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October 17, 2010 11:30 AM BST
Stadio Sant'Elia — Cagliari
Referee:‬ P. Tagliavento‎
Attendance:‬ 20000‎
Samuel Eto'o 39′

Serie A Preview: Cagliari - Inter

The Italian champions will be aiming to pick up momentum after the international break...

By Subhankar Mondal

Alessandro Matri (C) - Juventus-Cagliari - Serie A (Getty Images)
Caught In The Middle

Cagliari are one of the also-rans in Serie A and given the competitiveness of the Italian top flight, the side from Sardinia could very well struggle against the drop at the end of the season.

At the moment Pierpaolo Bisoli's side are in the bottom half of the league table with seven points from six matches, just two more than third-from-bottom Parma. Club president Massimo Cellino is becoming increasingly frustrated with the Isolani's lack of results in the league and there are reports that former Italy and Napoli tactician Roberto Donadoni could replace Bisoli if the situation doesn't improve.

However, the positive for Cagliari is that they have yet to lose at home in the league this campaign and have also scored five times in two matches at the Stadio Sant'Elia and have conceded just one.

Stepping Up

Inter began their 2010-11 campaign on a slow note but the Italian and European champions are now in full swing and are looking very threatening indeed. Rafael Benitez's side bounced back from their 1-0 defeat to Roma in Rome to hammer Werder Bremen 4-0 in Milan in the Champions League, and just before the international break drew 0-0 with Juventus.

At the moment Inter are second in the table with 11 points from six matches, just two behind Lazio. The Beneamata will aim to leapfrog the Aquile, who are not in action until Sunday evening.

Inter have lost just once in the league this season but that defeat came on their travels, so Benitez's side will have to be wary of getting too complacent during their lunchtime kick-off.



Ragatzu is out with an injury for the Sardinians, who will opt for a 4-3-1-2 system that will have Matri and Acquafresca as the two strikers and Cossu as the creator-in-chief just behind them.


Rafael Benitez will be without Mancini, Cordoba, Milito, Cambiasso, Mariga, Suazo and Pandev, all of whom are injured. Thankfully for the Spaniard, Sneijder is fit to start. Thiago Motta has been passed fit too but the midfielder will be a substitute.

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Last Five Matches
Team News
Available Squads
-Michael AgazziGoalkeeper
14Francesco PisanoDefender
-Michele CaniniDefender
13Davide AstoriDefender
33Alessandro AgostiniDefender
-Davide BiondiniMidfielder
5Daniele ContiMidfielder
7Andrea CossuMidfielder
23Radja NainggolanMidfielder
32Alessandro MatriStriker
22Ivan PelizzoliGoalkeeper
24Gabriele PericoDefender
-Dario BiasiDefender
-Lorenzo AriaudoDefender
21Andrea LazzariMidfielder
12Robert AcquafrescaStriker
-Alex PinardiMidfielder
30Julio CésarGoalkeeper
25Walter SamuelDefender
26Cristian ChivuDefender
4Javier ZanettiDefender
10Dejan StankovicMidfielder
7Jonathan BiabianyStriker
10Wesley SneijderMidfielder
29Samuel Eto'oStriker
12Luca CastellazziGoalkeeper
3Davide SantonDefender
23Marco MaterazziDefender
-Denis AlibecStriker
20Joel ObiMidfielder
8Thiago MottaMidfielder
4Sulley MuntariMidfielder
Players to Watch
Andrea Cossu
Andrea Cossu
Position: Midfielder
Squad Number: 7
Games Goals YC RC
26 0 6 0
Inter’s defence has floundered in recent times this season and Cossu is best placed in the Cagliari team to take advantage of that. With Matri ahead of him, the midfielder will be aiming for through balls and quick passes.
Samuel Eto'o
Samuel Eto'o
Position: Striker
Squad Number: 29
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
With Milito out through injury, Eto’o will be the lone striker in a 4-2-3-1 formation and will shoulder the bulk of the goalscoring task. The Cameroon international striker has been played closer to goal this season and he has already scored a hat-trick.
Probable Lineups
Michael Agazzi 0
Francesco Pisano 14
Michele Canini 0
Davide Astori 13
Alessandro Agostini 33
Davide Biondini 0
Daniele Conti 5
Andrea Cossu 7
Radja Nainggolan 23
Alessandro Matri 32
Nenê 18
Julio César 30
Maicon 13
Lúcio 33
Walter Samuel 25
Cristian Chivu 26
Javier Zanetti 4
Dejan Stankovic 10
Jonathan Biabiany 7
Wesley Sneijder 10
Coutinho 10
Samuel Eto'o 29
Top Scorers
Player   Goals Penalties
Ciro Immobile Ciro Immobile
20 0
Luca Toni Luca Toni
Hellas Verona
18 2
Carlos Tévez Carlos Tévez
18 1
Gonzalo Higuaín Gonzalo Higuaín
17 5
Rodrigo Palacio Rodrigo Palacio
15 0