Serie A Fantasy Preview – Round 26 – Late Games

CROTONE-TORINO

Crotone: Simy bagged his eighth goal of the season, in pretty lovely fashion too, in the Atalanta game, but that was about it for their offensive production in a very demanding match-up. Adam Ounas, who was their top guy lately, and Samuel Di Carmine were late scratches and it is unclear whether they will be available for this one. Sans Ounas, they would lean hard on Junior Messias, who is seeking to snap out of a scoring slump. They lack punch in the midfield as Salvatore Molina, Ahmad Benali and Milos Vulic are all banged up, as Niccolò Zanellato, Jacopo Petriccione and Eduardo Henrique are not as offensively gifted. If one recovered, he would be among the top three options, instead the spot goes to Arkadiusz Reca (1 goal, 3 assists), who continues to wreak havoc down the left flank. Pedro Pereira is not as flashy, but he too has set up three teammates. Continue reading

Serie A Fantasy Preview – Round 23 – Early Matches

FIORENTINA-SPEZIA

Fiorentina: to nobody’s surprise, Dusan Vlahovic was again Fiorentina’s lone scorer in the past round, notching his seventh goal in the past 11 rounds. Franck Ribery was ruled out late and replaced by Christian Kouame, who had a decent but unfruitful display. With the Freshman still sidelined, that spot is up for grabs between Kouame, Valentin Eysseric and Jose Maria Callejon as neither has really separated himself from the pack. Kouame is the one with the highest break-out potential. Giacomo Bonaventura is coming on as he has posted one goal and one assist in the past four rounds, while Gaetano Castrovilli is continuing his disappearing act even though they rely on him a lot. Cristiano Biraghi (one goal, four helpers) has been a nice weapon throughout the season but he has not picked up bonuses in a long while. Kevin Malcuit and Aleksandar Kokorin would have some value if the coach decided to give him good minutes as they are in dire need of an offensive spark. Continue reading

Serie A Fantasy Preview – Round 22 – Remaining Games

BOLOGNA-BENEVENTO

Bologna: the time and effort put into turning Musa Barrow into a striker is starting to pay off as the youngster resurfaced after some quiet rounds with a clinical brace versus Parma. He now has five goals in the season. The move is working out also because Nicola Sansone has been very solid out on the left wing after shaking off an injury and he is coming off his best outing of the season as he dished two assist last week. Roberto Soriano (six goals, five helpers) also picked up offensive bonuses after a while as he set up Riccardo Orsolini, who came off the bench but still delivered. He is clearly on the rise as he has hit the net twice in the last four matches, on top of furnishing strong performances. Nicolas Dominguez should have an increased role with Mattias Svanberg suspended and Takehiro Tomiyasu is worth a flier now that it looks like he is going to stay at right-back. Continue reading

Serie A Fantasy Preview – Round 21 – Early Games

FIORENTINA-INTER

Fiorentina: the news for them is that somebody not named Dusan Vlahovic managed to hit the net, as Franck Ribery bagged his first goal of the season with a pretty play against Torino. The Frenchman had indeed started to show better recently: he also has four assists in the season, but he has had an hiccup in practice, which could allow Jose Callejon or Christian Kouame to get the nod in this one. Giacomo Bonaventura has been their only other scorer in recent games and he showed up versus Torino with an assist, thus picking up bonuses in two matches in a row. His role will be bigger due to the suspension of Gaetano Castrovilli. Erick Pulgar, who is first in line to replace the teammate, has some value due to PK duties, but he has not done much this year, while Sofyan Amrabat could move to a more dynamic position. Cristiano Biraghi is a secondary option as he has tallied one goal and four assists thus far. Their defense has been quite stingy but the match-up is complicated. Continue reading

Confident Milan gunning for title with busy transfer window

Milan enters its clash against Atalanta with the possibility of being crowned campioni d’inverno - the winter champions. The team that finishes in first place after the first half of the season typically goes onto win the ultimate crown in Italy.  Milan has shown its willingness to push on this transfer window, securing Fikayo Tomori, Mario Mandzukic, and Soualiho Meite. The Rossoneri’s proactive dealings demonstrate they believe in themselves and their ability to push on for the Scudetto.

Since Ivan Gazidis took over, Milan forged ahead with an ambitious youth project, looking to rejuvenate the side with young prospects on the cusp of greatness. Ismael Bennacer is but one of these players, taking the next step in his career and becoming one of Italian football’s midfield dynamos.

Rafael Leao is another intriguing talent and has since added end product to his game, delivering the goods when called upon. Led by the indomitable Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Milan’s young guns have surprised the rest of Italy, losing just once this season. The Italian giants have recognized the title is there for the taking and have reacted accordingly this January.

Mario Mandzukic offers some much-needed depth in the final third and will make for an excellent vice-Ibra. The Croatian has shown he is capable of starting on the left-wing and roaming into the box dangerously. Whether Pioli deploys him as a more traditional number nine remains to be seen, but Mandzukic’s skillset makes for an interesting pairing with Ibrahimovic.

Beyond guaranteeing goals, Mandzukic’s arrival is a clear signal of intent from Milan. The former Juventus hitman adds some veteran leadership in what is a relatively inexperienced locker room. A proven winner, Milan will be hoping Mandzukic leads by example and spurs the side onto new heights.

On the opposite side of the pitch, the Rossoneri bolstered their defensive ranks with Chelsea’s Fikayo Tomori. The Englishman arrives on a loan deal with an option to buy, offering Mian depth at the back. Simon Kjaer and Alessio Romagnoli are Milan’s undisputed center-back pairing, but Tomori will make for a quality option off the bench.

