Cagliari v Bologna – Sardegna Arena at 14:00

Cagliari fell to their third Serie A loss of the season last Saturday evening as Inter Milan brushed the Sardinians aside 2-0 at the San Siro. However, Rolando Maran’s men can take heart from limiting the Nerazzurri to only fleeting opportunities in front of goal.

The Rossoblu barely threatened in the final-third themselves, although Maran brought Joao Pedro on in the second period to try and change the complexion of the contest. The Brazilian was the liveliest player for Cagliari, who will be encouraged by their efforts in Milan.

There’s a positive feeling surrounding the club since Maran arrived – a head coach that kept Chievo well clear of relegation during a semi-successful stint in Serie A. Should the Sardinians continue to follow his safety-first blueprint, survival should be comfortably assured for the Islanders in 2018/19.

That’ll certainly please the locals. Cagliari avoided a drop into Serie B by taking six points from their final two games last season. Their W8-D3-L1 record against their fellow bottom-seven sides kept the club afloat and Maran has been hoping last season’s top scorer – Leonardo Pavoletti signed permanently in the summer – can provide the firepower required to stave off a dogfight.

Visitors Bologna have now secured back-to-back home triumphs having seen off Udinese 2-1 in last weekend’s fixture. Filippo Inzaghi’s charges are recovering from a slow start but again offered precious little going forward, an obvious concern for fans of the Greyhounds with the guests firing blanks in five of their first seven games in 2018/19.

Few goals forecast

Only struggling, rock-bottom newcomers Frosinone are averaging fewer Expected Goals from open play on average than Bologna (0.40) thus far and the visitors’ rank 28% ratio in the same metric suggests they’ve been fortunate to pick up the amount of points (W2-D1-L4) their opening seven matches have returned.

However, Cagliari are operating off just a 32% ratio in the same sample and generating just 0.43 xG from open play per-game. With neither side’s matches averaging more than 1.50 xG from open play on average, it makes sense to oppose goals at the Sardegna Arena when the two teams lock horns.

Under 2.25 Goals is backable at 1.83, an appealing punt considering the pair have collectively failed to score in nine of 14 Serie A outings thus far, with those encounters averaging just 1.79 goals per-game. Five of those matches featured fewer than two goals, while 11 produced no more than two strikes.

Asian Total Goals Betting Recommendation: Under 2.25 goals at 1.830

Preview by: @MarkOHaire.

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