MX23RW : Thursday, July 29 06:23:37| >> :120:57651:57651:
Jan 10, 2021 at 5pm UK at Stadio Artemio Franchi
Vlahovic (72')
Biraghi (77')
FT(HT: 0-0)

Oliva (53'), Tramoni (86'), Pavoletti (90+1')

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

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

Fiorentina entertain Cagliari in Serie A on Sunday with the two sides separated by a solitary point in the table.

The visitors are in desperate need of a positive result, having failed to win any of their last nine league matches.

Match preview

Cesare Prandelli, now in charge of Fiorentina, pictured in April 2019© Reuters

Fiorentina, meanwhile, have picked up a little in recent matches, with Wednesday's 2-1 loss away to Lazio their first loss in five matches.

Indeed, results have gradually improved since appointing Cesare Prandelli as manager in November, perhaps helped by the fact that the 63-year-old has previously enjoyed a successful five-year spell at the helm of the club.

However, Prandelli finds the club in a considerably unhealthier position than he did when taking over more than 15 years ago. Prandelli, who left the club in 2010 to take the Italian national team job, guided Fiorentina to the Champions League in the 2008-09 season, but dreams as grand as that remain an unrealistic possibility for the foreseeable future.

Having sold their former talisman Federico Chiesa to Juventus in the summer transfer window, this season is largely about consolidation, which Prandelli looks on course to achieve, albeit results will still be expected to improve.

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

Cagliari, meanwhile, are used to fighting against relegation, having finished in the bottom half of Serie A in each of the last four seasons since returning to Italy's top flight.

Eusebio Di Francesco was brought in as manager in August, with the former Roma and Sampdoria boss struggling to implement any consistency at the club so far this season.

Indeed, after a fairly bright start to the season, his side are currently on a winless run of nine matches, seeing them slide to 15th in the table and only two points outside of the relegation zone.

There are not many problems offensively, with Joao Pedro's strike in the 2-1 defeat to Benevento on Wednesday the forward's 10th league goal of the season already. However, only Crotone have conceded more goals than Di Francesco's side, so it is clear to see which area of the pitch the 51-year-old needs to focus on improving.

Fiorentina Serie A form: LDDWDL

Cagliari Serie A form: LDDLLL

Team News

Franck Ribery in action for Fiorentina in September 2020© Reuters

Fiorentina will be without Franck Ribery through injury, while Gaetano Castrovilli is suspended after picking up his fifth caution of the season in the defeat to Lazio.

Otherwise, Prandelli appears to have a full squad of players at his disposal, with Borja Valero likely to come into the side in place of Castrovilli.

Cagliari, meanwhile, will not have Zito Luvumbo, Adam Ounas, Paolo Farago, Marko Rog and Diego Godin available for the trip to Florence due to injury.

Andrea Carboni and former Liverpool defender Ragnar Klavan will also stay at home due to coronavirus, while Nahitan Nandez is suspended after his untimely dismissal in the defeat to Benevento.

Fiorentina possible starting lineup:
Dragowski; Milenkovic, Pezzella, Igor; Caceres, Bonaventura, Valero, Amrabat, Biraghi; Kouame, Vlahovic

Cagliari possible starting lineup:
Cragno; Zappa, Walukiewicz, Ceppitelli, Tripaldelli; Nainggolan, Marin, Pereiro; Pedro, Sottil; Simeone

SM words green background

We say: Fiorentina 2-1 Cagliari

With Cagliari missing several first-team players due to a combination of injury, illness and suspension, we can envisage a home victory for Fiorentina.

Prandelli's side rarely do things the easy way, though, with Joao Pedro likely to be a thorn in their side throughout the match.

Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting a home 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 Win:data

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· Comeback queen and super-mum Helen Glover goes for her third Olympic gold alongside Polly Swann in the women's pair final (1.30am)
· There is also a medal on offer for GB pair Emily Craig and Imogen Grant in the lightweight women's double scull final (2.10am)

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· Mallory Franklin takes part in the women's canoe semi-final, and will hope to do enough to qualify for the final later in the day (6am-8.45am)

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