Serie A Fantasy Preview – Round 27 – Early Matches


Lazio: they got off to a strong start versus Juventus, with Joaquin Correa hitting the net early, but they fizzled besides rattling the crossbar with Sergej Milinkovic-Savic in the second half. Their attack has not been very prolific as Ciro Immobile has fallen into a slump, failing to make the stat-sheet in the last four matches. Certainly an oddity given that has found the target 14 times in the season. Luis Alberto (7 goals) has scored once the past four appearances, while Milinkovic-Savic has been the most consistent contributor over the last nine tilts, tallying one goal and four helpers. Facing a soft back-line should surely help. Adam Marusic is in pretty good form but he played as center-back in the past game, while Mohamed Fares showed well while filling in for Manuel Lazzari.

Suggested picks: Immobile, Correa, Milinkovic-Savic.

Crotone: they are coming off their finest offensive performance of the year as Simy assembled his first brace, Adam Ounas danced through defenders and took home five points and Arkadiusz Reca rifled home his second goal. The offensive potential is there, even if Junior Messias has not looked splendid for some time now, but it has rarely been enough to overcome their defensive woes. Simy, who has reached the double-digit threshold, has likely reclaimed the starting job back from Samuel Di Carmine. They are set to welcome back one additional weapon as Ahmad Benali has shaken off his injury, although he will probably be managed given a troublesome campaign on the injury front. He is set to quickly become their second most appealing midfielder behind Salvatore Molina (one goal, four assists), with the potential of overtaking the teammates if he stays healthy.

Suggested picks: Simy, Ounas, Molina.



Atalanta: their front-line did not break through versus Inter despite attacking with conviction. Luis Muriel probably saw too little minutes given his run of form (4 goals, 2 assists in the previous five contests). Duvan Zapata subbed off in the second half and in any case he was a strong candidate to be spared due to the upcoming Champions League clash with Real Madrid. Ruslan Malinovskyi (2 goals, 3 assists), Aleksey Miranchuk and Mario stand to benefit if they rotate the squad, but the last two have not had a great track record of success up to this point. Josip Ilicic instead has netted three goals over the last seven appearances. Robin Gosens’s streak of six consecutive matches with bonus points came to an end. Joakim Maehle has been as elite but he has been quite good on opposite flank. They will be facing a potentially exploitable back-line in this one.

Suggested picks: Muriel, Ilicic/Zapata, Gosens.

Spezia: the coach indicated that M’Bala Nzola is going to get ample playing time to get in shape after the injury even though he has not look great upon returning. While that is understandable given his early success, it is a little weird that Kevin Agudelo has gotten no minutes in the last two matches despite faring well as false-nine. Daniele Verde cracked the box-score in the past contest after a pair of strong showings, while Emmanuel Gyasi (4 goals, 4 assists) had a twofer in the previous bout. Since Diego Farias has struggled to re-find his footing after an injury, they are the wingers to target, while Giulio Maggiore has constantly been their best midfielder over the last two months thanks to his timely cuts. Nahuel Estevez, Matteo Ricci and Leo Sena are only secondary options until they find the target, while Tommaso Pobega is still working his way back from a physical problem. Riccardo Marchizza is surprisingly involved in the final third whenever he gets the chance to play.

Suggested picks: Gyasi, Verde, Maggiore.



Sassuolo: they surely took a step back against Udinese, where their front-line sputtered, partly because of of some unusual lineup choices coming off the midweek round. The go-to formation should be ready to roll in this one and Francesco Caputo (5 goals and one assist over the last seven matches) and Domenico Berardi (2 goals in last 4) have been in fine form lately. They are surely missing Jeremie Boga as Filip Djuricic has not taken home points in six contests, Hamed Traore and Gregoire Defrel instead in eight in a row. Also Maxime Lopez has not shined despite featuring a couple of times as attacking midfielder. Unsurprisingly, there is a gulf between their top two guys and the rest of the roster in the fantasy game.

Suggested picks: Caputo, Berardi, Djuricic/Traore.

Verona: the third game in a week, something that the minnows are not accustomed to, got to them as well as they had no steam whatsoever versus Milan even though they were coming off one of the best displays of their season against Benevento. Kevin Lasagna snapped out of his swoon in that game, where Darko Lazovic provided his second straight assist and Marco Davide Faraoni hit the net for the second time over the past four matches. Federico Dimarco (3 goals, 3 assists) was one of the few bright spots against the Rossoneri and he is not going away, but the three wing-backs will likely divvy up the minutes going forward. Mattia Zaccagni is in a rut as he has not produced in six matches, while Antonin Barak has been more consistent lately, tallying two goals and one assist over the past five games.

Suggested picks: Lasagna, Barak, Faraoni.



Benevento: Nicolas Gaich looked like a million bucks on his first start and bagged a great goal, matching in one game the entire output of the regular starter Gianluca Lapadula over the past 19 tilts. The coach will probably give more run to the youngster to see if he can keep it up. Nicolas Viola dished a lovely assist to reiterate his potential as he has logged two goals and one helper in just six starts. It is pretty bleak behind them as Gianluca Caprari has not been much more better than Lapadula in the last three months, Marco Sau has not hit the net in six games and Roberto Insigne last did it in late December. Artur Ionita, Pasquale Schiattarella and Perparim Hetemaj are mostly workmanlike contributors, while Riccardo Improta is forced to play in a more defensive position due to several absences on the defensive flanks.

Suggested picks: Gaich, Viola, Caprari

Fiorentina: they somehow managed to score three goals without Dusan Vlahovic or any other attacker being involved, as two defenders hit the net and then they benefitted from an own goal. Erik Pulgar provided his first assist of the season on a corner kick and he has always been a sharp set piece specialist. They will get a boost with the return of Franck Ribery (one goal, 4 assists) and Giacomo Bonaventura (1/2) will be ready to handle more minutes, which will be very helpful as Valentin Eysseric did not exactly flourished in a featured role last week. Vlahovic (2 goals and one assist over the last seven rounds) is no longer in King Midas form, but he is always by far their most dangerous man.

Suggested picks: Vlahovic, Ribery, Bonaventura.



Genoa: their offensive efficacy has abated after a convincing stretch as they have tallied just three goals over the past five matches, with Davide Zappacosta, Eldor Shomurodov and Milan Badelj finding paydirt. Their leading scorer Mattia Destro, who is in a swoon, is suspended, so they will have to look for other options and Gianluca Scamacca will likely have a big opportunity. Since Miha Zajc has also relented as he has not scored nor assisted in the past four tilts, Zappacosta has surged in the pecking order. Paolo Ghiglione has resurfaced and he always has the potential to set up teammates. Goran Pandev is banged up so Marko Pjaca could get another shot, but he has been rather underwhelming for months now.

Suggested picks: Shomurodov, Zappacosta, Scamacca.

Udinese: Rodrigo De Paul handed out his fourth straight assist in the Sassuolo game, this time finding Roberto Pereyra, who returned to the stat-sheet after a five-game absence in that regard. Fernando Llorente instead finally notched his first goal of the season and, since Ilija Nestorovski and Stefano Okaka have also been moderately productive over the last month, the competition for minutes is on in their front-line. Nahuel Molina is coming on strong on the right flank and his crosses always seem juicy. Jens Stryger Larsen also showed up offensively in the past match. Gerard Deulofeu and Ferando Forestieri are in better shape after injuries but they will likely need some time to have fully their legs underneath them.

Suggested picks: De Paul, Pereyra, Llorente/Nestorovski.

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