Preview - Cagliari vs Atalanta 21 May 18

Started by Harry85, May 19, 2018, 05:36 AM

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May 19, 2018, 05:36 AM Last Edit: May 19, 2018, 05:47 AM by Harry85
Match Day 38
Cagliari vs Atalanta
Monday, May 21st, 2018
01:00am (GMT+8 Timing)
Stadium: Sardegna Arena

Last five matches form: L D L L W
Average goals per match: 0.86
Average goals against per match: 1.65
Top Scorer: Leonardo Pavoletti (11)

Last five matches form: W W W D D
Average goals per match: 1.54
Average goals against per match: 1.03
Top Scorer: Josip Ilicic (11)

Implications for both the Europa League and relegation places with this clash on the final day of Serie A.

Cagliari are currently just one point clear of the relegation zone and need to pick up three points in order to ensure their survival. They may of course still stay up with defeat, depending upon how Crotone get on at Napoli.

Barring an unlikely big swing in goal difference, Atalanta seem certain to hold on to the Europa League qualifying round spot but will have their eye on pipping AC Milan to sixth position and so move straight into the Group phase.

Cagliari must do without the suspended João Pedro and injured left sided defender, Leandro Castán.

Atalanta meanwhile are looking seriously short of options at the back with both Rafael Tolói and Andrea Masiello suspended. Leanardo Spinazzola, Andrea Petagna and Andreas Cornelius are on the injured list.

Cagliari have endured a poor season overall but did manage to win the reverse of this fixture when upsetting Atalanta 2-1 on their own patch

Atalanta have proven to be a tough nut to crack on their travels though, tasting defeat just once in their last 12 away outings.

Atalanta are clearly the better side here but those problems at the back may prove difficult to overcome against a Cagliari side who won't want to be taking any chances with their Serie A survival.

Prediction: Cagliari 2 - 2 Atalanta


Half time: 0 - 0
Full time: 1 - 0
Shots:  6 - 12
Shots on target: 4 - 4
Corner Kicks: 5 - 11
Possession: 31% - 69%

Three bookings for the home side here, with Nicolo Barella, Luca Cigarini and Fabio Pisacane all seeing yellow. Atalanta's Timothy Castagne also had his name taken by referee Davide Massa.

This was a little backs against the wall at times for Cagliari, certainly in terms of the possession and total shots stats. They never really looked like losing their resolve though and proved a threat from set pieces and on the counter.

It was the home side who actually had the best chance in a tepid opening period. Diego Faria's header being excellently clawed away by Pierluigi Gollini. That's as close as either side came. 0-0 at the break.

What turned out to be the winner came very late in the day. Luca Cigarini's corner from the left finding Luca Ceppitelli unmarked inside the six-yard box. He wasn't about to miss from there and duly dispatched his header into the back of the net.

Still time for late drama though. Ceppitelli went from hero to villain in the 91st minute. Fouling Mattia Caldera in the area and conceding a penalty kick.

Mattia Caldera himself stepping up to take the kick but firing his effort wide to the relief of the home fans. 1-0 final score.

In the end Cagliari would have stayed up even had they lost this one. They weren't to know that though and battled all the way to do what they needed to do. They finish the season in 16th spot.

Atalanta always looked likely to hang on to seventh position, and a place in the Europa League qualifying round, and so they did. Fiorentina's hammering at the hands of AC Milan making this result immaterial in the end.

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