Serie A Preview: Cagliari - Milan
The visiting Rossoneri will be confident of mustering a win and making a positive start in the new year.
By Subhankar Mondal
Securing Mid-Table Safety
Roberto Donadoni has done a good job at Cagliari since being appointed their coach in mid-November. The Italian tactician has steadied the ship and has kept them afloat in the turbulent waters of Serie A.
With 20 points from 17 matches, the Sardinians are 13th in the table but five points above relegation. It isn't exactly a robust advantage but with the bottom three or four sides finding it tough to garner points, it appears that Cagliari have a good chance of escaping the drop at the end of the season.
Winning against Milan today at the Sant'Elia, though, is not going to be easy even though Milan are without star striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic, as Donadoni warns, "We expect a difficult match against the league leaders, even without Ibrahimovic they are very strong.
"We have to take to the field in the right frame of mind, with determination and concentration. It will be the start of a mini-series of matches to test our resolve."
Returning To The Old Den
Massimiliano Allegri constructed the platform for his coaching career at Cagliari where in two years between 2008 and 2010 the 43-year-old expressed his ability to work with limited resources but still get the results.
Winner of the Panchina d'Oro award, Allegri is repeating his success with Milan this campaign as the Rossoneri continue to maintain sole possession of the pole position in the league.
Today Allegri will return to his old club with the aim to put one over on them and secure a victory for the Diavolo. Milan have collected 36 points from 17 matches and with Napoli, Lazio and Juventus hot on their heels, Allegri would have no soft corner for his old side in today's encounter.
"I hope the team understand the importance of tomorrow's match, as we must come away from Cagliari with a positive result,'' Allegri said on Wednesday. "Cagliari will finish the season in the top half of the table because they have quality and good spirit.
"Playing Cagliari is never easy, and tomorrow we know they will create difficulties."
Marchetti and Sivakov are injured and will miss the visit of Milan to Sardinia. Nene and Matri will be the two frontmen in a 4-3-1-2 system that will see Cossu being deployed as the playmaker behind them.
Inzaghi, Nesta, Flamini, Pirlo, Boateng and Zambrotta will stay back because of injuries while Ibrahimovic is suspended. Cassano has been included in the squad but he is probably going to start on the bench.
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Top 3 Predictions
Cagliari 1-0 Milan
- 32.34 %
Cagliari 0-2 Milan
- 21.97 %
Cagliari 0-3 Milan
- 15.5 %
|Serie A (SR-A)||Jan 26, 2014||Cagliari 1 - Milan 2|
|Serie A (SR-A)||Sep 1, 2013||Milan 3 - Cagliari 1|
|Serie A (SR-A)||Feb 10, 2013||Cagliari 1 - Milan 1|
|Serie A (SR-A)||Sep 26, 2012||Milan 2 - Cagliari 0|
|Serie A (SR-A)||Jan 29, 2012||Milan 3 - Cagliari 0|
|Mar 8, 2014||Catania 1 - Cagliari 1||SR-A|
|Mar 2, 2014||Cagliari 3 - Udinese 0||SR-A|
|Feb 23, 2014||Inter 1 - Cagliari 1||SR-A|
|Feb 16, 2014||Cagliari 1 - Livorno 2||SR-A|
|Feb 9, 2014||Sampdoria 1 - Cagliari 0||SR-A|
|8||Gennaro Ivan Gattuso||Midfielder|