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Udinese logo
Serie A | Gameweek 31
Apr 3, 2022 at 2pm UK
Stadio Friuli
Cagliari logo

5 - 1

Becao (38'), Beto (45', 49', 73'), Molina (59')
Walace (42'), Pereyra (61')
FT(HT: 2-1)
Pedro (32')
Henrique (20'), Grassi (35'), Baselli (59')
Grassi (82')

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

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

Still fighting for Serie A survival, 17th-placed Cagliari visit Udinese on Sunday, trailing their hosts by five points and three places in the standings.

While the Isolani suffered a third straight defeat just before the international break - leaving them hovering precariously above the drop zone - the Bianconeri have taken enough points from a tough run of fixtures to secure a mid-table spot.

Match preview

Udinese coach Gabriele Cioffi gives instructions to Udinese's Nahuel Molina on March 19, 2022© Reuters

Closing out a challenging schedule through late February and March, Udinese were beaten 2-1 by Napoli last time out, after an early lead provided by Gerard Deulofeu was overturned by the Scudetto hopefuls during the second half.

Despite falling to another away defeat - their seventh of the season - recent draws against Milan, Lazio and Roma have helped stabilise the Bianconeri, who had arrived in Naples unbeaten in four matches.

Indeed, since October, Udinese have lost the fewest home matches of any team in the Italian top flight, with only one defeat in 10 games at the Dacia Arena during that time.

Still sitting 14th in the Serie A standings - eight points clear of the bottom three, with at least one game in hand on the teams around them - Gabriele Cioffi's side are within touching distance of clinching yet another top-flight campaign for the Friulian club next term.

Parachuted into the top job once former boss Luca Gotti was jettisoned mid-season, Cioffi should now be confident of steering his side to safety come May - particularly given a series of fixtures against Venezia, Empoli and Bologna to follow after Cagliari's visit.

Udinese have also won five of their last seven Serie A meetings with Sunday's opponents - including a 4-0 win in December's reverse fixture - so start favourites on this occasion.

Cagliari coach Walter Mazzarri reacts on September 26, 2021© Reuters

Despite a less than modest recent record against the Friulani, Cagliari did manage to overturn them 1-0 on their last visit to the Dacia Arena nearly a year ago, and they could certainly do with a repeat of that result this weekend.

After Walter Mazzarri's men picked up nine points during a five-match unbeaten run to climb away from the foot of the table, they have since suffered three consecutive defeats without scoring.

The Sardinian side were condemned to their 15th Serie A loss of the season prior to the international period, when Ismael Bennacer thumped home the only goal in a 1-0 defeat to Milan last time out.

Having started out with survival as their primary objective, Cagliari have picked up 25 points so far in their 2021-22 campaign - three more than at this stage last season. They have, though, scored three fewer goals (just 28 this term) and conceded three more (54), and are definitely not out of the woods yet.

Sitting just three points above the drop zone - with 18th-placed Venezia still to play a game in hand - victory on Sunday afternoon could go a long way to retaining their status among Calcio's elite.

Udinese Serie A form:
  • L
  • D
  • D
  • W
  • D
  • L

Cagliari Serie A form:
  • D
  • D
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • L

Team News

Udinese's Pablo Mari is shown a red card by referee Francesco Fourneau on March 19, 2022© Reuters

Udinese centre-back Pablo Mari must serve a suspension for his late sending-off against Napoli last time out, so either Marvin Zeegelaar or Filip Benkovic should step in to replace the Arsenal loanee, as Nehuen Perez is still sidelined by an ankle injury.

With Gabriele Cioffi also expecting to be without Gerard Deulofeu due to a muscular problem, another ex-Watford man, Ignacio Pussetto, is ready to step into the breach up front. Portuguese forward Beto - recently overtaken by Deulofeu as the club's top scorer - should lead the line alongside him.

Cagliari, meanwhile, will also be a striker short this weekend, as Leonardo Pavoletti has tested positive for COVID-19; Romanian midfielder Razvan Marin is also isolating with the virus.

Despite nearing their respective returns, Nahitan Nandez and Kevin Strootman are both still unavailable due to injury, so Daniele Baselli and Alessandro Deiola could start in Walter Mazzarri's three-man engine room. After over a year on the sidelines, Marko Rog is back on the bench.

A recent Italy debutant at the age of 30 - albeit in unfortunate circumstances - captain Joao Pedro has scored only once in his last 13 league appearances. Enduring his worst such run in over three years, the Brazil-born striker has, though, found the net in three of his last four visits to Udine - including the last two.

Udinese possible starting lineup:
Silvestri; Becao, Nuytinck, Zeegelaar; Molina, Makengo, Walace, Pereyra, Udogie; Pussetto, Beto

Cagliari possible starting lineup:
Cragno; Altare, Lovato, Goldaniga; Bellanova, Deiola, Grassi, Baselli, Dalbert; Pereiro, Pedro

SM words green background

We say: Udinese 1-1 Cagliari

Only in September 2008 - incidentally, under current Juventus coach Max Allegri - have Cagliari previously lost four successive Serie A games without finding the net, and they can avoid such a fate by taking home a point on Sunday.

Unlikely to be drawn into the thick of the relegation battle, Udinese may not match their intensity like-for-like, so could be caught out defensively at some stage.

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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 Udinese win with a probability of 51.22%. A draw had a probability of 25.7% and a win for Cagliari had a probability of 23.07%.

The most likely scoreline for a Udinese win was 1-0 with a probability of 12.94%. The next most likely scorelines for that outcome were 2-0 (9.93%) and 2-1 (9.32%). The likeliest drawn scoreline was 1-1 (12.14%), while for a Cagliari win it was 0-1 (7.91%). The actual scoreline of 5-1 was predicted with a 0.6% likelihood. Our data analysis correctly predicted that Udinese would win this match.

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Group A

Q Germany Germany32107
Q Switzerland Switzerland31205
3 Hungary Hungary31023
4 Scotland flag Scotland30121

Group B

Q Spain Spain33009
Q Italy Italy31114
3 Croatia Croatia30212
4 Albania national flag Albania30121

Group C

Q England flag England31205
Q Denmark Denmark30303
Q Slovenia Slovenia30303
4 Serbia Serbia30212

Group D

Q Austria Austria32016
Q France France31205
Q Netherlands Netherlands31114
4 Poland Poland30121

Group E

Q Romania Romania31114
Q Belgium Belgium31114
Q Slovakia Slovakia31114
4 Ukraine Ukraine31114

Group F

Q Portugal Portugal32016
Q Turkey Turkey32016
Q Georgia Georgia31114
4 Czech Republic Czech Republic30121

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