Milan: the Rossoneri keep navigating their several absences in brilliant fashion and Zlatan Ibrahimovic returned to the XI with a bang in Cagliari, putting together a brace and moving to 12 goals in the season in just eight appearances. The COVID outbreak is getting resolved as Rade Krunic and Ante Rebic tested negative, but their conditioning will have to be assessed in practice and Theo Hernandez was a false positive, so only Hakan Calhanoglu is out, which is a major loss, but at least they are in a better spot numerically and they recovered their stud fullback. Rafael Leao (three goals, one assist in the last five games) will be back from suspension and will likely supplant Jens Petter Hauge that has been pretty quiet despite seeing good minutes. Franck Kessie let Zlatan take the PK in the past game but he will probably re-gain those duties in this one: he has notched six goals and two assists in the season. Davide Calabria is trending up as he provided a great helper in the past game and also hit the net recently.
Recommended picks: Ibrahimovic, Leao, Diaz.
Atalanta: after a super prolific stretch, the machine has glitched in the past two feasible fixtures against Genoa and Udinese, where they scored just one goal combined, with the usual Luis Muriel dancing through midfielders in the midweek round. He paces them with 11 goals in Serie A play: he is likely to return in a bench role in this one, however the amount of minutes does not seem to affect his production, differently from Ruslan Malinovskyi, who looks way more engaged when starting. Duvan Zapata (five goals in last seven matches) and Josip Ilicic will be back in the XI: the Slovenian fantasista has cooled off a bit after an incredible run in terms of assists. He has a humungous role without Alejandro Gomez, while Matteo Pessina takes care of a more tactical one, especially in more difficult matches. Robin Gosens is their third leading scorer with five goals, mostly coming in the last two months, while Remo Freuler has dished three assists.
Recommended picks: Zapata, Ilicic, Muriel.
Udinese: Roberto Pereyra cashed in again on the more offensive role in the make-up game against Atalanta, bagging his second goal of the season, both coming in the last four matches. Kevin Lasagna played pretty well but the rumours about him leaving are intensifying so it is not certain he will be available in this one. Ilija Nestorovski might get a spot start as Stefano Okaka is not ready, but his play has not been particularly inspiring. Gerard Deulofeu has recovered from his foot problem and looked fine versus the Goddess, but he will need to play consistently and start picking up bonuses to be considered a fantasy option. A light front-line can not be ruled out for this one. Rodrigo De Paul interrupted a month-long drought over the weekend, recording his fourth goal of the season, and their whole offense goes through him. Rolando Mandragora has become regular but he is not really an offensive threat despite his attempts from distance.
Recommended picks: Pereyra, De Paul, Nestorovski/Deulofeu.
Inter: Arturo Vidal looked due for a goal and he delivered on the biggest stage against his old team, finding the target for the first time in Serie A play in the season. However, he was not their most impressive midfielder as Nicolò Barella shined the brightest with a dazzling goal and a perfect assist, resurfacing after some time where he had been quiet on the offensive end: he is now up to two goals and five helpers. Lautaro Martinez was in the thick of it but squandered two chances: he is capable of some explosions, but he remains a little inconsistent, strictly in terms of scoring, from game to game. Romelu Lukaku has gone three matches without finding the target for the first time in the campaign, so chances are he will do it in this one. Achraf Hakimi is white hot on the right flank, while Marcelo Brozovic has picked up most of his six seasonal assists in the last seven matches.
Recommended picks: Lukaku, Martinez, Hakimi.
Juventus: they struggled in the Inter clash but they quickly bounced back in the Supercup as they remain an untrustworthy side in terms of performances. On the other hand, their fantasy leaders are pretty clear as they cater greatly to Cristiano Ronaldo, who might have hit the net in just three of the last seven matches but made up for it with a pair of braces. Alvaro Morata (four goals/five assists) has generally been his best Robin, but Dejan Kulusevski is growing significantly in that position, also as a sub, so he is clearly on the rise compared to the October and November. Juan Cuadrado has shaken off COVID and played superbly midweek: he has amassed three assists in League play. Federico Chiesa instead might have aggravated a previous ankle injury and is questionable for this contest. Between their attacking midfielders, Aaron Ramsey remains feast or famine, while Weston McKennie is steadier but has lower ceiling.
