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Jan 23, 2022 at 11.30am UK at Stadio Sant'Elia
1 - 1
Pedro (47')
Altare (10'), Mazzarri (60'), Pedro (81'), Ceppitelli (86')
FT(HT: 0-0)
Sottil (75')
Biraghi (29'), Sottil (75'), Maleh (89')
Odriozola (65')

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

:Headline: Preview: Cagliari vs. Fiorentina - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Sunday's Serie A clash between Cagliari and Fiorentina, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Cagliari will be hoping to pull themselves out of the relegation zone in Serie A when they welcome Fiorentina to the Unipol Domus on Sunday.

The hosts come into this clash on the back of two narrow defeats in the league and cup, whilst the visitors have had an excellent past 10 days, which has seen them win back-to-back encounters and score 11 goals in the process.

Match preview

After coming out victorious in two huge clashes on their return from the winter break against Sampdoria and Bologna, Cagliari have been unable to continue that revival over the past week.

Those excellent results, which were only Cagliari's second and third league wins of the campaign, have been followed by back-to-back 1-0 defeats at Roma in Serie A last weekend and at Sassuolo in the Coppa Italia on Wednesday evening.

Although a failure to progress to the quarter-finals of the cup will be a disappointment for manager Walter Mazzarri, it does allow him and his side to put full focus into their attempted survival in the top flight.

Gli Isolani appeared dead and buried at the end of 2021, when they had recorded just 10 points from their opening 19 Serie A games of the campaign, but following the huge successes over Sampdoria and Bologna, hope has returned to Sunday's hosts.

Cagliari remain in 18th place prior to the weekend's set of fixtures, but are just two points behind Venezia in safety.

As a result, victory on Sunday could lift them to safety going into the international break, whilst providing another boost to their confidence ahead of a difficult challenge at Atalanta upon the return.

Meanwhile, Fiorentina head to the Unipol Domus on the back of huge wins over Napoli in the Coppa Italia, and Genoa in Serie A action last weekend.

The 5-2 win over title-challenging Napoli after extra time was a thriller, and sealed I Viola's progression to the quarter-finals of the cup, whilst the 6-0 hammering of relegation-threatened Genoa last Saturday was a sign of how far Vincenzo Italiano's side have come this season.

The in-demand Dusan Vlahovic missed a penalty, but later scored the fourth during the rout, with Alvaro Odriozola, Giacomo Bonaventura, Cristiano Biraghi and Lucas Torreira all on the scoresheet as well.

Those victories were the perfect response to a humiliating defeat of their own, when Fiorentina were battered 4-0 at Torino upon their return from the winter break two weeks ago.

As a result, Sunday's visitors come into the game in eighth place in the table, level on points with Roma and Lazio above them in their pursuit of the European places.

A trip to a relegation-threatened side proves to be a good opportunity to put the pressure on those above them, in what is proving to be an exciting campaign in Florence.

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

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

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

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

Team News

Cagliari's recent COVID-19 troubles have eased over the past week, with Nicolo Cavuoti, Charalampos Lykogiannis and Alessandro Deiola all returning from their recent isolation to play a part in the cup in midweek.

However, Alessio Cragno, Alberto Grassi, Matteo Lovato, Simone Aresti and Raoul Bellanova are all doubts for Sunday due to their contraction of the virus.

Damir Ceter, Kevin Strootman, Sebastian Walukiewicz and Marko Rog are all doubtful to feature as well due to respective injuries, whilst Andrea Carboni and Leonardo Pavoletti will sit out due to one-match suspensions.

As for the visitors, Sofyan Amrabat's participation at the Africa Cup of Nations with Morocco means he will remain unavailable on Sunday.

He appears to be the only absentee for Italiano to contend with though, meaning an unchanged lineup could be named from the one that thumped Genoa last weekend.

That would see the 17-goal Vlahovic lead the attack alongside Nicolas Gonzalez and Riccardo Saponara, with the likes of new signing Jonathan Ikone, Jose Callejon and Krzysztof Piatek having to settle for places on the bench.

Cagliari possible starting lineup:
Radunovic; Altare, Goldaniga, Obert; Zappa, Marin, Nandez, Deiola, Dalbert; Pedro, Gagliano

Fiorentina possible starting lineup:
Terracciano; Odriozola, Milenkovic, Julio, Biraghi; Bonaventura, Torreira, Maleh; Gonzalez, Vlahovic, Saponara

We say: Cagliari 1-3 Fiorentina

Despite Cagliari's recent upturn in form, their visitors should have too much quality to see them off in this one on Sunday, particularly if they can replicate the kind of attacking form displayed in their last two outings.

A trip to a relegation-threatened opponent is the ideal opportunity to add more goals to their ever-increasing tally, and the likes of Vlahovic will be expected to get their name on the scoresheet.

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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