A defensive battle with few goals
Late on Saturday afternoon Cagliari will host Roma in Sardinia. Cagliari are reliable at home but struggle on the mainland. Roma are starting to stutter, and with a few key injuries ahead of Saturday's clash there is a real risk that they'll drop points.
Cagliari, the pride of Sardinia, are notoriously difficult to beat at the Sardegna Arena. They really aren't a great team and it's astonishing that they've not lost a match at home this season. Two wins and four draws so far this season and these have come against decent teams in Sampdoria, Milan and Torino. The key for them has been keeping it tight at the back and taking the few chances they create. Only two of Cagliari's six matches at home this season have finished with over 2.5 goals, and one of these matches was a freak game during the first match day against Sassuolo. Generally they score only a few goals and let in even less on home turf, this is reflected in the stats, 1.17 goals scored and 0.67 conceded per game at home this season, which is excellent for a team like Cagliari. Their star striker is Pavoletti and their ever reliable defence consists of Srna, Klavan och Padoin who have displayed some great form this season. They will be without Barella for the Roma game.
- League Position: 13
The Giallorossi, continue to blow hot and cold this season. At the moment their attack isn't delivering as it should, especially away from home. It's been two wins, two draws and three losses away from home this season for Roma. The problem? They simply aren't scoring enough goals; 0.86 scored and 1.00 conceded away from home this season. 1.00 goals conceded per game would be ok if you were able to score more goals. Six of Roma's seven matches away from home finished with under 2.5 goals. The back line of Manolas, Fazio and co. is working well, and Olsen has made a good start for Roma. But offensively they lark a spark of creativity. Dzeko has only scored two goals so far this season, which is a big problem for them. Now it looks like El Shaarawy, Dzeko and Pellegrini are away on Saturday, and without these guys on the pitch I'm not sure where Roma are going to find any goals.
- League Postion: 9
Roma are a better team than Cagliari. But with the combination of Cagliari being tough to beat at home and Roma struggling to score I think there's going to be very few goals on Saturday in Sardinia. Roma could have real problems and they'll end up relying on their defence. Historically this is a goal-shy affair, and with their current forms taken into consideration I think this trend will continue. I'm going to for under 2.5 goals at odds of even odds.