AS Roma face a trip to Sardinia following their momentous Champions League semi-final with Liverpool in midweek, with relegation-threatened Cagliari their opponents. The Giallorossi battled hard versus the Merseyside outfit in front of their home fans, almost mounting another dramatic comeback as they won 4-2, however the Reds had just enough to go through to the final in Kiev with a 7-6 aggregate scoreline.
Such a battle of epic proportions is likely to have taken a mental and physical toll on the players involved who now face a tough clash versus a side fighting for their lives in order to avoid the drop to Serie B.
Meanwhile a 4-1 defeat to Sampdoria last weekend saw Cagliari consider the future of Coach Diego Lopez, however with bringing back former boss Massimo Rastrelli – who was sacked by the club earlier on this term – or promoting a youth sector boss the only real alternatives, it was decided to be a case of “better the devil you know” for now, at least.
Cagliari have lost four from their last six matches, conceding four goals on two separate occasions versus Inter and Sampdoria. However, this week they have been in a crisis training camp named a ritiro on the peninsula, an event which often leads to an upturn in fortunes.
But the Giallorossi should be simply too strong in this encounter, especially having won their last three Serie A matches. Cagliari may breach the Roma backline at some point, but the Sardinians have lost five out of the last six meetings between the pair. There have been over 2.5 goals in nine of their last 11 matches, while the capital club have scored at least two in all of their previous three encounters. Odds on a Roma win are available at 7/1 via BetBright, a tip certainly worth your time.
While Roma have been scoring goals for fun, Cagliari have been shipping them in equal measure, and the Giallorossi have scored at least two goals in eight of their last ten away games versus this opponent. Bet365 are offering 1.64 on over 2.5 goals in this match, with a very strong possibility that this will be the case.
Cagliari have shipped more than 10 goals in the opening 15 minutes of play this term, more than any other side in the division. 888Sport offer 1.28 on the Roma to score the first goal of the match and 1.86 for the Giallorossi to be ahead at half-time.
Bear in mind though, that 32% of the away side’s goals have been conceded in the last 15 minutes of play. This rate of nine from 28 shipped in total in the final portion of the game is a league high, and SportNation offer 12/5 for Cagliari to score the last goal of the match, which could very well just be a consolation.
Former Napoli striker Leonardo Pavoletti has been in superb form of late, having scored five of Cagliari’s last nine Serie A goals, taking his tally to ten for the season. With the previous statistic regarding Roma’s penchant for conceding late in mind, Karamba has the forward at 17/2 to score last and 13/5 to fire in anytime in the match.
Roma are strong at scoring from set pieces, having netted a total of 11 from this type of dead-ball situation this season. Meanwhile their opponent have conceded 10 from a in this way during 2017/18, and Karamba are offering 16/1 for the first goal in the match to come from a free-kick. That’s well worth a look.
While the Giallorossi are adept at scoring from through balls, largely thanks to the goal-scoring prowess of Edin Dzeko, this is an area that Cagliari struggle with, meaning it is worth a bet on the Bosnian striker to score at least once in this match.
The former Manchester City man has 16 league goals in the current campaign and has netted four times in the last three matches in all competitions. Karamba have Dzeko at 2/3 to score anytime and 15/2 to score three or more in this match, something you should certainly consider.
Cagliari (3-5-2): Cragno; Pisacane, Ceppitelli, Romagna; Farago, Ionita, Cossu, Barella, Padoin; Sau, Pavoletti
Roma (4-3-3): Alisson; Bruno Peres, Fazio, Manolas, Kolarov; Nainggolan, De Rossi, Lo. Pellegrini; Schick, Dzeko, El Shaarawy