Serie A Fantasy Preview – Round 26 – Early Games


Spezia: they produced a solid effort for about an hour in the Juventus match, then the home team took over and left the in the dust. Andrej Galabinov missed a late PK, likely squandering his remaining slim chances to overtaking M’Bala Nzola and Kevin Agudelo for the center-forward spot. Agudelo did not feature midweek so he will probably get the nod here, while the Frenchman has not look explosive after his injury, but it should be just a matter of time given his early stellar production. Emmanuel Gyasi (four goals, four assists) has gotten the most run out of the supporting cast and he has been solid, while Daniele Verde has been exuberant coming off the bench in the past two, but he has fully been handed over the keys on the wing yet. Diego Farias is also in the mix, but he too is trying to re-find his footing after an injury. Since Tommaso Pobega is banged up, Giulio Maggiore has been their most proactive midfielder, while Nahuel Estevez, Matteo Ricci and Leo Sena, who has gotten good minutes in the past two games, are pretty decent but not as dangerous. Ricci, like Simone Bastoni at left-back, has been able to notch some helpers.

Suggested picks: Gyasi, Agudelo/Nzola, Verde/Maggiore.

Benevento: the Sanniti continue to sputter and the drought is weighing on their results. They have scored just twice over the last seven rounds, with Nicolas Viola and Gianluca Caprari. The coach tried to shake things up by inserting Marco Sau, but they created very little against a stingy defense like the Verona one. At least they will be facing a way softer one in this one. Gianluca Lapadula (four goals) remains their offensive linchpin as they have not fully unleashed Adolfo Gaich yet, who has looked okay in limited spurts. Riccardo Improta returned from an injury in the past game and he should add some oomph to the midfield if starting, while they lost again Gaetano Letizia, who was great to open the season. Roberto Insigne has been as unproductive as their other attackers.

Suggested picks: Caprari, Viola, Lapadula/Gaich.



Udinese: they have been living off Rodrigo De Paul assists in the last three matches and his crosses have successfully met Stefano Okaka, Ilija Nestorovski and Rodrigo Becao to help them take home points. However, nobody among their strikers has had much continuity scoring-wise, not even Fernando Llorente who has seen the most minutes of the lot. Rodrigo Pereyra has been laboring a bot following his thigh injury and they would surely get a major boost if he got going again, as he has tallied two goals and four helpers. Gerard Deulofeu should also be able to see his playing time improve following knee soreness and their best version has been the one with few pacey players on the pitch together. Jean-Victor Makengo is seeing more minutes than before but, like Walace and Tolgay Arslan, it does not look like he will be a fantasy asset. Nahuel Molina and Thomas Ouwejan have better chances to turn into one, but they will have to unseat Jens Stryger Larsen and Marvin Zeegelaar first.

Suggested picks: De Paul, Pereyra/Deulofeu, Okaka/Nestorovski.

Sassuolo: now that the band is back together after they took turns in getting hurt, the Neroverdi are looking like their prolific early-season selves as, even if they did not win, they hanged three goals on Napoli midweek. Domenico Berardi and Francesco Caputo both converted PKs to further pad their stats and they have been going like gangbusters since reuniting. Filip Djuricic has generally been their third best guy, but he has not able picked up points over the last five matches. Hamed Traore has lost steam with the teammates, Gregoire Defrel is boom-or-bust and Maxime Lopez is back to playing in the midfield, so they do not really have a reliable this banana at this stage, but the top two are elite.

Suggested picks: Caputo, Berardi, Djuricic.



Juventus: the return of Alvaro Morata paid immediate dividends for the Bianconeri, as he scored for the first time in six weeks few minutes upon subbing in. He might still be managed a little since he is coming off a debilitating virus, but he remains a safe choice even if not starting as he can do damage also in limited minutes and he was streaky earlier in the campaign. It was par for the course beyond the newfound contribution of the Spaniard, as Cristiano Ronaldo pushed his scoring streak to three matches and Federico Chiesa added one more to his tally. Dejan Kulusevski had an adequate display, but his teammates could not tuck home a pair of delicious assists, but he is going to lose minutes with Morata coming back and has not hit the net in 11 appearances. Rodrigo Bentancur registered a rare assist, while Federico Bernardeschi furnished a solid contribution off the bench for one of the first times in ages and might find his niche in that role. Weston McKennie is playing through some dings and bruises, while Aaron Ramsey is too up-and-down to be trusted, but at least he is healthy now.

Suggested picks: Ronaldo, Morata, Chiesa.

Lazio: Ciro Immobile pushed his drought to three games as he missed a PK in Bologna. They have not been very explosive in the last five matches, netting just four goals, one with the Golden Boot recipient, one with Luis Alberto, two matches ago, and the other with Adam Marusic, who generally is not a big factor in that regard. They have not scored but eye-test wise Sergej Milinkovic-Savic and Joaquin Correa have been their best men in the recent stretch of the season, while Alberto and Immobile have had the most chances. Manuel Lazzari picked up a physical issue in the past game and his likely replacements Senad Lulic and Mohamed Fares are not on the same level, so they will probably lean more on Marusic on the opposite flank, who has been quite good.

Suggested picks: Milinkovic-Savic, Alberto, Immobile.



Roma: they solved the Fiorentina contest thanks to two odd scorers, Leonardo Spinazzola, who however has been a prolific assist-man and a constant force down the flank, and especially Amadou Diawara, who had pretty much disappeared from the radar. Unfortunately, it looks like Jordan Veretout suffered a serious injury and he had been their best guy over the last month. Borja Mayoral has had his moments throughout the season while filling in for Edin Dzeko, but he has not been great in the last few matches. The bigger issue for them is that the form of their star Henrikh Mkhitaryan has dipped and they do not have many more answers if he sputters. However, he remains in the top three for lack of trustworthy alternatives. Pedro has been announced as the starter in this one after a while and he has generally been fine even though he appared to fall out of favor lately. Stephan El Shaarawy more minutes, although he has yet to shine since coming back. Lorenzo Pellegrini has been steady, but the loss of Veretout might force them to move him back to the midfield, where he would have fewer opportunities to offend. Rick Karsdorp, like Spinazzola, has been consistent and set up the late goal off the bench midweek.

Suggested picks: Mayoral, Pedro, Pellegrini/Mkhitaryan. 

Genoa: the Derby with Sampdoria was pretty much a chess-match and it took a play out of the blue by Davide Zappacosta to break the deadlock, however the crosstown rivals managed to crawl their way back. Mattia Destro has stopped hitting the net, but the other strikers have not really picked up the slack and the production of the whole team has taken a hit. Eldor Shomurodov and Marko Pjaca have been peppy in their most recent displays, differently from Goran Pandev and Gianluca Scamacca. It has not been exactly fiery, but they do have a deep and well-assorted front-line, which does not make it easy on fantasy managers. Miha Zajc is game in game out their best options in the midfield, while Kevin Strootman and Milan Badelj are mostly hard workers.

Suggested picks: Shomurodov, Zappacosta, Destro.

How well do you know Italian football? Do you want to battle the best Serie A Fantasy Managers? Play now!

To leave a comment, you must be logged into