vs Sampdoria: Two in-form teams face off
Photo by Enrico Locci via Getty Images

Story behind the game

A poor start to the season under Eusebio Di Francesco has now been turned around by new manager Claudio Ranieri. The Italian came to Sampdoria with a difficult task as the club started their season 1-0-6 and saw themselves in the relegation zone. However, since Ranieri arrived, the club has turned their season around and has been more positive.

In their five matches under their new manager, the team has won two, lost one, and drawn two. The Blucerchiati find themselves two points above relegation and come off a 2-1 win against Udinese, after Gaston Ramirez converted on a penalty kick in the 75th minute to lead the way.

As for Cagliari, the Rossoblu continue to have a strong start to their season. After opening their season with two defeats, the club has gone unbeaten in their last 11 games. The Gli Isolani have been good at home this season as they have four wins, two losses and one draw.

The club has also done very well this season with the absence of players such as Alessio Cragno and Leonardo Pavoletti. However, their upcoming match against Sampdoria may be difficult as Robin Olsen and Fabrizio Cacciatore picked up red cards in their last match against Lecce and they will also be without Cragno, Pavoletti, Valter Birsa and Luca Pellegrini due to injuries.

In their recent match against Lecce, Cagliari failed to take all three points as Marco Calderoni scored in the 91st minute to give Lecce a 2-2 draw.

In the 49 games that these two clubs have played, Cagliari has won 15, Sampdoria has won 16 and they have drawn 18. When Cagliari has been the home side, they are 11-9-4 versus the Blucerchiati.

Injuries and suspensions

Sampdoria: Bartosz Bereszynski (Questionable), Federico Bonazzoli (Questionable), Edgar Barreto (Questionable)

Risk of Suspension: Alex Ferrari and Fabio Depaoli each have four yellow cards.

Cagliari: Leonardo Pavoletti (Out indefinitely), Alessio Cragno (Out indefinitely), Valter Birsa (Out indefinitely), Luca Ceppitelli (questionable), Luca Pellegrini (questionable), Daniele Ragatzu (questionable)

Suspensions: Robin Olsen will begin his four-match ban, while Fabrizio Cacciatore will be serving his one-match ban. Luca Ceppitelli and Marko Rog each have four yellow cards and are in risk of suspension.

Predicted Starting Lineups

Cagliari (4-3-1-2): Rafael – Farago, Klavan, Pisacane, Lykogiannis – Ionita, Cigarini, Rog – Nainggolan – Joao Pedro, Simeone.

Sampdoria (4-4-2): Audero – Thorsby, Colley, Ferrari, Murru – Ramirez, Ekdal, Linetty, Jankto – Gabbiadini, Quagliarella.

Key clashes

Joao Pedro continues to have a good start to his season as the Brazilian attacking midfielder has scored seven goals in 13 matches this season. Of those seven goals he has scored, five have come at the Sardegna Arena.

As for Sampdoria, the backend has improved under Ranieri giving up four goals in six matches. Before the Italian arrived, they conceded 16 goals in seven matches. An area which was a major concern has improved drastically and will make it tough for Cagliari to beat.