Cagliari v Parma – Sardegna Arena at 17:00 live at Premier Sport
Cagliari head coach Rolando Maran is reportedly at risk of being sacked after his side’s latest defeat to Milan last Sunday night. The 3-0 loss – their sixth in eight games – left the Sardinians 15th in the Serie A table, just three points above the relegation zone.
As a result of Cagliari’s downturn in results and performances, the former Chievo boss has been reportedly two games to save his skin, starting with Saturday’s showdown against Parma. And I’m struggling to see how the Islanders deserve to be chalked up at a shade of odds-against for this encounter.
Firstly, the Rossoblu have picked up only four victories over the 2018/19 Serie A campaign. Admittedly, three of those arrived at their Sardegna Arena home but only won has been achieved since October and the hosts have failed to score in five of their eight matches during their recent rotten run.
Performance data also shines a dim light on progress. Cagliari are ranked in the bottom-five across a range of metrics and their 37% Expected Goals (xG) ratio return in Sardinia ranks as the third-worst at home in the division. The hosts have kept only three clean sheets since September and are easily opposed.
Parma can pick up a result
Parma followed up their memorable 3-3 draw at all-conquering Juventus with a 1-0 reverse to Inter Milan last weekend. The Ducali rattled the woodwork but were unable to avoid defeat in the match with boss Roberto D’Aversa suggesting he felt his side lacked a little luck.
Nevertheless, the Gialloblu are relishing their return to the Italian top-flight after the doom and gloom of bankruptcy and near extinction over the past 15 years. Three successive promotions have brought Parma back to the big time and D’Aversa has led his team into the relative safety of mid-table.
Unsurprisingly, the bulk of Parma’s good work has come against the league’s lesser lights and that makes the underdogs a handy proposition to support on Saturday. The away team have W7-D4-L3 against clubs in eighth and below, whilst their W5-D1-L5 record on the road deserves respect considering they’ve already travelled to Serie A’s top-five.
Like Cagliari, performance data doesn’t reflect well but Parma’s away efforts match those of their hosts so there’s little reason to back-up the Sardinians short pre-match price. Considering Cagliari have only won three times in 14 against non-top-seven teams, and Parma have lost only three of 14 against the same standard of opposition, I’m more than happy to back Parma +0.50 at 1.86.
Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: Parma +0.50 at 1.860
Preview by: @MarkOHaire.