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Red hot Udinese this weekend added further to Cagliari’s upsets with an early second half goal from Roberto Pereyra. In winning their fourth game on the trot, the Little Zebras this time around needed but one goal to secure victory from an encounter which initally showed little promise and few goal scoring opportunities. At first glance stats read ten shots to nine in favor of Cagliari but all ten were off-target with Udinese keeper Zeljko Brkic given little to worry about, left unchallenged for the afternoon.

The Rossoblu woes of  back to back losses (losing to Napoli by an Lorenzo Insigne zinger in the 90th minute on matchday 33) and rotating home stadium venues were added to when searching for the equaliser their top goalscorer Marco Sau was injured and left the match. Going from bad to worse, in the closing moments Chilean attacker Ricardo Pinilla, their number two man on the goal tally list, scoring seven this season, was sent off and will miss the next game against Chievo also.

Questions - What kind of formation will we see next matchday? And importantly - will the team be practising back at Stadio Nereo Rocco in Trieste for their second to last home game against Parma in ten days?

Matchday 34 took place in the Stadio Nereo Rocco due to on-going problems with the Is Arenas stadium. And earlier this month Cagliari informed authorities in Quartu that they will not continue with their deal to use IS Arenas Stadium  as it appears the club has decided to cut their losses and move on.

From the start of the season the club’s stint at IS Arenas Stadium has been plagued by problems. After the Arenas failed safety checks, the club was forced to open their season behind closed doors. Additional problems with the stadium affected three other matches, forcing them either to be played behind closed doors or at different venues. With the club finishing 14th in the 2010-2011 season and 15th last season (a mere seven point clear of relegation) finding a permanent pitch to call home can only help to bring greater stability and routine to the players.

Cagliari is not the only major football squad facing a move over stadium issues. West Ham United of the Premier League is currently facing a similar move to London’s Olympic Stadium due to deteriorating conditions with their current field. Rather than sink dollars from their sponsorship deal with SBOBET, the club is going to pursue a move to another stadium.
Granted, West Ham’s problems have not forced them to move games like Cagliari has been.

With four games remaining and still in tenth place and more importantly ten points clear of the relegation battle waging below, Cagliari can hopefully secure a new home venue and hit the reset button for next season.

Match LineUps
Cagliari: Agazzi; Perico, Ariaudo, Astori, Murru; Casarini (Ibarbo 57), Conti, Nainggolan; Ribeiro (Avelar 67), Pinilla, Sau (Nene 77)

Udinese: Brkic; Benatia, Danilo, Domizzi; Basta, Lazzari (Badu 35), Allan, Gabriel Silva; Pereyra, Zielinski (Muriel 52); Di Natale (Pinzi 83)

Sent off: Pinilla 94 (C)

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