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 Fantasy Preview – Round 28 – Sunday Games

Milan-Roma: the Rossoneri had an excellent performance against Lecce, although the quality of the opponents, especially in the back, needs to be taken into consideration. The light front-line worked out wonderfully as Samu Castillejo, Ante Rebic and Giacomo Bonaventura all scored and Hakan Calhanoglu dished out two assists. Even Rafael Leao netted one off the bench. It is set to be confirmed as a whole because Zlatan Ibrahimovic will be at most be ready for a brief stint. Rebic and Bonaventura have the biggest chances to take home bonuses and Roma are not particularly stingy, while Calhanoglu runs most of the offense. Theo Hernandez picked it up where he left off and was one of their engines.

Suggested picks: Rebic, Bonaventura, Calhanoglu. Continue reading

Serie A Top XI – Round 25 – Makeup Games

Pierluigi Gollini: no team managed to keep a clean sheet during the four make-up games, but the Atalanta goalie was the best performer out of the bunch, as he stonewalled the Sassuolo’s attackers time and time again by coming out of the goal very aggressively. Unfortunately, Mehdi Bourabia’s accurate free kick spoiled his day late.

Nicolas N’Koulou (4 points): the defenders as a whole are hurt as well due to the lack of clean sheets, so only those who had an offensive contribution gathered points. Torino’s giant opened the dances after the resumption with a towering header and the Granata’s back-line looked better than before 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

Doku Catching The Eye Of Liverpool And Other European Giants

This summer is likely to be dominated by the European Championships. Thus explaining the buzz from betting sites who have already started to prepare odds and offers for Euro 2020. Still, we already see transfer rumours begin to surface. One of the latest surrounds Jeremy Doku, a player who could well be in demand in the coming months.

Doku, 17, is enjoying what is very much his breakthrough season at Anderlecht, the club which produced the likes of Youri Tielemans and Romelu Lukaku. He’s made twenty-three appearances in the Jupiler Pro League in the 19/20 campaign, starting on fourteen occasions. With three goals and four assists to his name, he’s proving himself a capable performer at Belgium’s highest level already at such a young age.

The winger, who can play on the right or the left, put in a sensational performance last time out for Anderlecht in their 7-0 home victory against Zulte Waregem. Doku was directly involved in three out of the four goals Frank Vercauteren’s side scored, bagging two himself and providing one assist. If his last eleven Jupiler Pro League games are anything to go by, Doku appears to have established himself as a first-team regular, which will only allow him to showcase his ability to the likes of Liverpool and other European teams.

Liverpool are long term admirers of the Belgian U21 international, but they may have to stay patient due to Doku’s current contractual situation with Anderlecht. Doku penned a new deal with the club on February 21st, which sees him tied down now until the summer of 2022. However, there is also a suggestion that when Doku turns 18 on May 27th, a new long-term deal will be signed to secure his future with the Belgian outfit.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp, who is renowned for developing and trusting youth players, knows consistently evolving his squad will be the key to long term success. Takumi Minamino and Sepp van den Berg, who are 24 and 17 respectively, have joined the club in the 19.20 campaign, and the German has also shown he is keen to allow the younger players at the club to progress along the way.

Doku could be the perfect addition to the current Liverpool squad long term, primarily as the Borgerhout born winger is used to playing in a similar setup to the one Klopp employs with his teams. And, while Doku may remain at Anderlecht for several more seasons, it’s not necessarily a bad thing. His development will receive a boost, just as we saw with Youri Tielemans, who made a move at the right time and continues to impress with Leicester City.

So, for now, Liverpool and other European sides will have to be patient, and so will Doku. But, he’s undoubtedly one to watch for the future and a player who will make a move to one of the bigger clubs in Europe’s top leagues in the next couple of years.

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 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

Serie A Fantasy Preview – Round 23

Atalanta-Roma: the Goddess continue to add to their offensive arsenal, as Duvan Zapata is returning two his usual pre-injury numbers (two goals and three assists in the last four games) and Ruslan Malinovskyi came through last week. The Ukrainian attacker seems to have surpassed Luis Muriel as first option off the bench. Josip Ilicic did not score against Fiorentina, but still had a great performance and he has been en fuego for a while. The one small negative is that, with their front-line now featuring two quality scorers, Alejandro Gomez is back at looking more to feed them rather than finishing on his own: as a matter of fact he set up two goals last week and has not hit the net since in six weeks. Timothy Castagne came back and he is a bigger offensive weapon than the more diligent Hans Hateboer, but they will likely continue to alternate, while Robin Gosens on the opposite flank is slowing down a bit after a gorgeous January. Mario Pasalic fumbled away a pair of sitters in Florence. Rafael Toloi (one goal and six assists) has been their most intriguing defender. Continue reading