Cagliari will be desperate to end a three-match losing run and avoid slipping into the danger zone when they host high-flying Fiorentina at Stadio Is Arenas. Viola, on the other hand, hope to make amends for weekend’s draw with Genoa and further improve their top 3 chances with three points from this match.
Isolani in problems
Over the years Cagliari established themselves as genuine mid table side in Serie A and they were rarely involved in the relegation tussle. The start of the current campaign hinted that the team could experience some problems along the way and midway through the league campaign Isolani find themselves just four points above the bottom three. Ivo Pulga’s side are currently on a six-match winless run and having lost last three league fixtures, they go into the Fiorentina clash low on confidence. Isolani were unlucky to be facing the likes of Napoli, Milan and Juventus in their last three home fixtures, but having picked up just one point in the process, chances are they will struggle to match very good Viola as well. The hosts have some selection problems as well seeing as how important players Andrea Cossu and Victor Ibarbo are missing, and boss Pulga doesn’t really have proper replacements for the pair. The manner in which they lost their last league clash against Milan, conceding two late goals, is likely to have a negative effect, with the pressure of slipping into the dangerous zone only adding to the problems.
Midfielder Andrea Cossu misses out through suspension, whilst forward Victor Ibarbo has been admitted to the hospital with acute gastroenteritis.
Are Fiorentina cursed?
Fiorentina boss Vincenzo Montella had no other words to describe the 3-3 draw with Genoa but to suggest that his side must be cursed given everything thrown their way this term. Viola had a great chance to close the gap behind third-placed Napoli, but they first conceded from a non-existent penalty before Genoa scored two more goals completely against the run of play. Earlier in the season, Fiorentina had lost key players Gomez, Rossi and Valero through injury, so they have got to be congratulated for keeping their results respectable in spite of all their worries. The club did well to capture Alessandro Matri in January as they desperately needed attacking reinforcements, and the former Juventus striker proved his worth by scoring a brace on his debut. And with the team boasting very good strength in depth, it looks as though they should be able to continue the rich vein of form in spite of some important missings, and no doubt Viola will see the match against out-of-sorts Cagliari as an excellent opportunity to make amends for the Genoa setback. The 6-2-3 away record is enough to suggest Fiorentina should be considered favourites to win at Stadio Is Arenas.
Borja Valero is doubtful with a hamstring problem, but Giuseppe Rossi, Nenad Tomovic, Mario Gomez and Ahmed Hegazy are definitely out.
Cagliari did not exactly impress when facing the big teams on home soil and with Isolani going through a very rough patch, they look destined for another defeat. Fiorentina may have suffered several setbacks of late, but the most important thing is they continue to dominate their opponents and they have more than enough quality to win this match.
Top pick: Away win 2.38 (11/8) @ BetVictor
Alternative pick 1: Fiorentina to score two or more 2.62 (13/8) @ Coral
Alternative pick 2: Over 2.5 goals 2.20 (6/5) @ Stan James