05 February 2019
Two sides with contrasting objectives are set to meet each other at the Sardegna Arena as a struggling Cagliari side welcome an in-form Atalanta.
The hosts are winless in their last three Serie A outings (D1, L2) having conceded seven goals while scored just two in the sequence. Furthermore, the Sardinians barely clinched one Serie A triumph in 11 of the previous SA meetings (W1, D5, L4), scoring under 1.5 goals per match eight times in the process. Cagliari’s problems in the final third are closely related to their poor results this campaign, considering only three teams have notched fewer goals than the Rossoblu (19) so far. Nonetheless, Rolando Maran’s men are far more comfortable at home, as three of their four SA victories came at the Sardegna Arena, with Cagliari losing just one of ten SA home clashes this term (W3, D6, L1). Moreover, although they’ve conceded 30 goals after 21 league fixtures, the Sardinians have allowed only nine at home, keeping four clean sheets so far.
On the other hand, the visitors have entered this round with a six-game lossless run across all competitions (W4, D2). Highly motivated after an astonishing 3-0 home triumph over Juventus in midweek’s Coppa Italia clash, the Goddess now aim to post third consecutive Serie A away win and keep their chances of reaching the Champions League promotion alive. Surprisingly, Gian Piero Gasperini’s players have scored more goals than any other team in the Italian top tier this season (47), bagging over 1.5 goals per match in 13 of 21 SA outings so far. What’s more, the Nerazzurri have notched a minimum of two goals per match in all six of the previous competitive encounters, scoring over 2.5 goals per game four times in the process. A potential concern for Gasperini, however, could be that his men managed just one clean sheet on 11 SA road trips, conceding 20 goals ahead away from home this term.
Provisional line-up – Cagliari:
Gk: Cragno Defense: Srna – Ceppitelli – Pisacane – Farago – Lykogiannis Midfield: Ionita – Joao Pedro – Cigarini – Birsa Attack: Pavoletti
Provisional line-up – Atalanta:
Gk: Berisha Defense: Castagne – Rafael Toloi – Djimsiti – Mancini – Hateboer Midfield: Pasalic – De Roon Attack: Papu Gomez – Ilicic – Duvan Zapata
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