Serie A Round 12 Fantacalcio Player Trends: Stock Down

With the international break around the corner, most sides are looking to go into it on a positive note. Inter take on a resolute Hellas Verona while Juventus will host a struggling Milan on Sunday. Napoli, a side in revolt against their upper management, will be taking on a Genoa side who have improved from week-to-week under Thiago Motta. Otherwise, the capital sides are in action as Roma take on Parma and Lazio will look to overcome Lecce.

With match-day 12 upon us, here are FIVE players you should consider dropping from your fantacalcio side. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!

Gianluigi Donnarumma (GK, Milan, Value 12.44) – The Milan goalkeeper has struggled in recent times and has let in a few goals he’d be hoping to have back. Given the uncertainty in front of him, Donnarumma is often left vulnerable by his defence and will continue conceding goals. Despite this, he knows he’ll have to be better, especially with league leaders Juventus coming up this weekend.

For the time being, swap the Italian international out of your side in favour of a low-cost option. At least until the Milan man hits top form again.

Lorenzo Insigne (ATT, Napoli, Value 17.25) – Being referred to as the leader of the ongoing mutiny at Napoli, Lorenzo Insigne has been far from his best this season. With the side refusing to go into a ritiro against the club’s orders, expect Insigne’s play to suffer as a result. That’s if he plays, of course.

Napoli boss Carlo Ancelotti may be looking to make a statement and bench his captain given recent events. Given Arkadiusz Milik’s good form, expect Insigne to register limited minutes for the next few weeks as the situation unfolds further.

Fabian Ruiz (MID, Napoli, Value 14.44) – The Napoli midfielder was expected to take the next step in his career this season, but has struggled with consistency. This season, the partenopei have often lacked balance in the midfield and have left their rearguard exposed due to the lack of a real number six. Whether it’s Piotr Zielinski or Allan alongside Ruiz, it seems they’re an awkward fit and could use a more robust presence.

Despite this, Ruiz has impressed in the final third but can’t convert his positive play into end-product. Currently, he has one goal and two assists and let’s face it, Napoli have come to expect way more from the Spaniard international. Given the ongoing revolution at Napoli, it would be wise to swap Fabian out of your sides, at least until they steady the ship.

Cristiano Ronaldo (ATT, Juventus, Value 18.86) – The Juventus superstar has looked a shade of his former self over the course of the last month and is likely playing with a knock. Uninvolved in the build-up play and one step off in the final third, Ronaldo has had a rough start to the season and has struggled to find the back of the net with regularity. The former Real Madrid man was subbed out against Lokomotiv Moscow most recently indicating he may be injured.

With a clash against Milan on the horizon, Juventus boss Maurizio Sarri may opt to rest Ronaldo in favour of the in-form Gonzalo Higuain. Considering Paulo Dybala and Douglas Costa have both looked dangerous in possession together recently, it’s very possible they all start.

Sergej Milinkovic-Savic (MID, Lazio, Value 17.25) – Following his breakout season, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic has disappointed and has failed to reach his former heights. The Serbian international arguably needs a change of scenery for newfound motivation, but the fact remains that the Lazio man isn’t dictated proceedings as much as he would have liked. One goal and three assists in his ten starts highlight his relatively indifferent form.

Given his increased price-tag, it’s time you get ride of Milinkovic-Savic for the foreseeable future.

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Serie A Match of the Round – Roma vs Milan

No real burn burners in this round so the nod goes to one of the matches that had the highest profile, Roma-Milan, which was also decently entertaining and pretty telling for both sides.

The Giallorossi were looking to return to winning ways after drawing in the previous two contests against Cagliari and Sampdoria, while the Devil equalized against Lecce in Stefano Pioli’s debut, with the opponents scoring in the stoppage time. The new coach confirmed last week’s line-up, therefore Andrea Conti manned the right flank even though Davide Calabria was available and Rafael Leao spearheaded the front-line. Continue reading

Serie A Match of the Round – Milan Derby

The most anticipated match of the round had a clear winner, as Inter came out on top with a two-nil result, but it was still pretty intense and entertaining.

