Serie A Preview: Inter – Cagliari
The Nerazzurri are back on track in the Scudetto race and will aspire for maximum points against Cagliari...
By Subhankar Mondal
Back Up And Running
Last weekend's Derby d'Italia defeat to Juventus in Turin appeared to have caused a dent in Inter's Scudetto aspirations. However, the Italian and European champions had a game in hand and they won that in Florence in midweek.
Wednesday evening's 2-1 victory over Fiorentina has placed Leonardo's side in third place in the Serie A standings with 47 points from 25 matches, just five behind league leaders and city-rivals Milan.
Under Leonardo in 2011, Inter have lost just two competitive matches and have drawn none. Momentum is firmly on the Beneamata's side, who will be confident of defeat Cagliari at home.
Pushing For Europe
Cagliari commenced the 2010-11 campaign as an also-ran in Serie A and struggled in the bottom half of the table for much of the season. However, the Sardinians have improved encouragingly since January and are actually in with a chance of a top-six finish.
Last weekend's 4-1 demolition of Chievo in Sardinia placed Cagliari ninth in the league table with 35 points from 25 matches, just six points off a Europa League slot. It is not realistic for the Isolani to qualify for Europe next term especially as the teams above them are stronger.
Cagliari will also have revenge on their mind as in the reverse fixture earlier this season Roberto Donadoni's side lost 1-0 to Inter at home. However, the Rossoblu have a modest record on the road as they have won just three league games away from home this season.
Lucio, Samuel and Milito are out injured for the Nerazzurri. Chivu is suspended.
There are no injury or suspension worries for the Sardinians.
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Top 3 Predictions
FC Internazionale 3-0 Cagliari
- 26.83 %
FC Internazionale 3-1 Cagliari
- 19.86 %
FC Internazionale 2-0 Cagliari
- 15.53 %
|Italy - Serie A (ITA1)||Feb 23, 2014||FC Internazionale 1 - Cagliari 1|
|Italy - Serie A (ITA1)||Sep 29, 2013||Cagliari 1 - FC Internazionale 1|
|Italy - Serie A (ITA1)||Apr 14, 2013||Cagliari 2 - FC Internazionale 0|
|Italy - Serie A (ITA1)||Nov 18, 2012||FC Internazionale 2 - Cagliari 2|
|Italy - Serie A (ITA1)||Apr 7, 2012||Cagliari 2 - FC Internazionale 2|
|Mar 1, 2014||Roma 0 - FC Internazionale 0||ITA1|
|Feb 23, 2014||FC Internazionale 1 - Cagliari 1||ITA1|
|Feb 15, 2014||Fiorentina 1 - FC Internazionale 2||ITA1|
|Feb 9, 2014||FC Internazionale 1 - Sassuolo 0||ITA1|
|Feb 2, 2014||Juventus 3 - FC Internazionale 1||ITA1|
|-||Iván Ramiro Córdoba||Defender|
Giampaolo Pazzini was on target again in midweek and his second-half goal saw Inter defeat Fiorentina 2-1. The Italy international striker has been a hit for the Nerazzurri since joining them in January and will be a major threat against Cagliari at San Siro as he will be keen to add to his tally and continue his good run of form.
Andrea Cossu was crucial in Cagliari crushing Chievo 4-1 last weekend and the playmaker will be important against Inter in Milan. Leonardo's side have continued to concede goals and Cossu will have to take advantage of this by creating chances for his team's strikers.
Inter returned to winning ways in midweek and will be too big a match for Cagliari. A comfortable victory for the Beneamata seems a logical result.