Serie A Fantasy Preview – Round 30

JUVENTUS-TORINO

Juventus: the Bianconeri are thriving offensively thanks to the great form of both Cristiano Ronaldo and Paulo Dybala, who scored in three consecutive matches. Douglas Costa contributed off the bench versus Genoa and he can be a factor even if he rarely plays full matches because of his injury history. Juan Cuadrado picked up an assist in the past match and he has been effective despite the more defensive role. Rodrigo Bentancur is in outstanding form but is not very prone to picking up bonuses. Their run of clean sheets was interrupted by a consolation goal, but they will be facing a sputtering attack in this one. Continue reading

Serie A Fantay Preview – Round 29

TORINO-LAZIO

Torino: the Granata had a nice reaction after falling in an early hole versus Cagliari, but an untimely penalty did them in. Andrea Belotti has found the target for two straight matches and has been excellent missed penalty aside. Simone Zaza is unlikely to be present, but Simone Verdi and especially Cristian Ansaldi, two of their most talented players, saw minutes in the past match and could be ready to start, unlocking few options up front, first of all the advancement of Alex Berenguer. Ansaldi had a positive impact after he subbed on, Verdi might need more time and had been struggling prior to the lockdown. Continue reading

Serie A Injuries and Suspension Report – Round 28

Atalanta: Josip Ilicic returned from an ankle problem in the last game, thus they have nothing else to worry about.

Bologna: Federico Santander and Andreas Skov Olsen will be out for a while due to thigh strains.

Brescia: Jhon Chancellor (thigh) will miss another one. Andrea Cistana is not close after repairing his peroneal tendon during the lockdown. Continue reading

Serie A Fantasy Preview – Round 27

Fiorentina-Brescia: the Viola will welcome back Franck Ribery, at least in limited fashion at first, and the coach is ready to tweak is system to accommodate him either in the hole or on the left wing, joining Dusan Vlahovic/Patrick Cutrone and obviously Federico Chiesa up front. In the meantime, it could be Gaetano Castrovilli taking on a bigger role. Alfred Duncan and Marco Benassi have some decent potential.  It is an extremely appealing match-up considering Brescia’s defensive woes and absences: Vlahovic and Castrovilli in the particular were in great form before the lockdown. Continue reading

Serie A Fantasy Preview and Predictions – Round 25 – Makeup Games

Serie A resumes with a soft relaunch that features the matches that were postponed in March.

Torino-Parma: the Granata were one of the least interesting teams fantasy-wise before the stoppage, with Andrea Belotti being the only okay piece to rely on. The coach has been working on ways to fix that and might go with a more aggressive scheme this time around, with the Rooster and Simone Zaza together and Alex Berenguer and Simone Edera on the flanks, since Simone Verdi will be out for a while. They also lost Daniele Baselli, another substantial blow, and Cristian Ansaldi, one of their biggest playmakers, is not totally right. Besides the spry Berenguer (five goals so far), it is a wait-and-see approach. Continue reading

Will Lautaro Martinez be a success at the Camp Nou?

Lionel Messi has labelled Lautaro Martinez a ‘complete’ forward, and the Barcelona icon has spoken of his desire to link up with his fellow Argentine at the Camp Nou next season. Martinez’s agent has added further fuel to the fire by claiming that there is a ‘very big possibility’ of the 22-year old completing his move to Catalonia this summer.

Although the young striker has enjoyed a fruitful campaign in Serie A, big things are expected of the Bahia Blanca-born star. Can he live up to the hype?

Inter are desperate to keep hold of the forward who has plundered 19 goals in all competitions this season, yet his desire to link up with the six-time Ballon d’Or winner could prove to be decisive. Although a number of top clubs including Manchester United are believed to be circling this summer, Barca are thought to be in pole position, and with the La Liga giants renowned for their possession-based style of football, this is highly likely to play to his strengths.

The Blaugrana have tended to interchange between 4-4-2 and 4-3-3 in recent years, and the former Racing Club striker should relish the chance to integrate himself as part of one of Europe’s most potent strike-forces. Martinez was used sporadically under former Inter boss Luciano Spalletti, who used to prefer Mauro Icardi in the lone striker role. When given the chance to impress, the forward often found himself isolated due to opponents sitting deep. With the wingers tracking back, the front-man was unable to make space for himself, and was often seen drifting in and out of play.

While lower-ranked teams may occasionally deploy similar tactics against Barcelona, it often tends to be a fruitless task with the 26-time Spanish champions usually finding a way to break the tightest of defensive lines.

