Empoli vs Cagliari: Preview and Prediction

Empoli vs Cagliari
2016/17 Italian Serie A.
Date: Saturday, 17 December 2016
Kick-Off: 14:00 UK,
Venue: Stadio Carlo Castellani (Empoli).

With the gap between themselves and the relegation candidates narrowing, Empoli will be desperate to pick up a much needed win as they welcome Cagliari on Saturday evening.

The Azzurri have scored a dismal seven goals so far from 16 rounds. And four of them were in a 4-0 thrashing of Pescara. Things do not bode well for Empoli. The last time any side scored just seven goals at this juncture, they ended up being relegated (Ancona during the 2003/2004 term and Livorno during the 2009/2010 season).

Empoli have picked up a frustrating one point from their last five games. They will have felt even more frustrated not to get more out of their last game against a Bologna side facing their own difficulties. However, their blunt attack cost them dearly yet again, and they now will have to try to start stringing together some wins if they want to put some distance between themselves and the bottom three.

They may get a chance in this fixture. Cagliari are coming into this match having suffered a 5-0 humiliation at the hands of Napoli. Dries Mertens grabbed a hat-trick during the Partenopei rout and that effectively ended a two-game unbeaten streak the Rossoblu had built. It also means that they have shipped a whopping 37 goals, which comes out to over 2 goals per game. This is even worse than sides like Palermo (31), Crotone (30), and Pescara (29) who occupy the relegation spots.

Yet, what helps them stay ahead of the struggling trio is their decent attack, albeit they were unable to get a goal or two in their last match. Massimo Rastelli’s side failed to score at home for the first time all season and it marks the second time in four games they have fired blanks.

Empoli vs Cagliari: Head-to-head statistics

  • Empoli have a record of W4-D5-L11 in their last 20 home games against teams ranked above them in the table.
  • The Azzurri have failed to score in 11 out of their last 13 games.
  • They have also won just one out of their past 13 matches.
  • In their past ten meetings, Empoli have won four. Cagliari have also won four.

Empoli vs Cagliari: Prediction

Cagliari have been involved in some interesting and high-scoring games this term. There was an eight-goal thriller with Fiorentina, a six-goal fiesta against Torino, and a tie with Lazio that saw five goals scored. Unfortunately for the Rossoblu, they also have been on the losing end in all of those games.

Meanwhile, Empoli’s attack continues to hinder the squad, and their fans will be hoping that they can take advantage of Cagliari’s leaky back-line, but this could possibly shape out to be a rather dull affair. Empoli will want to pick up at least a point and will play ultra-defensively, whilst the Rossoblu will be concerned about shipping five without reply. Their efforts could end up cancelling each other out.

Empoli vs Cagliari: Bet tips

  • Double chance – Cagliari to DRAW or WIN at 4/5 (1.80)
  • Under 2.5 goals at 9/10 (1.90).