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Dec 15, 2021 at 5pm UK at Stadio Sant'Elia
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Preview: Cagliari vs. Cittadella - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Cagliari vs. Cittadella - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Wednesday's Coppa Italia clash between Cagliari and Cittadella, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Cagliari resume their Coppa Italia campaign against Cittadella on Wednesday evening on the back of a nine-game winless streak in Serie A.

Meanwhile, the visitors make the trip to the Sardegna Arena sitting in seventh place in Serie B, a consequence of a seven-game unbeaten run.

Match preview

Having spent much of the season languishing in the Serie A relegation zone, Cagliari boss Walter Mazzarri will be happy enough with a game away from the pressures of the top flight.

Nevertheless, the veteran Italian knows that he can ill-afford yet another disappointing result with his only victory in charge of Cagliari coming at home to Sampdoria back on October 17.

While Gli Isolani had been on a four-game unbeaten streak ahead of their 4-0 defeat at Inter Milan, each of those draws were against teams now sitting in the bottom half of the table.

Joao Pedro remains their star man this campaign, the Brazilian forward having now contributed nine goals from his 17 starts in Serie A.

Cagliari reached this stage of the Coppa Italia with a 3-1 victory over Pisa back in August, all three of their strikes being scored before half time.

As for opponents Cittadella, they posted a 2-1 win over fellow second-tier team Monza, a result which looks all the more impressive now that their opponents on that day have only conceded eight times in the league this season.

Edoardo Gorini has not always had it all his own way during his first season in charge, Cittadella losing five times during September and October.

However, they have responded by collecting 15 points from their last seven league fixtures, a run which has taken Cittadella to within seven points of the leaders.

Just four goals have been conceded during that period at a time when they have kept four clean sheets, their latest win over Ascoli seeing them move past their opponents in the race for promotion.

Cagliari Coppa Italia form:
  • W

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

Cittadella Coppa Italia form:
  • W

Cittadella form (all competitions):
  • W
  • D
  • D
  • D
  • W
  • W

Team News

Facing a run of three game in less than a week, Mazzarri will almost certainly make widespread changes to his team on Wednesday.

Veteran defenders Martin Caceres and Diego Godin are likely to be among the players who will drop to the substitutes' bench, while Pedro could also be protected.

Adam Obert, Charalampos Lykogiannis, Christian Oliva and Leonardo Pavoletti are all expected to be handed game time by Mazzarri.

With an extra day of rest preceeding this game and after it, Gorini may feel comfortable with sticking with the Cittadella team which started against Ascoli.

Former Roma attacker Mirko Antonucci has endured a tough first season at the club, contributing just one goal from his 17 appearances in the second tier.

Cagliari possible starting lineup:
Radunovic; Obert, Carboni, Lykogiannis; Zappa, Deiola, Grassi, Oliva, Dalbert; Pavoletti, Balde

Cittadella possible starting lineup:
Kastrati; Mattioli, Frare, Adomi, Benedetti; Vita, Pavan, Branca; Antonucci; Beretta, Baldini

We say: Cagliari 2-1 Cittadella

Given their contrasting form, this has all the makings of an interesting contest. Nevertheless, while Cittadella will fancy their chances of pulling off the upset, we feel inclined to back Cagliari to claim a narrow victory.

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