The Nerazzurri came into the game having won the three previous matches against Lecce, Cagliari and Udinese, but had to bounce back from lackadaisical and costly performance in Champions League against Slavia Prague. Milan had scraped by Verona and Brescia in the last two. Antonio Conte kept Antonio Candreva on the bench since he suffered a knock in the most recent fixture, picking Danilo D’Ambrosio to man right flank, while the rest of the XI was the standard one, with Lautaro Martinez partnering Romelu Lukaku up front and Nicolò Barella in the midfield. Marco Giampaolo changed his selection again as he fielded Rafael Leao up front, next to Krzysztof Piatek and Suso, while Andrea Conti filled in for the suspended Davide Calabria at right back. Lucas Paqueta and Ismael Bennacer were again left on the bench. Continue reading

Serie A Weekly Transfer Market Recap

There were barely any deal in the first few sleepy days of August, where Fiorentina and Milan were the main protagonists. La Viola signed Kevin-Prince Boateng and Pol Lirola from Sassuolo and sold Vitor Hugo to Palmeiras, hinting a switch to their defensive philosophy since they used to deploy Nikola Milenkovic at right back, but will no go with a more normal and aggressive look. The Rossoneri instead cashed in on Patrick Cutrone, who joined Wolverhampton, and substituted him with Rafael Leao from Lille, who projects to be a better fit next to Krzysztof Piatek, and then announced Ismael Bennacer from Empoli on Sunday. Juventus completed the sale of Moise Kean to EvertonContinue reading

Serie A Team of the Week – Round 37

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Gianluigi Donnarumma (7 points): the starlet saved Milan once again in the Frosinone game, preventing the opponents from going up in the score by brilliantly parrying away a Camillo Ciano penalty.

Riccardo Gagliolo (5 points): Parma defended very diligently against Fiorentina, holding La Viola scoreless once more. With Bruno Alves on the sidelines, it was up to Gagliolo to lead the back-line and he did not disappoint.

Mattia Bani (5 points): Chievo finally managed to stop and he and his teammate Bostjan Cesar did a fine job in stymieing Fabio Quagliarella and company in Sunday’s lunch match.   Continue reading

Assessing the goal keeper market in Serie A

Gianluigi-Donnarumma

 

With just three games left in the season, we can start looking to the summer transfer window. To get ready, let’s assess the market at each major position and the needs for the top teams in Serie A:

 

Juventus- all set with Szczesny at the starter position after he made the post Buffon season uneventful, Mattia Perin is recovering from an injury but expected back as backup

Napoli- Alex Meret has the potential to be the best keeper in club history, Ospina’s rights expected to be redeemed

Inter- Handanovic is still one of the elite keepers in the league but since he’s 34 time to look for a successor. Ionut Radu could be the heir apparent or a chip to make a plusvalenza, Brazao is expected to be at the summer retreat after finishing the season at Parma

Atalanta- Gollini replaced Berisha as the starter but the club could look for an upgrade especially if they qualify to Champions League

Milan- Donnarumma had a strong comeback season, Reina is the highest paid backup keeper in Serie A, Plizzari recently signed an extension

Roma- you have to wonder how many more points they would have had Mirante replaced Olsen sooner. But Mirante is also 35…

 

 

Alessio Cragno

 

The Cagliari keeper had a breakout season and you can make a case he was the best keeper in the league along with Sirigu in 2018-19. But unlike the Torino keeper, Cragno is just about to enter his prime since he’ll turn 25 and will have a significant market moving forward. Cragno could be a great fit at Roma as an immediate starter or he could be the long term replacement for Handanovic at Inter should they decide to cash on Radu. If Atalanta wanted to make a bold move, especially if they qualify for the Champions League, Cragno would be a wise investment since he would also have future resale value.

 

Ionut Radu

 

The Romanian keeper replaced Marchetti as the starter at Genoa last fall and quickly established himself as one of the best young keepers in the league. It will be interesting to see if Inter, who ultimately own his rights with a counter buy back option, decide to use him as a financial asset and turn him into a plusvalenza, or if they will be more gun shy after Zaniolo’s explosion at Roma. 

 

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Mattia Perin

 

Could the former Genoa keeper follow in Neto’s foot steps and decide to leave Juventus because the backup role isn’t fulfilling enough? Prior to his injury, Perin did little to show he was a serious threat to replace Szczesny as the starter, but because of his reputation he still has a significant market and could net Juventus a fairly significant plusvalenza since they acquired him for 12 million euro. Perin could be an enticing option for Atalanta and Fiorentina should they decide to cash in on Lafont.

 

Alban Lafont 

 

The FIFA superstar had an up and down debut season in Serie A. Not surprisingly he had his fair share of great saves, but he also cost his club numerous points with some significant blunders and poor ball distribution skills. But considering the dumpster fire season Fiorentina is about to complete and the excellent performances by Bartomiej Dragowski at Empoli while on loan, we could see a changing of the guard at the keeper position.

