• Analysis

Cagliari: Serie A top-four finish realistic

Cagliari aim for top-4 finish
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The Rossoblu go into the international break in top-four with Rolando Maran’s side eyeing improvment on last year’s 15th place league finish.

Atalanta and Roma’s inability to secure results on the road allowed Cagliari to move into Serie A power rankings.

After an inauspicious start to the 2019/20 campaign, Rolando Maran’s side are on a 10-match unbeaten run. Their back-to-back home defeats to Brescia and Inter Milan are a distant memory.

Impressive home and away form

Cagliari have dismantled Parma, Napoli and Atalanta on the road. They have also negotiated tough away match-ups against AS Roma and Torino.

At home, they have overseen challenges from Genoa, Spal and Fiorentina. Their most recent 5-2 demolishing of La Viola highlights their newfound goal scoring prowess.

The fans are understandably dreaming. A top-four finish will be a fitting gift for the fans as the Rossoblu celebrate their centenary.

The squad have secured results against fellow European hopefuls and do not seem to be stopping. Gianfranco Zola was beaming as he praised Cagliari’s performances.

“The Rossoblu are doing very well and they deserve the spot they’ve got in the table right now.

“They are scoring a lot of goals and the quality of the play has improved with time. It’s to Maran’s credit, he has organized the team very well and given them a precise identity and strength,” Zola commented.

“Nainggolan has given them personality and charisma, but the other players are also maturing, like Joao Pedro.”

“They have found strength in the transfer market and are doing well despite being without important players like [Alessio] Cragno and [Leonardo] Pavoletti,” remarked Zola in conversation with Sky Sport Italia.

Direction after the international break

With Atalanta breathing down their necks, Cagliari cannot stop. After the international break, they will be without first team regular Nahitan Nandez. The Uruguayan limped off against Fiorentina and looks likely to miss their trip to Lecce.

Nandez has been an ever present in the Cagliari side since his acquisition as Nicolo Barella’s replacement.

The Sardegna Arena-based entity have managed only a couple of clean sheets in their run to top-four.

While their forwards have outscored their opponents to relieve pressure on the defense line, they need to shore up their defenses to realize their dreams.

The Rossoblu need reinforcements in the squad if they are to endure rigors of a top of the table finish. Long term injury concerns, Alessio Cragno and Leonardo Pavoletti, need to be replaced. Cagliari’s defensive ranks need rejuvenation with reserve side making up the numbers alongside five first team regulars.