Cagliari vs Fiorentina, preview: will it really be that simple for the Viola?

Dino Panato

A win in Sardinia could put Fiorentina even on points with Milan, sharing third place in Serie A. But will Cagliari prove to be obliging hosts?

Fiorentina travel to Sardinia on Saturday to take on Cagliari, in yet another match that will be closed to supporters. Although Cagliari are currently in 14th, it's hard to believe their season might have been a bit less nerve-wracking without all of the drama surrounding their stadium (most of it kicked up and overblown by owner Massimo Cellino).

The Viola are once again riding a winning streak, although at three games it's rather short for Montella's men. They also haven't scored four goals since -- gasp -- February 17, when they beat Inter Milan 4-1. Clearly Fiorentina are slipping, and they need a heavy win over Cagliari to set them back on course for that third Champions League spot.

Joking aside, the right results this weekend could see the Viola back into third place, although even a loss by AC Milan would still put the two sides even. Of course, that would make next week's tie between the two even more tasty. But to get there, Fiorentina need to concentrate on getting all three points this week. Fortunately, both Stevan Jovetic and Adem Ljajic likely have a point to prove this week, as last week's goals came from Alberto Aquilani, Juan Cuadrado and Own Goal.

And with Cagliari conceding three goals in three of their last four matches, it might prove all too easy for Fiorentina's fluid attack to split apart their defense. But with the Viola also often liable to concede a goal, the hosts could manage to pull off a draw. A wonder goal by Marco Sau could see Fiorentina leave with just a point, but in the unlikely event of another hat-trick by Victor Ibarbo, they could be leaving amidst the ashes of ruined Champions League dreams.

Cagliari Injuries and Suspensions

Nene (suspended)

Nene, with just three goals for the Sardinians this season, has been relegated to a bench role by Ivo Pulga and Diego Lopez, so his absence won't throw the side into a tizzy.

Fiorentina Injuries and Suspensions

Michele Camporese, Ahmed Hegazy and Giuseppe Rossi (injured); Borja Valero (suspended)

The long term injuries won't make any difference to Vincenzo Montella, but the suspension of Borja Valero will take some of the sting out of the Viola bite.

Match Date / Time: Saturday, March 30 at 3 p.m. local, 10 a.m. ET

Venue: Stadio IS Arenas, Quartu Sant'Elena, Sardinia

TV: Sky Calcio 3 (Italy)

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