Lafont could still fetch a good profit for Fiorentina because of his reputation and the low price it took to acquire (around 8 million). He could be a fit at Roma or more likely at a club outside of Italy.

 

Juan Musso

 

The former Racing club keeper turned heads in his debut season in Serie A. His performances for Udinese earned him a selection to Argentina’s national team, assuming the Friulani don’t get relegated, it’s likely they’ll hold on to him at least another season to further increase his value (and lower his amortization cost).

Emil Audero

 

After the success of the Lucas Torreira deal, it’s not surprising to see Arsenal once again looking at Sampdoria. The Gunners have scouted the Indonesian born keeper multiple times this season, but in order to tempt Ferrero’s club, they must offer considerably more than the 20 million euro paid in January to redeem his rights from Juventus. 

Gigio Donnarumma

 

 Considering how long he has been in our lives, it’s hard to believe the Milan keeper is just twenty years old. Donnarumma has fully established himself as Buffon’s heir on the Azzurri and for a long stretch of the season, he was right there with Cragno and Sirigu as the best keeper in the league. 

Donnarumma also fixed his relationship with the club’s fan base, but his humongous salary and fact he would represent a massive plusvalenza at a time that Milan faces significant Financial Fair Play restraints (especially if they don’t qualify for the Champions League)

 

Serie A Injury and Suspension Report – Round 33

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Juventus: Mattia Perin and Sami Khedira will undergo season-ending surgeries for shoulder and knee problems respectively. Paulo Dybala sustained a quad strain against Ajax and will miss at least a couple of weeks. Giorgio Chiellini (calf) might be back next week, while Mario Mandzukic might not be back at all due to patellar tendon issues. Douglas Costa (calf) and Martin Caceres (thigh) will skip the next two matches.

Napoli: Raul Albiol (knee surgery) has resumed practicing and might be called up this week, leaving Amadou Diawara as the only injured player. Nikola Maksimovic will be on the mend for a while due to a foot infraction.  Continue reading

Serie A Injury and Suspension Report – Round 32

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Juventus: Blaise Matuidi subbed off against Ajax due to a calf problem, but the injury is not believed to be severe. Emre Can (ankle) and Giorgio Chiellini (calf) will sit Saturday’s game too but they are not distant from returning. Juan Cuadrado is back after knee surgery, while Douglas Costa suffered a new calf problem. Miralem Pjanic, Mario Mandzukic and Cristiano Ronaldo have not been called up for rest purposes.

Napoli: Simone Verdi was scatched late for the previous match due to muscle fatigue, but he was called up for the London trip. Raul Albiol (knee) and Amadou Diawara will miss another one, but at least of them could be back next week.

Inter: Marcelo Brozovic suffered a pull of the semitendinosus muscle in the right pull and will miss the Frosinone game and perhaps one more after that. Lautaro Martinez and Stefan De Vrij are set to be called up after being sidelined by thigh ailments. Continue reading

Serie A Injury and Suspension Report – Round 31

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Juventus: Mario Mandzukic (flu), Paulo Dybala (calf) and Leonardo Spinazzola (knee) have recovered from their problems, while Cristiano is sitll out. Sami Khedira, Douglas Costa and Juan Cuadrado have ramped up their activity and are close to returning, but they will not be called up in this round. Martin Caceres will miss three weeks with a thigh strain.

Napoli: Lorenzo Insigne is said to have almost recuperated from his thigh contracture and could be in the squad list in this round. David Ospina (head), Faouzi Ghoulam and Vlad Chiriches (thigh) should be in the squad in list, while Raul Albiol is not far away.  Continue reading

Serie A Fantasy Recap – Round 29

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Standings implications: they did it in opposite fashion, but Juventus and Napoli both took home the full spoils in this round. Inter were bested by Lazio, Milan by Sampdoria and therefore the Biancocelesti and Atalanta moved closer to the fourth spot. The Orobici leapfrogged Roma, while Sampdoria now share the eight spot with Torino, which tied in Florence. Cagliari prevailed for the third time in the last four fixtures, this time versus Chievo, and are eight point clear of the 18th spot, which is now occupied by Empoli that have been overtaken by Bologna as result of a dramatic victory. Udinese and SPAL kept their slim lead with Ws against Genoa and Frosinone.

Confirmations: Duvan Zapata took advantage of few elite strikers being shut out to pull closer to the top of the scorers’ chart thanks to a brace.  Continue reading