Serie A Fantasy Preview – Round Six – Top Matches

INTER-PARMA

Inter: Romelu Lukaku suffered a thigh injury that will cost him at least one game and the Nerazzurri will have to make up for the loss of their target man, something that rarely happened last year. Alexis Sanchez is dealing with a small problem as well, therefore Lautaro Martinez, who has slowed down after opening the campaign with three straight goals, will have to shoulder the attack, then they will hope Andrea Pinamonti can be decent right away. They also briefly used Ivan Perisic as second-striker in the last game. Stefano Sensi is back on the shelf with his customary muscular problems: Christian Eriksen had some flashes last week, but so far him and Marcelo Brozovic have produced nothing too exciting. Their best midfielder has been Nicolò Barella (two assists), while Arturo Vidal has mostly taken care of the dirty work. At some point Radja Nainggolan will get in on the action, but it has not happened yet. Fortunately, Achraf Hakimi (one goal, two assists) was a false positive and he will resume plowing the flank from the start here, while Ashley Young has shaken off the virus and will challenge Ivan Perisic, who has been solid (two assists) but has not really taken off. Their back-line has improved with Alessandro Bastoni back in the fold.

Recommended picks: Martinez, Perisic, Hakimi.  Continue reading

Serie A Best Fantasy XI – Round Five

Samir Handanovic (7 points): just one goalie managed to keep a clean sheet in this round and Inter easily contained Genoa on Saturday, finally blanking their opponents for the first time in the season. The Slovakian veteran was pretty much a spectator in the game.

Danilo D’Ambrosio (9 points): he has been pretty solid while filling in for Milan Skriniar, who is out with COVID, and, on top of that, he keeps making his presence known on the other end as well. He notched his second goal of the campaign by punching it home on a flick-on by Andrea Ranocchia on a corner kick. Continue reading

Serie A Fantasy Player of the Week: Gaetano Castrovilli

Fiorentina has been a talent hub in recent seasons, producing a number of top quality players from its youth academy. La Viola has not shied away from giving young players a platform to shine and have reaped the rewards, selling their stars for significant transfer fees. Most recently, Federico Chiesa made the move to Juventus for a reported fee of 50 million euros, leaving a gaping hole in the final third for Beppe Iachini’s men. Gaetano Castrovilli has since stepped up wonderfully in Chiesa’s absence leading Fiorentina to a narrow win over Udinese.

As a result of his man-of-the-match performance, Castrovilli is our Serie A fantasy player of the week.

Gaetano Castrovilli vs. Udinese: 

Goals: 2

Assists: 1

Fantacalcio points: 15

Castrovilli was deployed on the left-hand side of the midfield three, alongside Sofyan Amrabat and Giacomo Bonaventura. The Italian international excelled from this role and got forward to devastating effect against Udinese. Castrovilli opened up the scoring shortly after the ten-minute mark, connecting wonderfully with Cristiano Biraghi. The Viola midfielder made a late, unmarked run into the box and quickly pounced on Biraghi’s cut-back into the box.

Castrovilli’s impressive passing range was on display for Fiorentina’s second goal when the midfielder found himself in space with the ball at his feet. The 23-year-old scanned his options and delivered an inch-perfect cross to a welcoming Nikola Milenkovic. The towering defender headed home with ease into an empty net, doubling Fiorentina’s lead.

Castrovilli would not be done there and was once again at the heart of the action after Udinese pulled one back via Stefano Okaka. This time around, Castrovilli picked up possession deep into midfield and drove forward at the Udinese rearguard at will. The 24-year-old spread possession wide to Biraghi and unmarked himself at the top of the box. Castrovilli wasted no time with the ball at his feet and fired a curling effort into the top corner, and put the tie to bed. Once again, the midfielder demonstrated he is capable of adding end product to his repertoire and he can take the game to the opposition.

Last season, Castrovilli showed glimpses of his potential and dazzled with the ball at his feet, but often left a lot to be desired at the final step. This season has been a completely different story for the young midfielder. In fact, Castrovilli has already surpassed last season’s tally of three goals, already registering four on the season. In addition, the 24-year-old has demonstrated he is ready for a new challenge and is ready to emerge as a crucial piece to Iachini’s setup, even in Chiesa’s absence.

The Juventus man played an integral role in Fiorentina’s attack last season, but Castrovilli’s recent emergence is encouraging. While the two players occupy very different positions, Castrovilli has shown he can contribute significantly to the side’s attack and is ready to become a creative force in the final third.

Fiorentina will now shift their attention to Padova in the third round of the Coppa Italia before taking on Roma next weekend. For now, Castrovilli is your Serie A fantasy player of the week for matchday five.

