Claudio Ranieri, the manager of Cagliari, has issued a stern message to his players following their recent 2-0 loss to Atalanta, emphasizing that they are now competing in Serie A and must adapt quickly. Cagliari, the newly promoted team, has endured a challenging start to the season, with no wins in their first five league games (D2, L3). This situation mirrors their last Serie A campaign in 2021/22, which ended in relegation.
Adding to their concerns is the fact that Cagliari has managed to score only one goal in Serie A this season, a stark contrast to their performance at this stage in the ill-fated 2021/22 season when they scored six goals. The team faces a daunting challenge as they have failed to score in six of their last seven encounters with AC Milan, none of which resulted in victory (D1, L6).
For AC Milan, the past week has been a mixed bag, marked by a devastating 5-1 loss to arch-rivals Inter Milan, followed by a frustrating 0-0 draw against Newcastle United in the Champions League. Their performance was further hampered by injuries to full-backs Davide Calabria and Theo Hernández, forcing manager Stefano Pioli to change his tactical approach to a 3-4-3 formation.
However, AC Milan bounced back with a hard-fought 1-0 victory against Hellas Verona over the weekend. While the performance may not have been aesthetically pleasing, the consecutive competitive clean sheets were a welcome sight for Pioli. He now hopes to secure a third clean sheet in a row, aiming for back-to-back Serie A victories without conceding, a feat the team hasn’t achieved since February.
In the upcoming match, all eyes will be on the battle between Cagliari’s goalkeeper, Boris Radunović, and AC Milan’s forward, Rafael Leão. Radunović has been busy in goal, making 13 saves in Serie A, showcasing his shot-stopping abilities. On the other hand, Leão has been in fine form, scoring in three consecutive Serie A matches for the first time in his career.
Despite the challenging start to the season, AC Milan’s manager Stefano Pioli has an impressive record against Cagliari, having beaten them more often than most teams in his managerial career (W13, D5, L5).
As Cagliari welcomes AC Milan, they face a formidable opponent with a rich history in Serie A. The pressure is mounting on Claudio Ranieri and his team to adapt quickly to the demands of Italy’s top division and start collecting points. AC Milan, on the other hand, aims to build on their recent victory and maintain their strong defensive record.
The clash promises to be a test of Cagliari’s resilience and an opportunity for AC Milan to continue their journey towards the top of the Serie A table. Football enthusiasts will be eagerly watching to see how both teams perform in this crucial Serie A fixture.