Serie A Fantasy Preview – Round 24 – Early Matches


Spezia: they laid a big and weird egg versus Fiorentina, probably because they were praised too much following the great win against Milan. After a longer wait than expected, this should be indeed the game where M’Bala Nzola returns from his ankle injury. Kevin Agudelo has been a nuisance for opposing defenders as a false-nine, but he has not scored, while the Frenchman has been a star with nine goals in 13 appearances and so he is on the radar even if he is used only off the bench. Emmanuel Gyasi (two goals, four assists) has been serviceable so far, and so have been Diego Farias (three goals) and Riccardo Saponara, although the latter has yet to pick up bonus points. Tommaso Pobega must be dealing with an injury because he has not played in some time: his back-ups Nahuel Estevez and Leo Sena are not on the same level offensively, while Giulio Maggiore is more interesting and recently hit the net. Simone Bastoni (one goal, four assists) is back from suspension and he has been a force down the left flank.

Recommended picks: Nzola, Agudelo, Gyasi.

Parma: Roberto D’Aversa excluded Gervinho and Jasmin Kurtic for disciplinary reasons in the last game, going mostly with the young guns, who responded well because Yann Karamoh and Valentin Mihaila had a decent game and also Dennis Man brought some juice off the bench. Juraj Kucka converted a PK for his fifth goal of the campaign, but the most positive news is that Andreas Cornelius finally snapped out of his season-long snap and he will now look to build some momentum after some long underwhelming months. The goal should allow him to fend off the competition coming from the intriguing Joshua Zirkzee. Hernani was used as box-to-box and was quite effective and he had a lot of success early in the season in that role. Gervinho and Kurtic would not have much appeal even if it was just a one-off punishment and they got reinstated. Karamoh’s playing time figures to be safer no matter what happens with the Ivorian forward. Giuseppe Pezzella tallied his third assist in the last contests, while Andrea Conti has yet to show up offensively.

Recommended picks: Kucka, Cornelius, Karamoh.



Bologna: Roberto Soriano returned to the stat-sheet after a nine-match absence against Sassuolo and will now try to be as consistent as he was in the first few months, where he was a proper stud and tallied six goals and four assists. Musa Barrow, who has instead hit the net five times, remains pretty up-and-down even though the role as center-forward should help him out. Nicola Sansone has been steady over the last few weeks and has recorded one goal and one assist, separating himself from Emanuel Vignato and Rodrigo Palacio, whose minutes are way down. Riccardo Orsolini (five goals, three assists) and Andreas Skov Olsen are stuck in a duel that has truly benefitted neither. Mattias Svanberg (two goals, one assist) and Nicolas Dominguez have only some mid-tier value, while Takehiro Tomiyasu is quite interesting now that he has permanently returned on the flank. He has found the target twice on set pieces, but he has the potential for some assists.

Recommended picks: Soriano, Barrow, Sansone.

Lazio: Luis Alberto accompanied his best post-surgery outing with a good-looking goal from distance, his seventh one in the campaign, so he is definitely back after some understandably subdued matches. Sergej Milinkovic tacked on another assist to his tally, increasing it to eight, and he has also scored four times. He has been rock-solid throughout the season. Ciro Immobile has slowed down just a tiny bit as he has hit paydirt once in the past four matches, but he has never gone three games without a goal in Serie A this season. Manuel Lazzari will return after disqualification and both him and Adam Marusic have been decent weapons, however it is possible that there will be some rotation and Mohamed Fares and Sasa Lulic have not been at the same level so far. Joaquin Correa is on the up-and-up with four good performances in a row. Vedat Muriqi has outplayed Felipe Caicedo lately because the latter has been banged up.

Recommended picks: Immobile, Alberto, Milinkovic-Savic.



Verona: Kevin Lasagna had two incredible misses versus Genoa, but at least he is having some chances here differently from his time at Udinese. It is probably just a matter of time for him to score and he could exploit his speed in this game. Two unusual players made the stat-sheet against Genoa, Ivan Ilic (second goal) and Marco Davide Faraoni (first one), who have been reliable but not very high in the pecking order of their threats. Antonin Barak provided his second assist of the year, while he has scored five times. Mattia Zaccagni has been busy in both areas (six goals, five helpers), but he is coming off three straight bonus-less fixtures. Federico Dimarco is back from suspension and he has been arguably their second-best players up to this point, recording three goals and three assists, thoroughly outperforming Darko Lazovic.

Recommended picks: Zaccagni, Barak, Dimarco. 

Juventus: they brought out the big guns versus Crotone as Cristiano Ronaldo bagged a brace, moving to a League-leading 18 goals in the season, while Weston McKennie resurfaced after three contests with an opportunistic goal. Also Aaron Ramsey made a peep through an assist following some time off with an injury, but his presence in the XI is not certain as they could get back some pieces in this one. He would have some strong upside if starting again. Alvaro Morata has been limited to a pair of helpers in the last two months while he had to deal with some physical problems, but Dejan Kulusevski has not grabbed the brass ring despite the increased minutes and the tasty role. Federico Chiesa (six goals, four assists) has been remarkably steady, while Alex Sandro teed up a teammate in the past game but he is more hit-and-miss.

Recommended picks: Ronaldo, Chiesa, McKennie/Ramsey.



Sampdoria: they tried, but ultimately could not break the Lazio’s defense, with Fabio Quagliarella and Antonio Candreva trying to lead the way in terms of attempts and Mikkel Damsgaard making a positive cameo off the bench. Keita was instead stymied after a hot stretch (three goals in the last five games), but he has been the tip of the spear in the start of 2021. Candreva has logged just one assist in the past five tilts, but he has been peppy, differently from Jakub Jankto, who was way better in previous months and will now have to defend his spot from Gaston Ramirez, who has not been great but is a pet player of the coach, and especially Damsgaard, who looks poised to break out. Fullback Tommaso Augello has some potential for his crossing. Quagliarella has cracked the box-score just once in the past eight contests and this kind of match-up could be better suited for Ernesto Torregrossa or Manolo Gabbiadini.

Recommended picks: Keita, Candreva, Damsgaard/Quagliarella.

Atalanta: Luis Muriel has been going like gangbusters for weeks now and Gian Piero Gasperini has finally decided to start him. He has made the stat-sheet in the past three matches, adding also two assists. The move has hurt Josip Ilicic, who was unused last week even though he has been pretty good when fielded. Duvan Zapata halted a little drought with a header: he is now up to nine goal and five helpers in the campaign, however he picked up an injury versus Real Madrid. Robin Gosens found the target for the seventh time, but he lost points due to an own goal on the other end. Matteo Pessina has been capable of some major flashes but he is mostly a tactical cog in most instances and his fantasy haul has been limited, while Marten Roon and Remo Freuler mostly have to take care of the dirty work and only occasionally participate in the final third. Josip Ilicic would be first in line to replace Zapata, but he might end up in coach’s doghouse given a poor cameo Wednesday. Ruslan Malinovskyi and Aleksey Miranchuk have not really produced when given minutes, but the former is more integrated in their squad. Joakim Maehle has decent potential because of his vitality down the right flank.

Recommended picks: Muriel, Gosens, Ilicic/Malinovskyi. 

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