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Genoa logo
Serie A | Gameweek 19
Jan 24, 2021 at 2pm UK
Stadio Luigi Ferraris
Cagliari logo

1 - 0

Destro (10')
Destro (18')
FT(HT: 1-0)

Nandez (20'), Zappa (85')

Preview: Genoa vs. Cagliari - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Sunday's Serie A clash between Genoa and Cagliari, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Genoa will host Cagliari on Sunday hoping to extend their unbeaten home run to four matches, which would prove to be their longest run in Serie A since March 2019.

Meanwhile, the visitors are enduring a difficult run of form which has seen them lose their last five top-flight matches in a row.

Match preview

Davide Ballardini, now in charge of Genoa, pictured in January 2018© Reuters

Davide Ballardini's fourth spell in charge of Genoa has started well and has seen his side slowly climb out of the relegation zone, with two wins and two draws from their last five league matches.

Last weekend saw the Grifone secure an impressive point against a high-flying Atalanta side, moving them above Sunday's opponents Cagliari.

Genoa have kept clean sheets in their last two league matches – the last time they secured three in a row was back in January 2018 during Ballardini's third stint at the club.

The Grifone will be hoping that the form of striker Mattia Destro continues this weekend; the 29-year-old, who has scored six goals in eight league games against Cagliari, has also found the net six times in his last six Serie A appearances this season.

Since 2015, Genoa have earned four wins and one draw in their last five home league meetings against Cagliari, which is the best record they have against any Serie A side on home soil.

Securing another three points on Sunday could move Ballardini's side as high as 13th in the table, five points clear of the drop zone.

Cagliari manager Eusebio Di Francesco pictured in December 2020© Reuters

Cagliari remain the only side to have not picked up a single Serie A point in 2021 as they lost at home to league leaders AC Milan last weekend, with Zlatan Ibrahimovic scoring a brace.

The Isolani have failed to win any of their last 11 matches in all competitions, which has seen them slide down the Serie A table, currently hovering one place above the relegation zone.

Eusebio Di Francesco's side have struggled to prevent their opponents from creating goalscoring opportunities, which has seen them concede the most Serie A shots this season with 309. Cagliari, meanwhile, are one of only three teams in the top five European leagues, alongside Ligue 1 side Nimes and Premier League outfit West Bromwich Albion, to have conceded more than 300 shots this term.

Cagliari lost their previous league meeting with Genoa – a 1-0 defeat in February 2020 – but will see this fixture against a side with them at the wrong end of the table as a good opportunity to halt their miserable run and secure three essential points.

A victory on Sunday would be their first in the league since November 7 and could move Cagliari above Genoa and into 15th place, four points clear of the relegation zone.

Genoa Serie A form: LWDLWD
Genoa form (all competitions): WDLWLD

Cagliari Serie A form: DLLLLL
Cagliari form (all competitions): LLLLLL

Team News

Genoa celebrate a goal against AC Milan in Serie A in March 2020© Reuters

Genoa left-back Luca Pellegrini is still struggling with a thigh injury with his fitness to be evaluated before Sunday's match, while centre-back Cristian Zapata remains out with a muscle problem.

Midfielder Kevin Strootman, who made his debut last weekend after signing on loan from Marseille earlier this month, is expected to remain in the starting lineup alongside Miha Zajc and Milan Badelj.

Experienced forward Goran Pandev, who was only fit enough to start on the bench against Atalanta, could be handed a start next to Destro in attack.

Genoa have some selection concerns ahead of Sunday's game, with Marko Rog out for the season with a cruciate ligament injury. Paolo Farago (thigh) and Zito Luvumbo (hamstring) are also on the treatment table, while centre-backs Ragnar Klavan and Andrea Carboni are both self-isolating after contracting coronavirus.

Energetic midfielder Nahitan Nandez, who missed the defeat to Milan, is back from suspension and is likely to start this weekend.

Strikers Giovanni Simeone and Leonardo Pavoletti, who have both previously played for and scored against Genoa, will be competing with one another for a place in the starting lineup, with Simeone expected to get the nod.

Genoa possible starting lineup:
Perin; Masiello, Radovanovic, Criscito; Zappacosta, Zajc, Badelj, Strootman, Czyborra; Pandev, Destro

Cagliari possible starting lineup:
Cragno; Zappa, Godin, Walukiewicz, Lykogiannis; Nainggolan, Marin; Nandez, Pedro, Sottil; Simeone

SM words green background

We say: Genoa 2-0 Cagliari

Another defeat for Cagliari could be the end for head coach Di Francesco, whose tenure seems to be hanging by a thread. Genoa have recently turned a corner since reappointing Ballardini and with confidence and belief restored, the home side should do enough to secure the three points on Sunday.

Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting a double chance bet on a home win or an away win in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Home/Away:data

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Data Analysis

Our analysis of all available data, including recent performances and player stats up until an hour before kickoff, suggested the most likely outcome of this match was a Genoa win with a probability of 44.35%. A win for Cagliari had a probability of 29.47% and a draw had a probability of 26.2%.

The most likely scoreline for a Genoa win was 1-0 with a probability of 11.06%. The next most likely scorelines for that outcome were 2-1 (8.98%) and 2-0 (7.98%). The likeliest Cagliari win was 0-1 (8.63%), while for a drawn scoreline it was 1-1 (12.45%). The actual scoreline of 1-0 was predicted with an 11.1% likelihood. Our data analysis correctly predicted a 1-0 win for Genoa in this match.

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