MX23RW : Tuesday, October 26 04:26:33| >> :120:29322:29322:
Sep 19, 2021 at 5pm UK at Stadio Olimpico
LazioLazio
2-2
CagliariCagliari
Immobile (45'), Cataldi (83')
Felipe (42')
FT(HT: 1-0)
Pedro (46'), Balde (62')
Caceres (6'), Zappa (61'), Mazzarri (83')
Zappa (90+4')

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

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

After consecutive defeats at home and in Europe, Lazio host Cagliari, who became the first Serie A side to switch managers earlier this week.

While the Biancocelesti were off the pace in a 2-0 loss to Milan - which was then followed by defeat in the Europa League - their visitors suffered a second successive reverse and moved swiftly to sack Leonardo Semplici.


Match preview

Lazio head coach Maurizio Sarri pictured on September 12, 2021© Reuters

Approaching their fourth league game of the 2021-22 season, Lazio will be seeking a quick response to defeats against Milan and Galatasaray during the previous seven days.

Maurizio Sarri's men had been among the goals and sat top of the early-season standings before their trip to San Siro, which ended in a two-goal defeat and could well have seen them lose by an even greater margin against the dominant Rossoneri.

The Roman outfit then succumbed to Galatasaray in a tightly-contested opening day duel in Europa League Group E - beaten 1-0 due to an own goal from reserve goalkeeper Thomas Strakosha.

Progressing in continental competition and improving the fortunes of a side which missed out on a top-four finish last term will be a tall task for Sarri, who has had little room to manoeuvre in the transfer market, but a win versus Cagliari is an absolute requirement from Lazio's next outing.

They are well-placed to do so, having won 13 of their last 14 home league games - scoring 35 goals in the process - and have kept seven clean sheets during that spectacularly successful spell. Not only that, but the Aquile have also won each of their last 10 Serie A encounters against this weekend's visitors to Stadio Olimpico.

Sunday's encounter kicks off an action-packed week for Sarri and company, as they meet Torino in midweek before 'hosting' the Derby della Capitale just three days later.

Torino coach Walter Mazzarri prowls around Molineux with an espresso on August 29, 2019© Reuters

Botching a 2-0 lead to end up empty-handed and still without a league win, an inconsistent Cagliari team contrived to push manager Leonardo Semplici out of the door at the Sardegna Arena last week.

With last season's saviour now axed after picking up just one point from three Serie A games, the Isolani have - perhaps prematurely - turned to an old hand to help them improve and move up the standings.

Former Napoli boss Walter Mazzarri will make his debut on the Cagliari bench against Lazio, with much work to do after his new side's collapse against Genoa last time out saw them lose 3-2 despite leading until the 69th minute.

Also beaten 4-1 by Milan before the international break, the Sardinians travel to the capital in the knowledge that precedent is very much against them.

They have failed to win any of their last 14 Serie A matches versus Lazio - drawing only twice - while conceding nearly two-and-a-half goals per match. Indeed, they have lost each of their last six league meetings with the Biancocelesti, so even a point would be welcome from Mazzarri's first match.

Lazio Serie A form:
  • W
  • W
  • L

Lazio form (all competitions):
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • L

Cagliari Serie A form:
  • D
  • L
  • L

Cagliari form (all competitions):
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • D
  • L
  • L



Team News

Lazio's Sergej Milinkovic-Savic pictured in December 2020© Reuters

After being rested for much of the midweek game against Galatasaray, influential midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic is set to come straight back into the Lazio XI on Sunday evening, while former Spain winger Pedro is also likely to be drafted into the starting lineup.

Therefore, Jean-Daniel Akpa Akpro and Mattia Zaccagni - incidentally, both booked in Istanbul - are expected to return to the home side's bench, where they should be joined by Thomas Strakosha, who makes way for Pepe Reina following his expensive error on Thursday.

Head coach Maurizio Sarri will be banned from the touchline after an angry disagreement with several Milan players last weekend - started by a mischievous Zlatan Ibrahimovic - saw him sent off by the referee, but the ex-Chelsea manager at least has no new injury concerns to deal with. He may choose to rotate to some extent though, as legs are sure to be tired already - with two more games coming in the next few days.

The visitors, meanwhile, are potentially without key figures in midfield and up front this weekend, as Kevin Strootman and Leonardo Pavoletti are hoping to prove their fitness before kickoff.

While the former is suffering with a thigh strain, the latter could again be replaced by summer signing Keita Balde, who would join captain Joao Pedro in a front two.

The Isolani also have veteran defender Diego Godin, plus Sebastian Walukiewicz and Paolo Farago ruled out through injury, so Martin Caceres could start at the back, with new coach Walter Mazzarri also considering further changes to shake up a struggling side.

Lazio possible starting lineup:
Reina; Lazzari, Acerbi, Felipe, Hysaj; Milinkovic-Savic, Leiva, Alberto; Pedro, Immobile, Anderson

Cagliari possible starting lineup:
Cragno; Caceres, Ceppitelli, Carboni, Dalbert; Nandez, Marin, Deiola, Lykogiannis; Pedro, Keita


SM words green background

We say: Lazio 2-0 Cagliari

Cagliari's woes are unlikely to be remedied in the space of a few days, no matter how much experience Walter Mazzarri can bring to the table.

Therefore, they are set to be unpicked on several occasions by an attacking Lazio side, whose main limiting factor may be fatigue following a frantic period of travel in the past week.



Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com 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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How you voted: Lazio vs Cagliari

Lazio
90.5%
Draw
4.8%
Cagliari
4.8%
84
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TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Napoli98101931625
2AC Milan98102291325
3Inter Milan953124121218
4Roma9513169716
5Atalanta BCAtalanta94321511415
6Juventus94321311215
7Fiorentina95041312115
8Lazio94231917214
9Bologna93331519-412
10Empoli94051418-412
11Hellas VeronaHellas Verona93242118311
12Torino93241210211
13SassuoloSassuolo93241212011
14Udinese92431113-210
15Sampdoria92341317-49
16VeneziaVenezia9225715-88
17SpeziaSpezia92161122-117
18Genoa91351421-76
19CagliariCagliari91351120-96
20Salernitana9117821-134

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