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Nov 21, 2021 at 11.30am UK
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Preview: Sassuolo vs. Cagliari - prediction, team news, lineups

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

Basement club Cagliari will be looking to move off the foot of the Serie A table with a victory when they travel to the Stadio Citta del Tricolore to face Sassuolo on Sunday.

The Neroverdi have alternated between defeat and victory in their last five home matches, while the visitors are yet to win on the road this season.

Match preview

Sassuolo suffered back-to-back defeats before the international break, and as a result they remain in 13th place, five points behind the top six and the same number of points above the relegation zone.

A 2-1 home defeat to newly-promoted Empoli was followed by a 3-2 loss away against Udinese last time out, a game in which they were leading shortly before half time.

Alessio Dionisi's side have now lost six of their 12 matches this campaign, five more than at this stage of last season.

Sassuolo never suffered three successive league defeats in the whole of last term, but they could be condemned to their third consecutive loss for the second time this season if they were to lose on Sunday.

The Neroverdi can take confidence into this weekend's clash, as they are unbeaten in each of their last nine meetings against Cagliari, however six of these games have ended as a draw.

With three of their next four Serie A fixtures against AC Milan, Napoli and Lazio, Sassuolo cannot afford to drop any points against the league's lowest-ranked side if they are to avoid slipping into danger before the new year.

Cagliari's disappointing campaign continued with a fourth successive defeat at home against Atalanta, losing 2-1 just before the international break.

The Rosseblu have now suffered eight defeats in their opening 12 Serie A matches for the fourth time in their history. However, they have avoided relegation on the last two of these occasions, so supporters can remain optimistic of their survival chances this season.

With their next four fixtures against teams currently sitting in the bottom half of the table, head coach Walter Mazzarri will be hoping that his side can take advantage of a more favourable short-term schedule as they look to turn their fortunes around.

Heading into Sunday's encounter at the Stadio Citta del Tricolore, form away from home will be a concern for Mazzarri, as they are one of only two Serie A teams, along with Hellas Verona, who are yet to win on the road. One away point claimed from a possible 15 available is the worst record of any side in the division at this stage of the campaign.

Cagliari have also conceded 26 goals at a rate of over two per game so far this term, the joint most in the Italian top flight, and they are yet to keep a clean sheet.

Having frustrated Sassuolo in recent seasons, drawing each of the last four meetings, the Rosseblu can take some confidence into this weekend's game, and a victory would see them edge closer to safety.

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

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

Team News

Sassuolo remain without Pedro Obiang who continues to recover from a heart condition, while Filip Duricic and Jeremie Boga are suffering with muscle injuries.

After serving a one-match suspension, Maxime Lopez will be in contention to start in centre-midfield ahead of either Francesco Magnanelli or Davide Frattesi.

Domenico Berardi is expected to start on the right flank; the Italy international has scored three goals and provided four assists in his last eight Serie A games against teams sitting bottom of the table.

Either Gregoire Defrel or Gianluca Scamacca is set to lead the line as the central striker, while Giacomo Raspadori will provide support in attack from the left-wing.

As for Cagliari, Sebastian Walukiewicz (hip), Marko Rog (knee) and Damir Ceter (calf) are all ruled out due to injury.

Keita Balde will be in contention to feature this weekend after recovering from a tonsil abscess, however, former Sassuolo striker Leonardo Pavoletti is set to continue up front alongside Joao Pedro, who has netted seven times in 12 league appearances so far this term.

Experienced defender Martin Caceres has returned from suspension and could be handed a start at right-back, joining Diego Godin, Andrea Carboni and Charalampos Lykogiannis in the back four.

Sassuolo possible starting lineup:
Consigli; Toljan, Chiriches, Ferrari, Rogerio; Frattesi, Lopez; Berardi, Traore, Raspadori; Scamacca

Cagliari possible starting lineup:
Cragno; Caceres, Godin, Carboni, Lykogiannis; Nandez, Marin, Strootman, Deiola; Pavoletti, Pedro

We say: Sassuolo 2-1 Cagliari

As six of the last seven meetings between these two sides have ended as a draw, another closely-fought contest is expected at the Stadio Citta del Tricolore.

Both Sassuolo and Cagliari will be desperate to return to winning ways, but we think that the hosts may have enough to edge out their opponents on Sunday.

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