Cagliari won their promotion after one season in Serie B, winning the cadetto trophy and coming back to Serie A. A single point was the difference between the rossoblu and Crotone who were also promoted along with them. With 42 games played last season the team won in 25 and scored a remarkable 78 goals, the best last season in Serie B.
For every team promoted from Serie B, their main task is to remain another season in Serie A. To attract high level players you must be in a concrete position to compete in a major league and that is exactly what Cagliari are aiming to do. Also their management is working very well to build a stadium for the team which will be one of the few club owned stadiums in Italy. Being part of Serie A is just part of if not the most important part of the project.
Cagliari will begin their journey to survive at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris against Genoa, then will host Roma at home before travelling to Bologna to meet their former manager Roberto Donadoni. Afterwards Cagliari and Atalanta will meet at Sant’Elia. Their Midweek match will be against Champions Juventus. Then Sampdoria is the sixth team to face.
The final six games for the rossoblu will be away to Udinese, then a clash with Pescara a repeated scenario from last season in Serie B. A tough away match against Napoli at their Sao Paolo stadium follows. Empoli and Sassuolo are the third and second last fixtures before they travel to Milan to face AC Milan in the final match of the season.
Also, this season the derby delle Isole will be back between Palermo and Cagliari, the derby of islands.
Newly promoted teams usually try as hard as possible in the mercato to get players that makes them capable to compete in Serie A, Cagliari are no exception to this trend as they have had a very busy market so far. Their will to remain in the top flight is obvious with the targets they are aiming at and their signings.
Mauricio Isla is their most notable transfer, the player deemd surplus by his former club Juventus signed for Cagliari for 4 million euros and joins his former team mate Simone Padoin who left the old lady also after 5 seasons with the team. Cagliari also improved their midfield with the signing of the Croatian young midfielder Marko Pajac from Slovenian side NK Celje for undisclosed fee.
Artur Ionita and Rafael also joined the rossoblu from the recently relegated Hellas Verona. Veteran striker Marco Borriello joined on a free transfer too. Also the Euro 2016 winner Bruno Alves joined the side from Fenerbahce on free transfer.
In order to balance the books Cagliari sold some highly rated players from their team whom were not in their roster last season. One of the players Cagliari Sold was Davide Astori. The Italian centre back' Fiorentina loan was turned permanent. The same situation for Godfred Donsah with Bologna. Colombian Striker Victor Ibarbo joined Greek side Panathinakos on a season long loan.
Cagliari' squad is the second oldest team in Serie A this season with an average age of 28 years (only Chievo Verona above them with average age of 30).
The team at this position have what it takes with experienced players in Serie A , lead by Marco Storari, and Rafael this position is in safe hands.
Last season Cagliari conceded 41 goals in Serie B, a scary amount of goals that might not be helpful to ensure a place in Serie A next season if the defending is not improved. Yet siging a leader like Bruno Alves will boost the defence but another signing in for the heart of defence is still needed.
In midfield area there is no need to improve. The midfielders are almost completed. Danielle Dessena, Simone Padoin, and Joao Pedro can help the midfield reach higher level.
Marco Boriello is the only addition to the line, the veteran striker can do well along with the wingers Farias, and Nicola Giannetti. With 38 games in Serie A, another Striker with similar qualities of Borriello is needed in order to survive this season.
Brazilian winger Diego Farias played a major role in returning the club to Serie A, scoring 14 goals and assisting 13. There are high expectations on the player to perform just as well this season and keep the dream of staying alive for the rossoblu and their fans.
Another Brazilian can shine is their attacking midfielder Joao Pedro the 23 year old played 38 games last term and scored 13 goals and provided 7 assists.
Both players can lift the team offensively to achieve their targets.
Leading the Sardinians to promotion is his biggest achievement in his career, the 47-year-old Italian manager is completely new to Serie A and needs to prove his worth quickly to be considered one of the elite coaches in Serie A and keep the club in the top tier for years to come.
He favours the 4-3-1-2 formation and most likely will adopt it next season. Last years performance showed a great attacking record yet in defencee the side let in a lot of goals. A possible issue for the manager to look at before kicking off this season.
Massimo Rastelli began his managerial career in the 2009/10 season and has had the reigns at Avellino and Juve Stabia amongst others before he joined Cagliari in June 2015.
Will Cagliari meet expectations?
It is usually tough for a team to remain in Serie A after a promotion and in order to stay in amongst the Italian elite for another season, a good transfer strategy and superb effort from all the squad to reach their target is required.
Cagliari have what it takes to stay in Serie A. few good results can see the team survive this season over their relegation rivals.