Recommended picks: Ronaldo, Morata, Kulusevski.
Bologna: Riccardo Orsolini returned to the stat-sheet with a PK to decide the past game, but he had already started to trend positively with a pair of recent assists. Musa Barrow is always very active and generally leads them in shooting but has not found paydirt in six outings and also Roberto Soriano has tailed off based on his early insane levels as he has not hauled in points in five straight rounds. Both are bound to get back on track sooner rather than later and stay good choices, at least for their massive importance within their scheme. The recent development is that the always frisky Emanuel Vignato is getting minutes and Rodrigo Palacio is losing some, which maybe should have happened earlier. Mattias Svanberg and Nicolas Dominguez could be worth a flier depending on who gets the start, as they are both decently involved in the final third.
Recommended picks: Orsolini, Barrow, Soriano.
Verona: Nikola Kalinic could not follow up his slump-busting goal despite a pair of tasty chances versus Bologna, but it is pretty clear that he is much more effective their other strikers, even though a new one could be on his way. Adrien Tameze is iffy and so, since their squad is pretty thin, they might be forced to make considerable adjustments that would take some value away from Antonin Barak (three goals/one assist), and boost Darko Lazovic’s one, who however has not been fared well in a minute. Matteo Zaccagni (five goals/four assists) and Federico Dimarco (two goals in last four matches) have been their top players recently, while Marco Davide Faraoni (three helpers) is an okay mid-tier option.
Recommended picks: Kalinic, Zaccagni, Dimarco.
Napoli: they detonated in the Fiorentina match, where everybody ate up front and Lorenzo Insigne led the way with a brace, while they had a much more muted showing midweek in the Supercoppa. Insigne and Hirving Lozano (eight goals, two assists) have been constant presences in the box-scores in recent games, while Andrea Petagna and Piotr Zielinski have gone in and out and they surely have very significant roles given that Dries Mertens is not all the way back. The big striker has scored once and set up three teammates in the last four tilts. Right-back Giovanni Di Lorenzo has provided two assists in the last three tilts.
Recommended picks: Insigne, Lozano, Zielinski.
Lazio: they destroyed Roma in the Derby, with Ciro Immobile notching his 12th goal in 15 games and Luis Alberto netting a brace, but the Spanish genius will have to miss some time with appendicitis. The options to replace him, Jean-Daniel Akpa-Akpro, Marco Parolo and eventually Andreas Pereira, are fine, but he has been their best player in recent games. Sergej Milinkovic-Savic will take on more creative duties and he is obviously no slouch (three goals/five assists) and he generally answer the bell when they need him. Felipe Caicedo has filled in admirably but Joaquin Correa will likely resume starting in this one after an injury, but he has not been as effective as his star teammates up to this point. Manuel Lazzari is coming off a terrific performance where he recorded two assists, moving to four for the campaign.
Recommended picks: Immobile, Milinkovic-Savic, Lazzari
Sassuolo: Filip Djuricic saved the day with a late PK versus Parma, avoiding a very embarrassing loss where they could not take advantage of a depleted defense. Francesco Caputo looked a bit better than in previous matches, but surely not as good as in the early going, where he was a flamethrower (five goals and three assists in seven rounds). He is likely due to break through once his legs will be fully underneath him following a nagging injury. Since Domenico Berardi and Jeremie Boga have both missed time, Gregoire Defrel and Hamed Traore have been their bubbliest contributors as of late and now Djuricic might go on a run now that he got the monkey off his back since he had not hit the net in months. Maxime Lopez would have decent value if used again as no.10, but it hinges on who recovers from their physical problems.
Recommended picks: Djuricic, Defrel, Traore.
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