Goals Galore For Inter And Bogey Side Cagliari
After playing out a thrilling draw at Celtic Park on Thursday, Inter return to domestic action against relegation-threatened Cagliari on Monday night.
Since taking charge of his hometown (or island) club over a decade since finishing his playing career in Sardinia, Gianfranco Zola has endured mixed fortunes since taking the reins in a managerial capacity at Cagliari. A record of only two wins in eight games certainly doesn’t seem overly impressive on first viewing but since suffering a 5-0 thumping by Palermo in Zola’s first game in charge his side have shown real signs of improvement, losing only two of six Serie A games since and scoring in each of their last seven while they’ve also scored more goals on the road then any other side outside the top six.
Marco Sau is the club’s top scorer with five goals in total, four of them in the league, although he’s found the back of the net only once in his last nine appearances.
Despite sitting only ninth having endured an awful season by the club’s standards, Inter are unbeaten in three games following their 3-3 draw in Glasgow. Roberto Mancini’s side have now scored ten times in their last three matches too after running out easy winners over both Palermo and Atalanta in their last two league games. With January arrival Xherdan Shaqiri now pulling the strings they will hope to make a late surge up the Serie A table as they still lie only six points adrift of Fiorentina in fourth.
With 13 top flight goals to his name, Mauro Icardi is the Nerazzurri’s top scorer this season and is just one behind his Argentina compatriot Carlos Tevez in the race to be Capocannoniere this season.
Cagliari have major doubts over defensive duo Antonio Balzano and Francesco Pisano, although they are boss Zola’s only fitness concerns going into the game.
Icardi is expected to shake off a knock in time to take part but Inter have further doubts over defenders Danilo D’Ambrosio and Marco Andreolli while Jonathan and Yuto Nagatomo are definitely out of the visitors backline with long-term injuries.
Head to Head
In one of the biggest surprises in Italian football this season, Cagliari hammered Inter 4-1 at the San Siro back in September, with Albin Ekdal grabbing a hat-trick after Sau opened the scoring and the now departed Pablo Osvaldo had equalisied for the hosts. The Sardinians are actually unbeaten in six games against the Milanese club now, winning half of those, although Inter won four on the trot prior to that run of games.
With both teams scoring in each of Cagliari’s last seven and three of Inter’s last five that looks the standout bet here at an excellent price of 4/5.
The Sardinians have proved something of a bogey side for their famous opponents of late too so the 13/10 on Cagliari in the Draw no bet market makes sense and with two teams who’ve been poor at the back all season Over 3.5 goals looks a terrific punt at 5/2.
With that in mind Shaqiri and Fredy Guarin – who’s scored three times in his last three – look great value to score anytime at 19/10 and 3/1 respectively.