Preview: Atalanta BC vs Cagliari – prediction, team news, line-ups

Sports Mole previews Sunday’s Serie A clash between Atalanta BC and Cagliari, including predictions, team news and possible line-ups.

Having seen the gap with their pursuers narrow in recent weeks, Atalanta BC modest host Cagliari on Sunday, looking to hold on to their top-four spot.

A single win in their last five Serie A outings leaves La Dea just a point clear of fifth-placed Juventus, while a recent revival has helped their visitors to a point of safety.

Match Preview

© Reuters

Ending last month in successive 0-0 draws with Inter and Lazio, after a brief break Atalanta return to the top flight in the unusual position of having last scored a league goal there. almost a month ago.

Gian Piero GasperiniThe team side would draw three Serie A matches in a row for the first time since 2017 if held by Cagliari this weekend, and the possibility of three consecutive scoreless matches – which would be a first for the Bergamaschi – still remains.

Recognized as one of Calcio’s most entertaining sides, Atalanta may have dried up somewhat in front of goal but are still unbeaten away in domestic competition this season, having taken a point at the Stadio Olympic the last time.

However, the Nerazzurri’s form at their Bergamo base has been rather less impressive, and just three wins from 11 attempts so far leave them in the bottom half of the Serie A table on points taken at home alone.

Ahead of next Thursday’s Coppa Italia quarter-final with Fiorentina, Gasperini will therefore want to secure a victory to boost morale in the first of four consecutive games at the Gewiss stadium.

After a relatively calm transfer window, in which they made a major acquisition but also lost an integral member of the squad, Atalanta can be sure of picking up maximum points, given that they have won each of their last four meetings with Cagliari – including a 2-1 triumph in the reverse game in November.

Keita Balde of Cagliari celebrates his second goal with his teammates on September 19, 2021© Reuters

Seven points out of the possible last 12 changed the mood at Cagliari, who have finally started to move in the right direction since the start of the year.

Although they recently escaped the Coppa Italia, the Sardinian side were able to bounce back days later, holding in-form Fiorentina to a 1-1 draw last time out.

Captain, top scorer and versatile attacking talisman Joe Pedro was on the right track again Walter Mazzarriwho then conceded a goal in the second half to Ricardo Sottil for the spoils were divided.

After flirting with the downside for most of last season before pulling off a dramatic escape, the Isolani seemed to be heading into Serie B without so much as a whimper at the end of 2021, but recent events will give hope to the committed fans of the club.

Even so, Cagliari remain in 18th place heading into the weekend fixtures, and while they are now just a point behind 17th-placed Venice, they have also played a game more than their closest relegation rivals. .

As they aim for an unlikely away win when they return from the international spell – in which Pedro joined the Italian training camp after switching allegiance with Brazil – the precedent is not in their favor. Indeed, Rossoblu have won just one of their last 12 Serie A away matches, failing to score on eight occasions.

Form Atalanta BC Serie A:

Atalanta BC form (all competitions):

Form of Cagliari in Serie A:

Cagliari form (all competitions):

Team News

Atalanta's Duvan Zapata in action, December 21, 2021© Reuters

Ahead of Sunday’s early kick-off, Atalanta made everyone previously absent due to COVID-19 infection available again, giving Gian Piero Gasperini several options on the pitch.

However, the star striker Duvan Zapata – who remains at the club despite intense speculation over his future – is still sidelined with a muscle injury, so Luis Muriel should start up front having found the net in each of their last three Serie A games against Cagliari.

Lateral Robin Gosens left for leaders Inter, the recently acquired Jeremiah Boga is likely to make his debut on the bench for the hosts, who will decide between Teun Koopmeiners and Remo Freuler associate Roon’s Marten in the middle of the field.

Meanwhile, Cagliari skipper Joao Pedro – involved in 64% of his club’s league goals this season (10 goals, 4 assists) – will be a conspicuous absence from the visitors’ line-up due to suspension.

Gaston Pereiro could therefore figure in support of the target man Leonardo Pavoletti in attack, while there will be new faces in Isolani’s refreshed defensive department.

Pereiro’s Uruguayan compatriots Martin Caceres and Diego Godin have left the club, with purchases from January Edoardo Goldeniga and the Atalanta man on loan Matteo Lovato both vying to start.

Possible starting line-up of Atalanta BC:
Musso; Zappacosta, Djimsiti, Palomino, Pezzella; De Roon, Freuler; Pessina, Pasalic, Malinovskyi; Murielle

Possible starting line-up for Cagliari:
Cragno; Goldeniga, Ceppitelli, Lovato; Bellanova, Grassi, Deiola, Marin, Dalbert; Pereiro; pavoletti

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We say: Atalanta BC 2-0 Cagliari

The last league draw between these sides came back in January 2013, and this trend of one side or the other winning is likely to continue on Sunday – with Atalanta leading the way.

Virtually back to full strength after a string of absences, the hosts have enough attacking craftsmanship at their disposal to eliminate Cagliari’s three newly formed full-backs.


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