MX23RW : Wednesday, April 14 04:07:46| >> :600:386196:386196:
Feb 28, 2021 at 2pm UK at Stadio Ezio Scida

Di Carmine (38'), Magallan (59')
FT(HT: 0-0)
Pavoletti (56'), Pedro (60' pen.)
Ceppitelli (4'), Lykogiannis (10'), Rugani (46')
Lykogiannis (75')

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

Sports Mole previews Sunday's Serie A clash between Crotone and Cagliari, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Two Serie A teams in desperate need of three points will lock horns on Sunday as Crotone host Cagliari in a crucial relegation battle.

The visitors head into this clash without a league win in over three months and with a new head coach at the helm, while Crotone are hoping to avoid losing six successive top-flight matches for the first time in their history.

Match preview

Crotone manager Giovanni Stroppa pictured in January 2021© Reuters

Another week passes and another defeat is inflicted on Crotone, who lost 3-0 away at Scudetto holders Juventus on Monday.

The Pythagoreans have now lost 17 of their 23 top-flight matches – including defeats in each of their last five league games – and remain at the foot of the table, eight points adrift of safety.

Form must improve quickly if Giovanni Stroppa's side are to have any chance of escaping the bottom three and with five of their next eight league matches against teams positioned in 12th place or lower, this spell of upcoming fixtures could decide their Serie A fate.

Defensive frailties have been an unfortunate yet consistent trait of Crotone all season, with the strugglers conceding 55 goals so far, which is the most by any top-flight side after 23 matches since Pro Patria during the 1955-56 campaign.

Crotone are also the only Serie A outfit yet to win an away game this season, but they have fared better on home soil, claiming 10 of their 12 league points at the Stadio Ezio Scida.

Their only three victories have been against Spezia, Parma and Benevento – three sides that are also struggling at the wrong end of the table – and with Cagliari to come this weekend, the hosts will be looking to end their poor run of form against a fellow relegation-threatened outfit.

Claiming three precious points on Sunday would see Crotone move level on points with Cagliari and five points behind Torino, who they face at home in two weeks' time.

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

After a miserable run of 16 league matches without a victory, Cagliari decided to sack head coach Eusebio Di Francesco this week, despite having only extended his contract in January.

A slender 1-0 defeat at home to fellow strugglers Torino last weekend – their fourth loss in five matches by such a scoreline – proved to be the final straw for Di Francesco, who leaves the club after just seven months in charge.

Leonardo Semplici – who mutually agreed to terminate his contract with Serie B side SPAL after seven years with the club – has been tasked with saving a sinking Isolani outfit, who sit inside the bottom three, five points from safety.

Cagliari have struggled to score goals in recent weeks, finding the net just once in their last seven matches, when they drew 1-1 against Sassuolo at the end of January, while only Parma and this weekend's opponents Crotone, who sit below them in the table, have scored fewer Serie A goals so far this campaign.

The visitors have only won three matches in the top-flight all season, although one of those victories was against Crotone, winning 4-2 on home soil back in October.

Securing another three points against Sunday's hosts would be their first Serie A victory since November 7 and would see them move two points behind Torino.

Crotone Serie A form: WLLLLL

Cagliari Serie A form: LLDLLL

Team News

Atalanta's Duvan Zapata in action with Cagliari's Sebastian Walukiewicz in Serie A on October 4, 2020© Reuters

Crotone are without Koffi Djidji (muscle), Giuseppe Cuomo (hip) and Ahmad Benali (thigh) through injury, while Sebastiano Luperto remains doubtful with severe bruising to his leg.

Stroppa is likely to stick with the 4-4-2 formation used against Juventus, with forwards Adam Ounas and Samuel Di Carmine set to lead the line.

For Cagliari, Marko Rog (anterior cruciate ligament) and Riccardo Sottil (thigh) remain the only two absentees heading into Sunday's match.

Experienced midfielder Kwadwo Asamoah, who is yet to make his debut for the Isolani side since joining from Inter Milan earlier this month, will be pushing to feature in the starting lineup ahead of Charalampos Lykogiannis.

Crotone possible starting lineup:
Cordaz; Pereira, Magallan, Golemic, Luperto; Messais, Molina, Vulic, Reca; Ounas, Di Carmine

Cagliari possible starting lineup:
Cragno; Walukiewicz, Godin, Rugani; Zappa, Nandez, Marin, Nainggolan, Lykogiannis; Pedro, Simeone

SM words green background

We say: Crotone 1-1 Cagliari

In the quest for Serie A salvation, both sides know how important claiming three points would be and hope that a positive result this weekend can provide a springboard for the rest of their respective campaigns.

Cagliari will fancy their chances of scoring their first league goal this month against a Crotone outfit that are conceding on average around 2.5 goals per game in the top-flight this season.

However, with little to separate the two out-of-form teams, a draw could be on the cards – a result that neither side would really benefit from.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting a double chance bet on a home win or an away win in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Home/Away:data

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Inter Milan head coach Antonio Conte pictured on January 23, 2021
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