The 23-year-old kicked off his Chelsea career by bursting onto the scene but has since seen his minutes halved due to the arrival of Thiago Silva. A move to Milan may be exactly what Tomori needs to play regular football and deliver on his incredible potential. Should the Chelsea loanee struggle, Milan will simply not trigger its option to purchase him. In many ways, this deal is yet another win-win for Maldini and co.

Stefano Pioli’s side also wasted no time improving on its midfield depth, securing Meite from Torino. The 26-year-old arrives on a low-risk deal, with Milan holding the option to make his move permanent for a modest fee. Much like Tomori, this six-month loan spell will be Meite’s trial at the club.

Milan’s midfield has been ravaged by injuries and suspensions in recent weeks, forcing Pioli to deploy Davide Calabria in the double pivot. While the fullback has done an adequate job filling in, a player like Meite ensures the Italian giants are not short on options in the middle of the park. Bennacer and Kessie may be Pioli’s first-choice pairing, but Meite could still carve out important minutes for himself – especially as the side competes on three fronts.

Milan has extremely proactive this January transfer window, arming its side with quality depth ahead of the final run-in. The crafty formulas of their deals ensure they have close to no financial obligations should either Meite or Tomori struggle to adapt. Mandzukic, on the other hand, can prove to be the difference-maker in the title race, boasting a plethora of experience. As the second half of the season approaches, one thing is clear: Milan believes in themselves and they are going for it.

Do you have what it takes to challenge the best Serie A Fantasy Managers? If you’re for it play fantasyseriea.com

 

 

Serie A Fantasy Preview – Round 19 – Remaining Games

BENEVENTO-TORINO

Benevento: they surely had a weird faux pas versus Crotone for a team that had been mostly steady so far. Moreover, their most prolific guy as of late, Marco Sau, got sent off from the bench and the always lively Roberto Insigne hurt his ankle, which makes him very questionable for this match. The only positive note was that Iago Falque managed to return after a long time on the shelf and bagged a lovely goal, the first of his campaign, but he has generally fared well whenever available to play. He remains an option even though the coach stated that he is not ready to start. The injuries could thrust him into a major role this one, while Gianluca Caprari, who was banged up going into the previous contest, will surely return to the XI: he is their leading scorer with four goal. Gianluca Lapadula is their tip of the spear but has not hit the net since early November. With Pasquale Schiattarella and Gaetano Letizia missing, Riccardo Improta and Artur Ionita are set to be their secondary playmakers, but they have not picked up many bonuses so far. Aggressive midfielder Andres Tello could have a big role as well. Continue reading

Serie A Fantasy Preview – Round 18 – Remaining Games

BOLOGNA-VERONA

Bologna: they could not find a way around the not-so-vaunted Genoa rearguard in the past match, with their attack failing to deliver for the fourth game in a row, given that their recent goals have come from Takehiro Tomiyasu (two), Nehuen Paz and Matthias Svanberg. Roberto Soriano, one of the early fantasy leaders, has found the target just once in the seven matches and has not been able to dish helpers either in that stretch, however he remains the top players in both categories (six/four). The other attackers have instead been able to take part in the teammate’s goals, Riccardo Orsolini in particular with two recent assists, but also Musa Barrow and Rodrigo Palacio, but they obviously need to start scoring to become real fantasy assets. As always, Barrow is the biggest threat, but they will face a really stifling defense in this one. Emanuel Vignato and Andreas Skov Olsen have not exploited their recent minutes. Continue reading

AC Milan 2-0 Torino: Rossoneri respond to rare loss with dominating performance

Milan managed to bounce back in the best possible way this evening, beating Torino by two goals to nil after the 3-1 loss against Juventus mid-week. A strong message by Stefano Pioli’s men, who certainly have shown that they are stronger than whatever difficulties they may face. 

As a result of the win, the Rossoneri will remain top of the standings for at least one more matchday. Claiming 40 points after 17 games is indeed special and certainly nothing that Milan fans would have imagined at the start of the season. Yet again, the Scudetto dreams don’t seem too far away.  Continue reading

AC Milan vs. Torino: Serie A Round 17 – Team news, stats and prediction

After their 27-game unbeaten run came to end last time out, Milan will be looking to bounce back with a win against Torino on Saturday evening. It’s the first of two back-to-back encounters between the sides, as they will take on each other in the Coppa Italia Round of 16 next week. 

After 304 days, Stefano Pioli’s men lost a game in Serie A, beaten by Juventus with a final scoreline of 1-3. Taking all the absences into consideration – involving six potential starters – many expected the Rossoneri’s incredible run to end and it did. However, Milan were far from outplayed and fought hard until the end.  Continue reading

Serie A Fantasy Preview – Round 15 – Remaining Games

CAGLIARI-NAPOLI

Cagliari: Joao Pedro bagged a brace against Roma, but they still came away empty-handed and they have not triumphed in a while. Besides the Brazilian, who is at eight goals in the season, they have not gotten much out of their other strikers as Giovanni Simeone has not produced after missing time with COVID and Leonardo Pavoletti had an immediate spark but then faded once his playing time resumed being irregular. Riccardo Sottil has found the target twice so far, but he has also been rather wasteful given the amount of opportunities he has had. Adam Ounas should be at full speed after the break and he is effervescent, but not very clutch in the box. Nahitan Nandez finished the year on a high performance-wise, but he might play in a defensive role in this one. Their fullbacks Charalampos Lykogiannis (two goals) and Gabriele Zappa (three assists) have been among their top contributors.

Recommended picks: Pedro, Sottil, Ounas. Continue reading