Serie A Fantasy Preview – Round 30 – Early Games

SPEZIA-CROTONE

Spezia: the Aquilotti tend to get an uncanny amount of goals from their subs and Daniele Verde delivered in stunning fashion against Lazio. The peppy winger has been in good form over the last two months. Coach Vincenzo Italiano is keeping everybody involved so, while getting more minutes helps, it is not a major discriminating factor. The only one that plays all the time is Emmanuel Gyasi, who picked up an assist in the past match, moving to five in the season, plus six goals. Roberto Piccoli (4 goals) has outplayed their early-season revelation M’Bala Nzola in recent games, but the two will keep divvying up the minutes. Giulio Maggiore (2 goals, one assist) has been their more offensive-minded midfielder as of late, while Tommaso Pobega had some big flashes at the beginning of the campaign. It could be a ripe match-up for their attackers given Crotone’s terrible defense.

Suggested picks: Gyasi, Verde, Piccoli/Nzola.

Crotone: their offense continues to produce at a high clip as they bagged three goals versus Napoli as well. Simy is balling out and has registered eight goals over the last five matches, while Junior Messias has hit the net twice in a row: he is up at eight in the season, plus four assists. Adam Ounas (2/1) started right away upon recovering from a thigh injury and did not look very explosive, but he should be in better shape in this one and he has been pretty good since joining in January. Ahmad Benali has rounded into form and recorded his first assist: he has a ton of fantasy upside given his meaningful role and past numbers. Arkadiusz Reca (2/3) has been cleared from the COVID protocol and will resume providing some oomph from the left flank.

Suggested picks: Simy, Messias, Benali.

 

PARMA-MILAN

Parma: they too are getting decent returns from their attack, but they keep struggling in the back. Jasmin Kurtic found the target for the fourth time in the season against Benevento, the second in the past two matches, while Dennis Man opened his tally after being bouncy for few games in a row. Gervinho (4/1) was not great in his return, but Yann Karamoh and Valentin Mihaila are banged up and they have always leaned on him when healthy. Graziano Pellè has not been able to follow up the great goal against Genoa and could face competition from Andreas Cornelius, even though he has generally fared better. They are getting a ton of production out of the midfield as also Hernani and Juraj Kucka, who have both logged six goals and two assists thus far, have been able to find paydirt in recent fixtures.

Suggested picks: Man, Pellè, Kucka.

Milan: another clunker at home for the Rossoneri who, for some weird reason, are just not comfortable at San Siro. Jens Petter Hauge salvaged a point with a pretty late goal and will try to earn some momentum, but he faces plenty of competition. Ante Rebic (5/3) figures to be ready to start, while also Rafael Leao (5/5) and Brahim Diaz (2/2) could be available after missing time. Zlatan Ibrahimovic is not hitting the net with the same regularity he had at the beginning of the season (one goal in the last five games), but he remains clearly the tip of the spear. Hakan Calhanoglu (2/8) had resumed scoring in Florence and, while he is a bit up-and-down as well, he is hugely important in their offense. Frank Kessie (9/3) has abated a little with just one assist over the last four games, while Theo Hernandez (4/4) is outright in a funk.

Suggested picks: Ibrahimovic, Calhanoglu, Rebic/Hauge.

 

UDINESE-TORINO

Udinese: they put up a strong fight against Atalanta as the goals by Roberto Pereyra and Jens Stryger Larsen kept them in the game until late. The Argentinian midfielder has now recorded four in the campaign, plus four assists, while the Dane had yet to hit the net, but he had few chances from the left flank. He moved there because Nahuel Molina has become a force on the right wing and he set up both goals last week: he has logged five assists. They were able to hang around despite Rodrigo De Paul (6/5) having an off-game for his standards. Stefano Okaka unseated Fernando Llorente in that match but did not do much better than the teammates and both forwards remain pretty underwhelming taking into account their numbers for the season. Jayden Braaf was given a shot out of the blue, but it was Fernando Forestieri that shined off the bench as second-striker and he might work his way into the XI in this one.

Suggested picks: Pereyra, De Paul, Molina.

Torino: Antonio Sanabria masterfully took advantage of Juventus’ howlers to extend his sizzling run, as he has netted four goals in the past four matches. Rolando Mandragora (2/1) generated one of those with a sharp shot and continues to be a problem for opposing defenses even though his role is not technically very proactive. On the other hand, Andrea Belotti has not recaptured his pre-COVID form and he has been held scoreless in the past six appearances. The coach went with Simone Verdi over a central midfielder and the move worked out even though he did not take home some bonuses: he is a more appealing fantasy option than Sasa Lukic, who has been silent for months, Amer Gojak and Daniele Baselli. Cristian Ansaldi is a decent hub on the flank and has collected three helpers thus far.

Suggested picks: Sanabria, Mandragora, Ansaldi.

 

INTER-CAGLIARI

Inter: like clockwork, Romelu Lukaku found paydirt in both of the last two matches, improving to 21 goals of the season. Lautaro Martinez (15) punished Sassuolo and furnished an assist, his fifth one of the campaign. Ashley Young might not be as offensive-minded as Ivan Perisic (2/4), but he set up a teammate midweek and merits consideration if the teammate does not return. On the other flank, instead, Achraf Hakimi has been muted for a lengthy spell. They will not have Nicolò Barella in this one, but they will welcome back Marcelo Brozovic (1/6). Even though he and Christian Eriksen have a meaningful creative role, the strikers have done pretty much all the damage in recent games. Alexis Sanchez (5/6) is also putting up interesting numbers considering his limited playing time and he might relieve one of the starters considering the busy week.

Suggested picks: Lukaku, Martinez/Sanchez, Brozovic.

Cagliari: they had few chances but they were unable to capitalize against Verona. It surely does not help that Joao Pedro (13/1) has not found the target in three matches, while Alberto Cerri did not exploit his chance to start. Whoever finds some consistency between him, Leonardo Pavoletti (2/3) and Giovanni Simeone (6/1) is going to run away with the starting job, but neither is a recommendable choice as of now. El Cholito and Radja Nainggolan had made the stat-sheet a month ago but they did not turn the corner. Razvan Marin and Nahitan Nandez have been sprightlier than the Belgian veteran in the midfield, but without hitting big. Their decent flank game, manned also by Charalampos Lykogiannis and Gabriele Zappa, takes a hit if the front-line is not prolific. Gaston Pereiro was their last attacker to find the target but he is not a regular.

Suggested picks: Pedro, Marin, Nandez.

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