Cagliari vs AC Milan Preview: Classic Encounter, Key Battle, Team News & More

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​AC Milan will look to build on their recent win over Roma when they return to Serie A action on Sunday, with the Rossoneri travelling to Sardinia to take on Cagliari.

The hosts have played a game more than the visitors and are one point ahead of Gennaro Gattuso’s side, currently sitting eighth in Italy’s top flight.

AC Milan v AS Roma - Serie A


With all that said, here’s what you need to know ahead of what should be an interesting match.


Classic Encounter

Back in 2009 Milan had an outrageously good team. World Cup winner Gianluca Zambrotta and future Paris Saint-Germain centre back Thiago Silva were part of their defence, while Clarence Seedorf, Andrea Pirlo, Massimo Ambrosini and Ronaldinho formed a formidable midfield.

They also had an unstoppable Alexandre Pato, who seemed destined for big things at the time.

In a brilliant game in November 2009, Seedorf’s fifth minute effort was quickly neutralised as Alessandro Matri and Andrea Lazzari both struck. However, further goals from Marco Borrielo, Pato and Ronaldinho ensured the Italian giants won, despite Nene clawing the deficit back to 4-3 with 21 minutes to go.


A.C. Milan's Brazilian forward Ronaldinh


Key Battle

Ragnar Klavan vs Gonzalo Higuain

Klavan didn’t do a whole lot wrong during his stint at Liverpool. He was never seen as a liability and always seemed to do reasonably well when called upon by Jurgen Klopp, even if he was never a guaranteed starter at Anfield.

AC Milan v AS Roma - Serie A

The centre back has faced some of the best strikers in the Premier League, but Gonzalo Higuain is a different animal. The Argentina international is still searching for his first ​Milan goal after two Serie A appearances, but fans know it is only a matter of time before he settles in.

If Cagliari are to pull off a tricky but achievable victory, keeping the former Napoli attacker quiet will be essential, and Klavan seems like the right man for the job.


Team News

Cagliari welcome back Joao Pedro from his doping suspension but he will likely feature on the bench due to a lack of match fitness. Luca Ceppitelli is out, but Luca Cigarini could beat Filip Bradaric for a spot in Rolando Maran’s team.

ACF Fiorentina v Cagliari Calcio - Serie A

For Milan, Andrea Conti and Ivan Strinic will miss out, while Gattuso may opt against fielding Mattia Caldara and Alessio Romagnoli together following their excursions with the Italian national team, though the latter is expected to play.

Instead, Mateo Musacchio should start again. Cristian Zapata, Patrick Cutrone and Riccardo Montolivo are all doubts for the fixture.


Potential Starting Lineups

Cagliari: Cragno; Srna, Klavan, Romagna, Padoin; Barella, Cigarini, Castro; Ionita; Pavoletti, Sau.

AC Milan: Donnarumma; Calabria, Musacchio, Romagnoli, Rodriguez; Kessie, Biglia, Bonaventure; Suso, Higuain, Calhanoglu.

AC Milan v AS Roma - Serie A


Prediction

AC Milan showed they have star quality after triumphing over Roma 2-1, having been beaten by Napoli 3-2 in their opening game.

While this fixture is by no means a gimme, Il Diavolo should be looking to win it and climb the table. Cagliari will provide a stern test but may ultimately come away empty handed. 

Prediction: Cagliari 1-2 AC Milan



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