CAGLIARI VS ATALANTA PREVIEW & PREDICTION
When the meeting between Cagliari and Atalanta Bergamo is on the last day of the season a lot at stake. The hosts need points to be sure of preservation, while the visitors are in sixth place and direct placement for the group stage of the Europa League.
Dark clouds recently gathered above Sardinia. The Cagliari of coach Diego Lopez recorded five losses in a series of seven games, which meant that the islanders fell under the feared line. Last week, the relegation candidate made a small miracle by winning Fiorentina in Florence, and that’s why Cagliari is suddenly a lot better off. The current number sixteen has a point more than Crotone and SPAL and will have to keep one of those two teams to prevent relegation to the Serie B. Crotone goes to visit Napoli and that is a given that might provide some extra confidence.
Last week, Cagliari perhaps made the most important win of the season. Fiorentina, who desperately needed the points because of the battle for the places that give the right to playing European football, was the big favorite for his own audience, but in one way or another Cagliari managed to rise above himself. Leonardo Pavoletti made the only goal of the match.
Cagliari will come on Sunday afternoon with a good team for the day. Damir Ceter suffers from an injury, but the absence of the Colombian attacker will not affect the play of the hosts. The striker only appeared once in the base this season. Joao Pedro, who came into action again last week, is now on the sidelines due to a doping suspension. The Brazilian was told this week that his suspension will last a total of six months. Joao Pedro has already finished part of the suspension, but he will not take action against Fiorentina.
Atalanta Bergamo placed last season after an impressive season for the Europa League and seems to repeat that piece of art now. The year of the men of trainer Gian Piero Gasperini was slightly less smooth than the previous campaign, but the performances were still good enough to compete for the places for European football. Atalanta Bergamo could still pass AC Milan on the last matchday and that would give the club a huge boost. This means that the preliminary rounds are skipped. In theory, Atalanta Bergamo could also drop to eighth place, but then it must be very strange. The formation of Gasperini has a much better goal difference than number eight Fiorentina and the difference in the ranking is three points.
Atalanta Bergamo will prepare for the last game against Cagliari with a lot of confidence. In the meantime, the team is unbeaten again seven times and that adds that Atalanta was able to avoid defeats against Internazionale (0-0), Lazio Roma (1-1) and AC Milan (1-1), teams all higher in the ranking can be found. The last six away games yielded only one loss and that was against champion Juventus.
Gasperini will have to improvise this week to form his defense because of the three players who started against AC Milan, there is only one left this week. Andrea Masiello and Rafael Toloi collected fatal yellow cards last week and they will now have to sit a suspension. Furthermore, the injury list is relatively long. Atalanta will therefore appear slightly weakened at the kickoff.
PREDICTION: Over 2.5 goals @ 1.62