League leaders Milan visit a Cagliari squad without a Serie A triumph since November. The Sardinians find themselves in a real scrap for survival and could drop in to the bottom three if Genoa and Torino pick up wins. In the away dressing room, the Rossoneri are three points ahead of bitter foes Inter.
Where and when: Sardegna Arena, Cagliari – 18 January, kick-off 19:45
Where you can see Cagliari vs. Milan: Premier Sports 1
Last time: Milan toppled Gli Isolani 3-0 on the final day of the previous campaign.
Cagliari v Milan Predictions and Preview
Gli Isolani have international pedigree in every department and Di Francesco will be scratching his head at his men’s plight. Stopper Alessio Cragno is likely to be involved in Roberto Mancini’s party for the European Championship and Diego Godin has arguably been one of the top three centre-halves of the last decade.
Nahitan Nández are Radja Nainggolan would not look out of place in Champions League teams and the forward line is full of quality. Joao Pedro has 28 goals from his last 52 games and is 15/2 to open proceedings. Giovanni Simeone is 13/5 to score anytime and Leonardo Pavoletti is 15/8.
The burly Livorno native has rediscovered his scoring touch in Sardinia and will be crucial to Cagliari’s hopes of climbing the standings. The hosts are 19/4 to pull off a shock result.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic got a 45-minute run out on Tuesday and Stefano Pioli will have no hesitation selecting his talisman from the opening whistle this weekend. The 39-year-old has 10 strikes and two assists to his name from 10 appearances and is 12/5 to break the deadlock.
The Rossoneri hitman is the only recognised striker in the ranks and could soon be joined by fellow veteran Mario Mandzukic. The former Juventus hero is a free agent and would represent a shrewd short-term option as the Serie A frontrunners aim for a first Scudetto since 2010-11.
|Our Eurotips||Odds||Free bets||Bookie|
|Over 3.5 goals||7/5||Offer|
|Theo Hernandez to score anytime||16/5||Offer|
|Milan to win 2-0||15/2||Offer|
Rafael Leao would have featured but is serving a one-match ban. The speedster has flourished under Pioli and will have to wait until the contest with Atalanta to return to the fold. Ante Rebic is also on the sidelines after contracting coronavirus but Hakan Calhanoglu, Jens Petter Hauge and Samu Castillejo are fit.
Calhanoglu is close to putting pen to paper on a contract extension and is 8/5 to register anytime. Team-mates Hauge and Castillejo are 7/4 and 8/5, respectively, in the same market and midfield powerhouse Franck Kessie can be found at 27/10. Milan are 1/2 to chalk up the win and a draw is 15/4.
One to watch for Cagliari: Riccardo Sottil’s good form has not gone unnoticed by parent club Fiorentina and there are reports the Cesare Prandelli is considering recalling the player this winter. The Italian is 11/1 to notch last.
One to watch for Milan: Brahim Díaz arrived on a season long loan from Real Madrid and Pioli is keen to make the move permanent. The silky Spaniard is 13/2 to hit the final effort.
Long shot: Milan have bounced back well from their first domestic loss of the term. The Rossoneri toppled Torino in league and cup action and handled Ibrahimovic’s long absence impeccably. A 4-0 success against a club in complete disarray is 25/1 and could spell the end for Eusebio Di Francesco’s tenure as Cagliari boss.