Bologna travel to Sardegna to face Cagliari for an early kick-off on Sunday. Three points to show for the two previous games is not bad, but the late conceded goal against Sampdoria will have taken its toll on the morale of the team. With tougher opponents to come in the time ahead, it is essential that Bologna get a good result on Sunday.
As often has been the case of late, Bologna are sitting safe in 11th. With 38 points, they are nine points behind Torino in 10th, on level points with Genoa who sit in 12th, and four points above Sassuolo in 13th. With ten points down to the drop, and five games remaining, Bologna will not need to worry about going down, and can therefore put all focus on retaining 11th.
As you are aware of, Sempre Bologna did not put out a review of the Sampdoria game as we didn’t have the opportunity to watch it. However, the result in itself was disappointing, especially given how late the goal came. It will of course have affected the players’ morale a bit, but they do have the game against Verona in mind which will have a positive effect on the players. Given that Cagliari is closer to Verona than Sampdoria level-wise, we’ll hope for the same kind of performance that we witnessed against Verona, albeit with more ruthlessness going forward.
What was interesting about the Sampdoria game was Roberto Donadoni’s tactical selection. The many changes to the team was no surprise given the few number of days between Verona, Sampdoria and Cagliari. Andrea Poli, Rodrigo Palacio and Sebastien De Maio were all rested, with Donadoni opting to return to three at the back. I cannot comment of how to formation worked, but what I can say is that I was very surprised by the change.
Even though the coach went with three at the back at Sampdoria, I would be very surprised if we don’t see 4-3-3 in Sardegna. That formation has worked best in recent weeks, and with that formation it would be easier to include the likes of Palacio and Federico Di Francesco in attack alongside Simone Verdi.
However, the inclusion of Palacio is not certain. He was rested against Sampdoria, has not been training fully after that game, but returned to full training on Friday. The same is true of Poli, who returned to training alongside Palacio on Friday.
Vasilis Torosidis, Mattia Destro and Godfred Donsah are all still out injured, whilst Erick Pulgar has been receiving some treatment, and been training separately. Ladislav Krejci has returned to full training, and is therefore available for selection.
The injury problems at the club does not stop there, as Filip Helander was injured versus Sampdoria, and scans on Friday revealed that he will be out for approximately three to four weeks.
To guess the line-up is difficult at the moment given the amount of injuries, but we’ve set up our predicted line-up below.
Bologna: Mirante; M’baye, Gonzalez, De Maio, Masina; Dzemaili, Nagy, Poli; Verdi, Palacio, Di Francesco
Bologna find themselves in secure ground at the moment, but the goal is always to do better. A win at Cagliari would definitely put the team in a good position going into the last five games of the season.
What are your expectations of the match? Let us know in the comments below!