MX23RW : Tuesday, June 28 10:33:49| >> :600:3192284:3192284:
[monks data]
May 22, 2022 at 8pm UK at Stadio Pierluigi Penzo
Venezia
0 - 0
Cagliari
FT

Ceppitelli (37'), Nandez (59'), Altare (90+3')

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

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

Previously billed as a relegation decider, Sunday's clash between Serie A strugglers Venezia and Cagliari instead sees the former already demoted, and their visitors require victory to stand a chance of not joining them.

Stadio Pier Luigi Penzo will bid a fond farewell to the top flight after just one season, as the home side seek a win which could prevent them finishing bottom of the standings - but their Sardinian counterparts' need is far greater.


Match preview

Cagliari's Joao Pedro scores their first goal on April 9, 2022© Reuters

Though their fate lies in the hands of others before the season's final round, Cagliari will avoid dropping into Serie B if they can win on Sunday evening and relegation rivals Salernitana do not take three points from their concurrent game against Udinese.

As the clubs have drawn both matches between them this season, Cagliari would therefore dodge demotion by virtue of a better goal difference, but they are not in the form to inspire confidence such a feat can be achieved.

The Rossoblu have lost eight of their last 10 league games, and since March, only two teams throughout the top five European leagues have recorded more defeats: Watford and their final day opponents.

Beaten 3-1 by Scudetto-chasing Inter last weekend, the side now managed by Alessandro Agostini - elevated from the primavera team to oversee the campaign's conclusion, following Walter Mazzarri's recent sacking - have won only three of their away fixtures this season and are rarely able to retain a lead.

The Sardinians have effectively dropped 22 points from winning positions this term, including two in October's reverse fixture with Venezia, who equalised in stoppage time on that occasion - that represents their most in a single season since returning to Serie A six years ago.

AC Milan's Brahim Diaz in action with Venezia's Dor Peretz on September 22, 2021© Reuters

Though their demise had been confirmed before kickoff last Saturday, relegated Venezia held on bravely for a point against top-six contenders Roma at Stadio Olimpico, in their final away game of a troubled campaign.

Reduced to 10 men following Sofian Kiyine's horrendous challenge just after the half-hour mark, the Lagunari determinedly defended David Okereke's early goal deep into the second half, but were ultimately forced to settle for a 1-1 draw in the capital.

Having picked up four points from their last two league games, after previously beating Bologna, the last time they posted successive matches without defeat was back in November, which underlines the Venetians' terrible run during 2022.

The Arancioneroverdi may have enjoyed a 4-3 win last time out at the Penzo, but for the first time in their Serie A history, they have now conceded at least twice in five consecutive home games - a contributory factor towards the departure of coach Paolo Zanetti last month.

Since last summer's return to the Italian elite after two decades away, Venezia have received both the most yellow cards this season (106) and also the most red (nine), so indiscipline has also played its part in their downfall, and it will be 12 long months, at least, before they can hope to return.

Venezia Serie A form:
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • D

Cagliari Serie A form:
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • D
  • L


Team News

Venezia's Thomas Henry celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates on January 22, 2022© Reuters

Set to return to the squad after missing out last week, Venezia's top scorer Thomas Henry hopes to feature at some stage on Sunday.

On nine league goals, Henry could become the first foreign player to reach double figures for the Lagunari in a Serie A campaign since Alvaro Recoba scored 10 times in the 1998-99 season, but lingering doubts over his fitness could see Dennis Johnsen deployed instead.

Goalkeepers Sergio Romero and Luca Lezzerini remain sidelined by injury, so third-choice stopper Niki Maenpaa once again deputises as the hosts' last line of defence, while the latest in the long line of suspensions sees Lazio loanee Sofian Kiyine - sent off on his return to Stadio Olimpico last week - David Okereke and Antonio Vacca ruled out of caretaker coach Andrea Soncin's plans.

In Vacca's absence, Ethan Ampadu should shift forward into midfield, partnering Domen Crnigoj, but Gianluca Busio - scorer of a late equaliser in the reverse fixture - and former Bayern Munich man Michael Cuisance are also in contention.

Meanwhile, for Cagliari's most vital 90 minutes of the season, Alessandro Agostini has his whole squad at his disposal, with Nahitan Nandez now ready to start if required - even reserve goalkeeper Boris Radunovic is back after serving a suspension for being dismissed from the bench against Salernitana.

The visitors' captain and attacking talisman, Joao Pedro, has scored 13 goals so far this season, but only three in away games to date, and he will most likely be joined by Leonardo Pavoletti up front.

Venezia possible starting lineup:
Maenpaa; Svoboda, Caldara, Ceccaroni; Mateju, Ampadu, Crnigoj, Haps; Aramu, Cuisance; Johnsen

Cagliari possible starting lineup:
Cragno; Ceppitelli, Lovato, Altare; Bellanova, Nandez, Grassi, Lykogiannis; Rog; Pedro, Pavoletti


SM words green background

We say: Venezia 1-2 Cagliari

Though their predicament is precarious, Cagliari at least face a side doomed to demotion and weakened by yet more suspensions, as they search for a crucial away win.

With little to play for, except signing off their Serie A adventure in front of their fans, Venezia may be outfought in their individual battles and ultimately lose - but even victory for the visitors must be accompanied by good news from Salerno if they are to pull off a great escape.


For additional data used by our team to analyse our suggested result please click here.


Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 3.5 goals 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.Under 3.5:data

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How you voted: Venezia vs Cagliari

Venezia
17.2%
Draw
24.1%
Cagliari
58.6%
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AC Milan's Ismael Bennacer celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates on March 19, 2022
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