MX23RW : Saturday, August 8 20:05:40| >> :600:598274:598274:
Jul 18, 2020 at 6.30pm UK at Sardegna Arena
Pedro (63')
Carboni (22'), Farago (30'), Rog (83')
Carboni (48')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Caputo (12')
Santos (72'), Ferrari (86')

Preview: Cagliari vs. Sassuolo - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Saturday's Serie A clash between Cagliari and Sassuolo, including team news and predicted lineups.

Cagliari will be looking to end to their winless run in Serie A when they play host to a high-flying Sassuolo side at the Sardegna Arena on Saturday.

Sassuolo, on the other hand, are firmly in the argument for a European berth as they lie eighth in the table with five games left to play.

Match preview

Cagliari boss Walter Zenga pictured in April 2018© Reuters

Having drawn three and lost two of their last five matches in the Italian top flight, Cagliari have very little to play for as the 2019-20 campaign reaches its conclusion.

Walter Zenga's men travelled to an in-form Sampdoria in midweek but were comfortably swept aside by I Blucerchiati, and Cagliari have now failed to find the back of the net in four successive matches following that 3-0 defeat on Wednesday.

A margin of 12 points separates Zenga's side from both the drop zone and the top six, so while it is mathematically possible for Cagliari to push for a Europa League finish, their recent form is not a cause for optimism.

Gli Isolani have managed to muster just two wins from their eight outings following the resumption of Serie A, and Zenga must witness his side take on title hopefuls Juventus and Lazio before the end of the season.

Cagliari will now endeavour to win just their second home match of 2020, and while Gli Isolani are well-positioned to improve on last season's 15th-placed finish, there will certainly be some disappointment among the camp given their remarkable early-season form.

Sassuolo attacker Jeremie Boga pictured in October 2019© Reuters

Despite the fact that Sassuolo's winning run ended at the hands of current champions Juventus in midweek, Roberto De Zerbi will be delighted by his side's spirited performance as they stole a point off the Old Lady.

Early goals from Danilo and Gonzalo Higuain looked to have put the game beyond reasonable doubt before the 15-minute mark, but Sassuolo stormed to a second-half comeback as the sides shared the spoils in a six-goal thriller on Wednesday evening.

Sassuolo have gone from strength to strength since suffering a 4-1 defeat to Atalanta in their first game back, and De Zerbi's men have now gone seven games unbeaten in the Italian top flight.

A spot in European competition is very much a realistic aim for Sassuolo as they sit just six points behind sixth-placed Napoli, although seventh-placed AC Milan have also been in terrific form before I Neroverdi lock horns with their fellow Europa League hopefuls in a crunch match next week.

Sassuolo have not tasted defeat against Cagliari since the 2016-17 campaign, and Zenga's men were indebted to a late Daniele Ragatzu equaliser as the sides played out a 2-2 draw earlier this season.

Cagliari Serie A form: WDLDDL

Sassuolo Serie A form: DWWWWD

Team News

Radja Nainggolan celebrates after scoring for Cagliari against Inter Milan in January 2020© Reuters

Zenga has expressed his concern regarding Radja Nainggolan's calf problem which kept him out of the defeat to Sampdoria, and the Belgian midfielder may not play again until next season.

The 32-year-old is now set to join Luca Pellegrini, Christian Oliva and Leonardo Pavoletti in the treatment room, while Artur Ionita will serve a one-match suspension for accumulating five yellow cards.

As a result, Nahitan Nandez could move back into a central role, allowing Paolo Farago to come in on the right-hand side for Zenga's men.

Sassuolo have also lost three players to suspension, with Domenico Berardi, Mehdi Bourabia and skipper Francesco Magnanelli all picking up their fifth bookings of the season in the draw with Juventus.

Hamed Junior Traore could therefore be in line for a start on the right flank, and De Zerbi will be desperate to have midfielder Pedro Obiang fit in time for the weekend.

Cagliari possible starting lineup:
Cragno; Klavan, Pisacane, Carboni; Farago, Nandez, Rog, Cigarini, Lykogiannis; Simeone, Pedro

Sassuolo possible starting lineup:
Consigli; Muldur, Chiriches, Ferrari, Peluso; Obiang, Locatelli; Traore, Djuricic, Boga; Caputo

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We say: Cagliari 0-1 Sassuolo

Sassuolo have lost some key players to suspension ahead of their trip to the Sardegna Arena, but Cagliari's form has left a lot to be desired recently, so we are backing a slender away victory as Sassuolo look to keep their Europa League hopes alive.


Who will win Saturday's Serie A clash between Cagliari and Sassuolo?

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Juventus attacker Cristiano Ronaldo in action against Sassuolo in Serie A on July 15, 2020
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