Inter-Cagliari Preview: Mazzarri's men look to maintain momentum against struggling Sardinians

The Nerazzurri defeated Atalanta at San Siro in midweek and will be targeting another three points against a side rooted to the bottom of the Serie A standings

Walter Mazzarri will hope his demand for Inter to be more clinical will be put into action when they face struggling Cagliari on Sunday.

Mazzarri’s men have enjoyed a strong start to the new Serie A season, taking eight points from their first four games while scoring 10 goals and conceding just one. 

Seven of those goals came in a demolition of Sassuolo earlier this month but, following a 2-0 win over Atalanta on Wednesday, Mazzarri called for his side to be more ruthless in front of goal in order to sustain a challenge at the summit of the Italian top flight.

Cagliari should prove the ideal opposition for Inter to perfect their goalscoring touch given the dismal campaign the Sardinians have endured so far.
Zdenek Zeman’s men sit at the foot of the table with one point to their name and have yet to keep a clean sheet.

The visitors’ record at San Siro, where they have won just once against Inter in a 2-1 triumph in 1995, should give Mazzarri’s side further reason for confidence, although they were held to 1-1 draws home and away by Cagliari last term.

For Zeman the frustrating wait for his first win since taking over at the Stadio Sant’Elia in July has been defined by a lack of killer instinct, something that was evident as Cagliari failed to build on Andrea Cossu’s opener and slipped to a 2-1 home loss to Torino on Wednesday.

Czech coach Zeman left that encounter ruing what might have been but the former Roma boss remains confident that Cagliari have the quality to perform to a higher standard.

“The team has the quality to do well,” Zeman said after the Torino defeat. “We must acquire more conviction and for this we have to work so hard.”

Cossu, the 34-year-old midfielder who has netted two of Cagliari’s three goals, will likely be looked upon to lead by example as Cagliari go in search of a rare triumph over Inter. 

However, with strikers Pablo Daniel Osvaldo and Mauro Icardi having already found the net six times between them, Inter’s forward line should be of greater concern to a team that finished a lowly 15th in the top tier last season.

Inter also have the benefit of a fully-fit squad, while Cagliari have no new injury concerns to worry about with midfielder and long-term absentee Sebastian Eriksson still on the sidelines due to a knee complaint.

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