It is getting closer to ‘do or die’ for Lazio boss Simone Inzaghi, who looks set to experiment with a 4-3-2-1 aptly named ‘Christmas Tree’ formation in the match of Lazio vs Cagliari, set to take place at the Stadio Olimpico on Saturday morning. Lazio are without a win in their last five in the league and the last time they won a match in any competition was a victory over Marseille on the 8th November, 7 games elapsing since then. The Italian boss looks set to ditch his typical 3-5-1-1 in favor of a four-back formation, finally adopting a similar style of football to that of Lazio’s Serie A competitors – Inter, Milan, Juventus, Roma, and Napoli all favoring four defenders instead of three.
As aforementioned, Lazio comes into this game in honestly worrying form. The Biancocelesti have won just one league match in November and December combined, coming in a 4-1 demolition of Spal on the 4th November – the club’s last league victory. To make matters worse, since that last victory against Marseille, Lazio have only scored more than once in a match on one occasion – in a 2-2 draw with Sampdoria. Lazio has not kept a home clean sheet since their 1-0 win against Fiorentina on the 7th of October and has scored just 12 goals in their last ten in all competitions – a far cry away from the side that were nearly averaging 3 goals a game last season.
Cagliari, meanwhile, might be trying to use Lazio vs Cagliari as a chance to pick up a valuable shock three points against a team out of form. However, the Sardinian side has won just three of their last ten in all competitions and sit in a poor run of form just like the Capitoline club. Cagliari has just three wins all season in Serie A and have drawn eight times – more than any other team in the division. Sitting in 13th place, Cagliari know that they are somewhat meeting or exceeding expectations and could pull off a shock against Inzaghi’s men – especially given their 2-2 draw with Roma on the 8th of December and their narrow 1-0 loss to Napoli last weekend, Milik scoring a goal in stoppage time to give Ancelotti’s side the three points.
Lazio vs Cagliari – Opposition ‘One-to-Watch’
The main threat I have singled out from Cagliari’s somewhat unimpressive but extremely hard-working and team-based roster is goalkeeper Alessio Cragno. Cragno, 24, is considered to be amongst the next generation of Italian goalkeepers, all dying to follow in the footsteps of former Juventus legend Gianluigi Buffon. Cragno is the glue holding Cagliari together at the back and clean sheets against Torino, Atalanta and Sampdoria, all high scoring clubs, have ensured that the Sardinians aren’t in immediate danger of relegation. If Cagliari were to go down, Cragno would almost certainly leave the club and is being tipped to feature heavily in Roberto Mancini’s Azzurri plans for the future.
Lazio vs Cagliari predicted formations:
Lazio (4-3-2-1): Strakosha; Marusic, Acerbi, Radu, Lulic; Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, Badelj, Parolo; Luis Alberto, Correa; Immobile
Cagliari (4-3-1-2): Cragno; Pisacane, Romagna, Klavan, Padoin; Farago, Bradaric, Ionita; Barella; Farias, Pedro
Where to watch Lazio vs Cagliari?
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Match! – Russia
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Sport TV – Portugal and Slovenia
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