11.01.2014 18:43 - in: Serie A S

      Cagliari at home

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      The Rossoblu have remained unaffected by their potentially disruptive stadium move back to the Stadio Sant’Elia in October to record a strong record at home overall

      Serie A

      With 16 points out of a possible 21 at home - an improvement of five on this time last season - Cagliari have performed consistently well as hosts despite the upheaval of a stadium move from Treiste’s Stadio Nereo Rocco back to the Stadio Sant’Elia in mid-October.

      Four wins and as many draws compared to just a single defeat represents a solid return, a run that began with a 2-1 victory over Atalanta on the opening day of the season.

      In fact, all of the Rossoblu’s home wins have come by that same scoreline (Catania, Torino and Genoa also leaving empty handed).

      As well as a 2-2 draw against Sampdoria, Diego Lopez’s men have impressively held Napoli and Inter at home.

      The score was 1-1 on both occasions: Radja Nainggolan, recently departed to Roma, snatched a point with a late goal against the Nerazzurri on 29 September, while Nene’s early goal was cancelled out by Gonzalo Higuain’s in Cagliari’s last game before the winter break against the Partenopei.

      The only defeat came on 30 October to Bologna, when the visitors ran out a resounding 3-0 win against a distinctly below par Cagliari side.

      In total, the Rossoblu have scored a lot more goals at home than away (14 compared to just four) but have also conceded two more (13 to 11).

      Tactical Analysis

      Cagliari play in a 4-3-1-2 formation, though the departure of Nainggolan to Roma might result in a change of strategy from Lopez. The midfielder had formed the tough backbone of the team in the centre of midfield, and will undoubtedly be missed.

      Last season, a large part of the Rossoblu’s threat was aerial, as Marco Sau overcame what he lacked in height with goalscoring instinct to net three of the team’s total of eight headers.

      This season, though, it has been a different story. In 2012/13, playmaker Andrea Cossu provided four assists for those eight headers, but he has yet to supply one at all this term and the total of goals from the air currently stands at just two.

      Meanwhile, whereas Juve are the only team yet to have conceded a header in Serie A, the eight that Cagliari have let in is more than any other top-flight side.

      Taking into consideration both Serie A and Coppa Italia fixtures, the Rossoblu’s top provider of assists so far is defender Davide Astori with two.

      Juve will have to pay careful attention to the wings, since the Rossoblu have put in more crosses than any other Serie A side (473), and will also have to be wary of captain Daniele Conti’s threat from set-pieces. He has already put three past opposition goalkeepers so far (two of which came in the same game against Torino), and is the team’s current top scorer with four.

      While they have been dangerous from free-kicks, Cagliari have been imprecise from the penalty spot. The one missed by Victor Ibarbo against Catania didn’t affect the final result, but Mauricio Pinilla’s shot over the bar last Sunday against Chievo Verona meant that the chance to pick up three points was lost.

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