Lautaro is able to create space for himself, and is extremely comfortable with the ball at his feet, something that is a prerequisite for any potential Barca recruit. Under Antonio Conte, he has been part of a front two alongside Romelu Lukaku in a 3-5-2 formation. This has suited him well due to defenders having to share their attention between Lautaro and his strike partner Lukaku. Arguably, the weakest aspect of his game is his aerial ability, but that is unlikely to be a major concern if he gets his move to the Catalan giants.

He is one of a number of Barcelona transfer targets this summer as Quique Setien aims to bolster his side in preparation for the 2020/21 campaign. Martinez is among the most high profile of the potential recruits due to his efficiency at Inter. Strikers are often considered to be more valuable by fans, due to their match-winning ability and the recognition they receive in the media, and the position has been immortalized by a plethora of mid-90s computer games and more recently, online slots. The latter includes Super Striker, a popular NetEnt release which is currently available at all of the best betting and casino sites including 22Bet and Royal Panda.

Known as ‘El Toro’, the front man has a terrific strike-rate and he is likely to get plenty of chances in the Spanish top flight. He’s been compared to Sergio Aguero by former striker Hernan Crespo, and has also enjoyed success on the international stage. He also appears to be improving season-upon-season, and his numbers have increased exponentially since the arrival of Conte. 

Inter are understandably keen to keep hold of their emerging star striker, but the financial return from selling him and the likelihood they receive at least one Barcelona player as part of the deal may change all that leading to the young man’s exit. Martinez is surely looking to capitalize on a super season in Serie A, and the recent evidence suggests that he would be the perfect fit for Setien’s attack-minded side.

Serie A Fantasy Preview – Round 26

Lazio-Bologna: the only game between two teams that actually played last week. The Biancocelesti extended their superb run by grinding out a W versus Genoa, thanks to the usual Ciro Immobile goal and two unlikely heroes coming through, Adam Marusic, who has started over Manuel Lazzari in two matches in a row, and Danilo Cataldi. While Sergej Milinkovic-Savic scored against Inter, the bonuses for their other two fantasy stars, Luis Alberto and Joaquin Correa, have not been there in recent rounds, leaving Felipe Caicedo as the only serviceable option besides the capocannoniere. Jony has taken over for the injured Senad Lulic and, while he is a high-volume crosser, he has come up with just one assist so far. It could be another ripe day for their offense considering that the Felsinei have a soft defence. Continue reading

Serie A Fantasy Picks – Round 25

Thomas Strakosha: since they scored twice against Inter, Lazio now boast the best statistical defence in the League with their 21 conceded goal. Genoa are improving, but the Biancocelesti back-line is a good bet for this round.

Milan Skriniar: Inter instead have not looked the same defensively sans Samir Handanovic between the sticks. Perhaps the captain will be back on Sunday, in any case the Sampdoria clash could be the right one for them to bounce back and Skriniar is an ex-Blucerchiato.   Continue reading

Serie A Fantasy Preview – Round 24

SPAL-Juventus: Luigi Di Biagio devised a new system in his debut, arraying his men with a 4-3-3. While they failed to get the win, they attacked more than usual and Andrea Petagna bagged the ninth goal of his campaign. Federico Di Francesco has always been playing in very offensive role, but he is more comfortable out wide and the trident was completed by Mattia Valoti in that case, although Gabriel Strefezza will have his chances too. The duo gets a bump thanks to the coaching change, likewise Mirko Valdifiori, who resurfaced and can be a decent weapon on set pieces, as a matter of fact he picked up an assist with a corner kick. Simone Missiroli is back at box-to-box like earlier in his career, joining the sneaky Lucas Castro. On the downside, Arkadiusz Reca, and Mohamed Fares when he will be ready, will feature as fullback, so few meters behind what they were accustomed to doing. Scoring has been one of their main issues so far, as they have no reliable contributors behind Petagna. Continue reading

Serie A Match of the Round – Lazio vs Inter

Lazio-Inter was the most anticipated match going into round 24: it was pretty tight but still had a decent amount of action, so it takes home the shout-out in combination with its potentially huge significance in the title race.

The Biancocelesti were handed their last loss in the first meeting between the two sides back in September and then proceeded to go on a still ongoing terrific run, although they had slowed down a bit lately with two draws in the past four contests. The Nerazzurri were instead coming off two Ws, the first versus Udinese and then a crazy one in the Derby. Continue reading