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Cagliari vs Inter Milan: Match Preview

Inter looks to keep its slim title hopes alive one more week against relegation-threatened Cagliari

FC Internazionale v Cagliari Calcio - Serie A Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images

No matter what happens in these next two weeks, Wednesday’s wild Coppa Italia final victory over Juventus means Simone Inzaghi’s debut season is a success. Would losing out on the Scudetto to Milan sting? A heck of a lot. But Inter still managed to add two trophies to its tally (and yes, I count the Supercoppa as a trophy only in seasons where a certain black and blue team from Milano wins it) and survive the UCL group stage. As celebrations from midweek wind down, though, Inter still has a title to play for. The Nerazzurri’s faint hopes rely on Atalanta getting a draw at the very least against Milan and six points six for Inzaghi’s side. Relegation fighters Cagliari sure won’t make that easy when Inter comes to town Sunday night.

US Salernitana v Cagliari Calcio - Serie A Photo by Francesco Pecoraro/Getty Images

The Sardinians sit 18th on 29 points, one below 17th Salernitana and the safety line. They’re not safe from dropping even lower in the table either, as Genoa (28 points) and Venezia (25) remain in the race as well. Cagliari sacked Walter Mazzarri two weeks ago after a horrid run of seven losses in eight and appointed Primavera manager Alessandro Agostini last week. His debut game was an insane 1-1 draw at Salernitana with a 99th-minute equalizer rescuing Cagliari from sure relegation. The Isolani will come into Sunday fighting with their life for all ninety minutes and then some, and like Inter, they’ll have a bit of momentum as well. The Nerazzurri will have to keep an eye out for Joao Pedro (13 goals, 3 assists), who’s the essence of Cagliari’s attack. Leonardo Pavoletti (5g, 1a) and Alessandro Deiola (4g, 1a) are prone to the odd goal here and there, while the curse of the ex may be a factor as well - our old friends Keita Balde and Dalbert have cemented themselves as starters in Sardinia.

FC Internazionale Training Session Photo by Mattia Ozbot - Inter/Inter via Getty Images

Inter currently sits two points behind Milan but the Rossoneri also controls the head-to-head tiebreaker, so it’s more like three. Milan hosts Atalanta just hours before Inter plays and a Milan win would just about seal the title for them, as we aren’t likely to get any help from Sassuolo with nothing to play for in the final matchday. It might not come naturally, but we need to become Gasperini fans for a few hours if Inter has a chance at the title.

Predicted Starting XIs

Cagliari’s Predicted XI (3-5-2)
Inter’s Predicted XI (3-5-2)

Prediction: Cagliari 0-1 Inter Milan

The hosts will make it a hard-fought affair but in the end Inter will have enough attacking quality to claim all three points thanks to a Joaquin Correa strike.

Forza Inter!