Serie A games in midweek have seen two matchdays played out in quick succession, leaving only eight to play before the conclusion of the season. Here are the Football Index top five performers from those outings.
Josip Ilicic (£0.49)
Fresh from a 3-1 away win at Parma at the weekend, Atalanta waited until Thursday evening to play their midweek game at home to relegation-threatened Bologna. La Dea played in their typical aggressive style right from the first minute, giving their opponent no time to settle into the match.
Josip Ilicic was the standout performer from yet another impressive display, the 31-year-old scoring twice within the first five minutes. The Slovenian forward then provided an assist for team-mate Hans Hateboer on just nine minutes before Atalanta completed a 4-1 rout by the time the final whistle blew. It’s thanks to this side’s forward line that they now sit just one point away from a Champions League spot, the prolific team having scored 64 times in 30 matches, two more than runaway leaders Juventus.
Andrea Belotti (£0.58)
Another in-form striker is Torino star Andrea Belotti. His brace gave the Granata an important 2-1 win over Sampdoria, currently their rivals for a European place. After a dip in form during the last couple of seasons, the 25-year-old’s current tally of 12 during 2018/19 may well see transfer interest in this player come to the fore once again this summer.
Moise Kean (£2.55)
A victim of abhorrent racist abuse from Cagliari supporters in Juventus’ midweek fixture, Moise Kean has handled the situation with the kind of maturity displayed in his recent performances for both club and country in recent weeks.
The monkey chanting from Cagliari supporters towards Moise Kean just then was loud and not just a few of them either.
An absolute DISGRACE.
— Chloe Beresford (@ChloeJBeresford) April 2, 2019
This previous post detailed the clear and obvious talents of the 19-year-old as he added yet another goal in the aforementioned clash in Sardinia.
Mauro Icardi (£1.64)
Following a series of controversial incidents that followed Mauro Icardi being stripped of the Inter captaincy in mid-February, the striker and the club seemed to have finally reached some kind of peace as he returned to the starting lineup versus Genoa on Wednesday.
A goal and an assist for the deadly Argentine saw him respond to the ongoing crisis in the way he knows best, and he will certainly have a point to prove during all of his remaining games for Nerazzurri this season. Whether he moves on in the summer remains to be seen, but Icardi is certainly one to watch out for in the last eight games of the Serie A campaign.
Simone Verdi (£0.55)
While Napoli has little left to play for in domestic competition this season, boss Carlo Ancelotti has been keen to test his side’s strength in depth before a crucial clash with Arsenal in the Europa League next week.
Such a policy included starting attacker Simone Verdi for only the seventh time in the league this season, and the 26-year-old duly responded with a goal and an assist for the Partenopei as they recorded an impressive 4-1 win over Claudio Ranieri’s AS Roma at the weekend.