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Oct 27, 2021 at 7.45pm UK
Pavoletti (52')
Pedro (73'), Lykogiannis (77'), Bellanova (87')
FT(HT: 0-0)
Ibanez (71'), Pellegrini (78')
Zaniolo (38'), Pellegrini (79'), Abraham (80'), Calafiori (83')

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

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

Having emerged from the past week with just one point and one goal from three matches, Roma are under pressure to beat Cagliari on Wednesday, at the Sardegna Arena.

Following the first rumblings of discontent under Jose Mourinho, the Giallorossi's honeymoon period with their high-profile coach is now over, so a win against Serie A's second-bottom side is essential.

Match preview

Amid a tough spell of fixtures for the capital club, Roma picked up a valuable point on Sunday, in an intense Derby del Sole with league leaders Napoli.

A hard-fought goalless draw at Stadio Olimpico saw their visitors' perfect start to the Serie A season brought to an end, and kept Jose Mourinho's men within nine points of both their Neopolitan rivals and Milan at the summit of the standings.

While their performance - featuring a radically altered XI - was a significant improvement on the humiliating 6-1 defeat against Bodo/Glimt in the Conference League last week, Roma have failed to win since the last international break, having also lost at Juventus earlier this month.

The Giallorossi were previously beaten by bitter rivals Lazio in the Derby della Capitale, so now have some relative respite in facing lowly Cagliari on Wednesday, before hosting Milan next Sunday.

However, three successive away defeats in Serie A mean that Roma have now lost 10 times on the road during a calendar year for the first time since 2012.

One of those losses, which came under Mourinho's predecessor Paulo Fonseca, was a 3-2 reverse in Cagliari last April, so they will be all too aware of the dangers that can lie in store when they leave the capital for Sardinia.

Having experienced another fruitless trip to the mainland on Sunday, the league's 19th-placed side will be glad of a return to home comforts in midweek, as their solitary win of the season so far came at the Sardegna Arena earlier in October.

Though Cagliari were previously able to climb off the foot of the table with their first victory at the eighth time of trying, any momentum from that 3-1 success against Sampdoria was immediately lost at Stadio Artemio Franchi.

Blown away 3-0 by Fiorentina - having conceded 21 shots on goal and nearly two-thirds of the possession - Walter Mazzarri's men remain entrenched in the relegation zone, with only promoted Salernitana below them in the Serie A standings.

Former Inter and Napoli coach Mazzarri was appointed after just three games this season, but has yet to engender an upturn in fortunes for the defensively inept Rossoblu, who have leaked goals at a rate of more than two per game.

Five of their six points have been won on home soil, however, so his struggling side will still expect to give an out-of-sorts Roma team some difficulties to deal with on Wednesday night.

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

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

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

Team News

As Jose Mourinho took the unusual step of naming his team for Wednesday's game after the draw with Napoli, it is probable that Roma's first XI will remain unchanged. The Portuguese coach has made a very public assessment of his squad players' abilities during the past week, so is disinclined to drop any of Sunday's starters.

Therefore, Tammy Abraham takes the lone forward's role up front, with support from Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Nicolo Zaniolo and captain Lorenzo Pellegrini.

Chris Smalling is once again missing with a thigh injury, so Roger Ibanez joins Gianluca Mancini at the heart of the visitors' defence.

Their hosts, meanwhile, have a significant injury list to consider ahead of the Giallorossi's arrival, as veteran centre-back Diego Godin is still suffering with a knee problem, while former Roma midfielder Kevin Strootman remains doubtful.

Both Dalbert and Christian Oliva are expected to be sidelined, with Marko Rog, Sebastian Walukiewicz and Paolo Farago also missing out.

Due to his stretched resources, Walter Mazzarri may opt to keep a similar side to that which was beaten in Florence, but could consider bringing Gaston Pereiro in as an extra body in midfield, with ex-Lazio striker Keita Balde making way - leaving top scorer Joao Pedro alone up front.

Cagliari possible starting lineup:
Cragno; Caceres, Ceppitelli, Carboni, Lykogiannis; Nandez, Marin, Deiola, Zappa; Pedro, Balde

Roma possible starting lineup:
Patricio; Karsdorp, Mancini, Ibanez, Vina; Veretout, Cristante; Zaniolo, Pellegrini, Mkhitaryan; Abraham

We say: Cagliari 1-3 Roma

Put plainly, Cagliari cannot defend competently for 90 minutes, so a series of destabilising injuries is the last thing they need when seeking just a second win of the season.

Though they have failed to inspire in recent weeks, Roma will have more than enough firepower to outgun their opponents on Wednesday, in a fixture which almost always brings goals.

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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