Serie A Previews: A New Home But The Same Old Cagliari

BRESCIA, ITALY - MAY 02: Mauricio Pinilla (R) of Cagliari Calcio competes for the ball with Giandomenico Mesto (L) of Genoa CFC during the Serie A match between Genoa CFC and Cagliari Calcio at Mario Rigamonti Stadium on May 2, 2012 in Brescia, Italy. (Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images)

Cagliari are the vanilla ice cream of Serie A - fairly blah and unremarkable. It doesn't seem like much will change this season.

Cagliari clung on to Serie A last season, but in doing so, left behind barely a shadow, a slight impression in the sand. Who were the isolani, and who are they now? Well, the team hasn't changed much -- but saying that requires that you actually noticed when they took to the pitch last year.

Last Season

15th, Serie A. An up-and-down season for the Isolani, who sacked manager Massimo Ficcadenti in November, after five winless matches. Turned out they didn't much care for the performance of Davide Ballardini, either, giving him the boot in March and bringing back Ficcadenti again. He'll start the season, but who knows how long he'll survive?

Who's Gone?

Stadio Sant'Elia: Cagliari's former home, constructed in 1970 and host to a few 1990 World Cup matches, is being renovated to bring it up to Serie A standards (this despite this being Cagliari's tenth season in the top division). The club will play its home matches at Stadio Is Arenas.

Michele Canini: the centre-back started almost every match for Cagliari last season, but he'll be plying his trade at Genoa this time around.

Who's In?

Mauricio Pinilla: the journeyman was loaned from Palermo to Cagliari last January, but the move was made permanent this summer. He did score eight goals in fourteen appearances -- not bad. It's also the highest tally for any Cagliari player.

Keep An Eye On

...

You tell me. Cagliari sort of fade in and out of the Serie A consciousness, never quite doing much of anything. They don't have random triumphs and they aren't really worth mocking. They attracted the most attention last season when Napoli took a 3-0 lead, only to have the score finish 6-3 to the partenopei. Joaquín Larrivey scored all three for Cagliari. Perhaps he's the one you should watch?

Predicted Finish

If Genoa are saved by the Immobile factor, it seems likely Cagliari will be the one to go. On one hand, they've got a coherent squad and a manager that knows the players' talents. On the other, there's not a lot of raw talent to be found. Add to that the fact that Cagliari's attendance, already the lowest in Serie A last season, will almost certainly go down as a result of the relocation, giving them even less of a home advantage than before.

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