski is returning on the fantasy radar as he had two productive cameos in a row.

Recommended picks: Ronaldo, Morata, Ramsey.



Cagliari: another disappointing outcome for the Sardinians in Florence, where they missed the opportunity to go up in the score because Joao Pedro was denied from the penalty spot early and they did not generate much offense after that, differently from their previous losses where they still managed to score. The Brazilian striker, who has already reached the double-digit threshold, has been the only forward to keep it going, as Giovanni Simeone and Leonardo Pavoletti have both struck out in recent fixtures despite some good chances and Riccardo Sottil has not taken advantage of the increased role. Adam Ounas and Nahitan Nandez are out again, which are two significant blows and will increase the touches of Nainggolan and Sottil, who looked good in Coppa Italia.

Recommended picks: Pedro, Nainggolan, Simeone/Pavoletti.

Milan: Rafael Leao and Franck Kessie guided them to victory in the Torino game despite the absences, notching respectively the fifth and sixth goal of the season. The Portuguese forward is suspended for this one, but Zlatan Ibrahimovic will be ready to start and to build on his early success, as he had hit the net ten times in just seven matches. They were handed two more COVID-related blows as two of their best players Hakan Calhanoglu and Theo Hernandez tested positive, joining Ante Rebic and Rade Krunic. The absences will lead to heavy usage for Brahim Diaz and Jens Petter Hauge: the former has been the better contributor of the duo so far. Samu Castillejo could have a fairly decent role as in the past game. Diogo Dalot could be worth a flier.

Recommended picks: Ibrahimovic, Kessie, Diaz. 

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