MX23RW : Monday, December 21 22:41:29| >> :120:4082:4082:
Nov 7, 2020 at 2pm UK at Stadio Sant'Elia
Pedro (48' pen.), Nandez (69')
FT(HT: 0-0)

Tonelli (64'), Silva (83')
Augello (40')

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

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

Claudio Ranieri's Sampdoria travel to Sardinia on the back of a hard-fought Derby della Lanterna draw with city rivals Genoa, which leaves them ninth in Serie A.

The hosts, meanwhile, look to recover from blowing a lead to lose against Bologna last time out, as they aim for maximum points from Saturday afternoon's encounter at the Sardegna Arena.

Match preview

Roma boss Eusebio Di Francesco pictured in December 2018© Reuters

The portents for Eusebio Di Francesco's team are good, as Cagliari have won more games versus Sampdoria than against any other team in Serie A - 24, compared to 14 Samp successes. Gli Isolani are unbeaten in their last 10 home league games against Saturday's opposition too.

Cagliari defeated Sampdoria twice last December, a 4-3 home win followed by a 2-1 victory in the Coppa Italia three days later, while Samp won the reverse fixture in July - 3-0 at the Marassi.

However, Cagliari's record against the Genoa club is a double-edged sword - they have won only two of their last 12 Serie A matches with Sampdoria in total, failing to score in five of those more recent games.

Their season so far, too, has been something of a curate's egg. Cagliari have conceded 15 goals in their first six games of the season for the first time in their top-flight history, but the Sardinians have themselves scored 12 goals - only in 1968-69 have they ever netted more at this point of the season.

Among a potent forward line, their chief goal provider has been loyal forward Joao Pedro. Surprisingly, since 2019-20, the former Palermo man is the top Brazilian scorer in the 'big five' European Leagues, with his 22 strikes giving him a healthy seven more than both PSG's Neymar and Manchester City striker Gabriel Jesus.

Not only that, but Joao Pedro - never before considered a prolific scorer - has registered goals in each of his last four league games, so Sampdoria's defence will be wary of his considerable threat.

Both the Brazilian and his forward line colleague Giovanni Simeone - with his fifth of the season - found the target against Bologna, but defensive frailties so familiar to those who have followed Di Francesco's coaching career denied them the chance of seeing the game out, as they conceded two goals early in the second half.

Following their derby draw last week, Sampdoria are unbeaten in their last four league matches - winning three - so will approach this game in high spirits.

Under current coach Claudio Ranieri they have yet to manage five games in a row without defeat, defining the inconsistency which has plagued the Blucerchiati in recent months.

Sampdoria's Fabio Quagliarella in action in September 2019© Reuters

Midfielder Jakub Jankto netted for the second game in a row against Genoa through a spectacular pile-driver, though evergreen forward Fabio Quagliarella was unable to register, having hit the net in their previous three league fixtures.

Sitting in the top half of the early season table, on ten points, Samp will inevitably have ambitions to keep in touch with direct rivals such as Fiorentina and Verona, who are close by in the standings.

Fixtures such as this difficult assignment in Cagliari will decide whether Ranieri's men are capable of targeting a top 10 place come Spring, while Saturday's hosts will - for all their defensive difficulties - want to prove that last weekend's blow-up was just an aberration.

Cagliari Serie A form: DLLWWL
Cagliari form (all competitions): LLWWWL

Sampdoria Serie A form: LLWWWD
Sampdoria form (all competitions): LWWWWD

Team News

Sampdoria manager Claudio Ranieri pictured in September 2020© Reuters

For Ranieri's Samp, veteran winger Antonio Candreva is reportedly back to full fitness and could threaten Danish starlet Mikkel Damsgaard's place in the XI, but the ex-Leicester manager is expected to keep a settled side.

Keita Balde tweaked a thigh muscle in training and faces a late fitness test and though fellow forward Manolo Gabbiadini has re-joined full training he is well short of match fitness.

Cagliari coach Di Francesco will still be without injured defender Simone Pinna and Angolan forward Zito Luvumbo but Luca Ceppitelli returned to training this week.

Diego Godin should be partnered by Sebastian Walukiewicz in defence, though ex-Liverpool man Ragnar Klavan is now ready to feature from the start.

Former Napoli forward Adam Ounas impressed off the bench last time and could be afforded an opportunity to start instead of Riccardo Sottil.

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

Sampdoria possible starting lineup:
Audero; Bereszynski, Yoshida, Tonelli, Augello; Candreva, Thorsby, Ekdal, Jankto; Ramirez, Quagliarella

SM words green background

We say: Cagliari 1-1 Sampdoria

These closely-matched clubs will not be separated easily, so a draw seems the most likely result in Sardinia.

The two sides can entrench their respective places in Serie A's mid-table, as they aim to continue largely positive starts to the Serie A season - both Ranieri and Di Francesco would probably be quite content with such an outcome.

Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting 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.Away Win:data


Who will win Saturday's Serie A clash between Cagliari and Sampdoria?

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