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Serie A Fantasy Recap – Round Five

Standings implications: Roma managed to at least slow down Milan in the Monday night thriller. Napoli stayed perfect in the matches they actually played but they had to dig deep to sink a plucky Benenevento. Juventus lost some more ground as they could not get past Verona. Inter and Lazio both bounced back after multiple winless rounds, as the Nerazzurri patiently worked their way around Genoa’s defence, while the Biancocelesti bested Bologna. Sassuolo and Sampdoria are the surprises of the early season: the Neroverdi were again the comeback kids against Torino, but their rally stopped short this time, while the Blucerchiati handed Atalanta their second tough L in a row. Fiorentina held on two dear life this time in order to beat Udinese and return to winning ways. Cagliari defeated Crotone, keeping the opponents on the down low, while this time Spezia were on the wrong end of a two-goal comeback in Parma.

Continue reading

Serie A Fantasy Preview – Round Five – Other Games

SASSUOLO-TORINO

Sassuolo: the Neroverdi were tested by Bologna, but they reacted vigorously and nabbed another win thanks to goal by their usual difference-makers, Francesco Caputo (fourth in the season), Domenico Berardi (third) and Filip Djuricic. The Serbian attacker started off slowly but found the target in the last two outings. Gregoire Defrel and Lukas Haraslin have hampered by injuries, while Jeremie Boga and Nicolas Schiappacasse had to deal with COVID, so the final spot in their front-line is up for grabs. Hamed Traore has first dibs if the absentees do not return, but Maxime Lopez could be an option as well. At some point they will have to start using Boga, but he missed a lot of practice time because of the virus. Mert Muldur and Georgios Kyriakopoulos have yet to turn it on this season, while Manuel Locatelli and Mehdi Bourabia have both hit the net once despite their role. Continue reading

Serie A Injury and Suspension Report – Round Four

Atalanta: Aleksey Miranchuk is set to be available after missing the first three matches with a thigh strain. Cristiano Piccini and Matteo Pessina have resumed practicing regularly following knee injuries and they too will return soon. Josip Ilicic is getting closer and closer, but the information on him is not always solid. Rafael Toloi is out of the quarantine after skipping the previous game, while Marco Carnesecchi has COVID. Mattia Caldara partially tore the patellar tendon in the left knee and will not be back before 2021.

Benevento: Andres Tello is be back after missing some time with ailments, but Federico Barba is still out. Gabriel Moncini will skip a game or two due to an adductor strain. Nicolas Viola needs more time to recover from a meniscus tear. Continue reading

Serie A Fantasy Recap – Round Two

Results: Roma and Juventus shared the spoils in an entertaining fixture to cap off the Sunday slateNapoli demolished Genoa, Milan easily got past Crotone, while Verona nipped Udinese to stay perfect in the season. Inter furiously rallied back late against Fiorentina, while Lazio breezed past Cagliari and Atalanta toyed with Torino, so the three ‘top four’ teams that had their opener delayed were all successful. Among the newly promoted teams, Benevento got off to a brilliant start as they mounted a glorious comeback against Sampdoria, tough sledding instead for Spezia, which run into an in-form Sassuolo. Bologna trounced Parma on Monday night.  Continue reading

Serie A Fantasy Preview – Round Two – Top Matches

TORINO-ATALANTA

Torino: the Granata did really not show anything new in the Fiorentina game even though Marco Giampaolo is supposedly going to bring a ton of changes, but that will take time and likely a couple of new players to come to fruition. They created just a pair of changes, with Andrea Belotti fully in the thick of it as per usual, while Simone Zaza rubbished a tasty one. They might be better off signing a new striker. The coach went with Alex Berenguer in the hole and then voiced doubts about Simone Verdi’s playing in that position, however there is not really any other place for him in the formation, so he will have to adapt. Soualiho Meite and Karol Linetty were not very involved offensively, mostly because the match-up was not easy, but this upcoming one is worse.  Continue reading

Serie A Best Fantasy XI – Round One

Antonio Mirante (7 points): the Roma coach picked him over Pau Lopez, who was really uneven in the resumption, and the veteran had a pair of big-time saves that preserved the result in the challenging game against Verona, keeping his first clean sheet of the season. Unless Paulo Fonseca did it just to send a message to the Spaniard, it will be tough to take the starting job away from him on a performance basis alone.

Leonardo Bonucci (9 points): he looked re-energized and uber confident featuring in something similar to a three-man defence and with his buddy Giorgio Chiellini next to him. He stymied multiple attempts with great timing, launched a pair of interesting long balls and scored the pivotal second goal for his side with a tap-in on a corner kick. Continue reading

Serie A Injury and Suspension Report – Round 38

Atalanta: Josip Ilicic will miss another one and will be probably joined by José Palomino, who picked up a thigh problem in the last game.

Bologna: Mattia Bani (calf) and Takehiro Tomiyasu (thigh) will not be back for the season finale. Mitchell Dijks and Ladislav Krejci (thigh) have been ruled out. 

Brescia: Jhon Chancellor and Simon Skrabb are out, while Jesse Joronen, Alfredo Donnarumma and even Andrea Cistana are in the squad list, but that is not necessarily an indication they are certainly going to play.   Continue reading