Sampdoria would love to make it back to European competition, but their chances of that happening are starting to wane. The Genoese club has fallen to 10th place in the Serie A table after three consecutive losses, and they are still looking for their first points in the month of February. They still have time to make up ground and sit just five points behind 6th place Atalanta, and Sampdoria are out to narrow the gap when they host Cagliari this Sunday.
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Sampdoria vs. Cagliari
- Date and Time: February 24, 2019, 6:30 a.m. ET
- Location: Stadio Comunale Luigi Ferraris, Genoa, Italy
- US Television Coverage: ESPN2
- Betting Line: Sampdoria -0.5, O/U 2 and 2.5
Cagliari finally broke a six-match losing streak when they faced Parma last weekend. A Leonardo Pavoletti brace overcame a 1-0 halftime deficit to give the Sardinian club a big win and a six-point cushion from the relegation zone. Before the win, Cagliari had lost five of their last six matches in all competitions, and they had been shut out in each of the six defeats. The lone result was a 2-2 home draw with 17th place Empoli.
Although Sampdoria are in a bit of rut, you can write off some of their woes pretty easily. Two of their three losses were road defeats at the hands of top four clubs Napoli and Inter Milan, and they nearly grabbed a draw against the latter foe. However, a home loss to Frosinone certainly stings. Sampdoria controlled 73 percent of possession and allowed just one shot on goal in that match, but they couldn’t get a goal.
These clubs’ first meeting this season was a listless 0-0 draw. Cagliari outshot Sampdoria 14 to 13, but the two clubs combined to put just four shots on goal.
Joao Pedro Geraldino will miss this match for Cagliari due to yellow card accumulation. Lucas Nahuel Castro is out for the year due to an ACL injury, while Ragnar Klavan is out for at least one more month after a partial tear in his Achilles tendon. Alberto Cerri, Filippo Romagna, Luca Pellegrini, Cyril Thereau, and Valter Birsa are all questionable to play, while Fabrizio Cacciatore is probable.
Gianluca Caprari is out for a couple more months after going down with a fractured fibula in January, while Karol Linetty will be suspended for this match due to yellow card accumulation on the side of Sampdoria.
Sampdoria Player to Watch
Fabio Quagliarella has been incredible for Sampdoria this season. He is no spring chicken at 36 years of age, but Quagliarella and the club have breathed life into one another. He is third in Serie A with 16 goals through 23 matches, and he went on an incredible run earlier in the campaign. Quagliarella netted in 11 straight Serie A matches at one point (scoring 14 total goals), and that helped Sampdoria’s fortunes rise. He is currently on a three-match scoreless streak, so he is certainly due.
Cagliari Player to Watch
Pavoletti has been the magic man for Cagliari this season. The club has picked up at least a result in every game where he has scored, and he has nine goals on the season. His brace against Parma was huge, but he has been far more productive at home than he has been on the road. Seven of his nine goals came on the island.
Sampdoria vs. Cagliari Free Picks
This is likely to be a low-scoring match once again. I think these two sides will fail to score in the first half, but Sampdoria will net in the second half to get a nice win. The hosts and the under are both good plays here.
Sampdoria vs. Cagliari Prediction: Sampdoria 1, Cagliari 0
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