In the first installment of our new series, Picks to Click, we asked you to channel your predictive powers to select which Roma players were most likely to excel against Napoli on Sunday. In an excruciatingly close vote, Chiesa di Totti readers picked Tammy Abraham as the player most likely to turn in a Man of the Match performance, narrowly edging out Nicolo Zaniolo by one percentage point.
And based on our Sinners & Saints review of the Derby del Sole, we collectively missed the mark by that much. While he had a fine game, Tammy Abraham appeared to be hampered by a knock he sustained early in the first half, sapping him of that extra little bit of separation that makes him so effective in the final third.
In a testament to how new this series is, the actual Man of the Match, Bryan Cristante, wasn't even on our list of candidates!
But that won't stop us from trying again. With places four through fourteen separated by a mere six points, Roma needs a win now more than ever. Fortunately enough for José Mourinho and the Giallorossi, the Serie A schedule makers have done the capital club a favor this weekend, dropping 19th place Cagliari on their laps for a Sardinian showdown Wednesday evening.
With that in mind, here are our official picks to click against the Islanders.
Cagliari are perhaps the worst defensive team in the league, so there's no science behind this selection. With 20 goals conceded already (the third-worst mark in the league), Cagliari shouldn't pose much of a threat for Abraham and the rest of Roma's forwards. What's more, the Islanders have allowed 10 goals in their first six matches at home, and while Abraham has never faced Cagliari, the table seems set for a breakout match for the 24-year-old Camberwell native.
Karsdorp has only faced Cagliari twice in his career but turned in two solid shifts against the Sardinia club, including one assist in Roma's 3-2 win last December. And with a three-match rolling rating of 6.93 (per WhoScored), Karsdorp is rounding into form as we slowly creep towards winter. With his pace and penchant for playing progressive passes, Karsdorp should be a thorn in Cagliari's side on Wednesday.
Fresh off his best match of the season, Cristante's long-passing and composure should create plenty of scoring chances for Roma tomorrow. While Cagliari are one of the league's heaviest pressing sides, they're not exactly efficient while doing so, gaining possession only 25.5% of the time they apply pressure, the second-worst mark in the league. Cristante should find plenty of seams to overtake the Cagliari defense on Wednesday, so don't be shocked if he chalks up an assist.
Any way you slice it, Cagliari are among the most decrepit attacking teams in Serie A: third-fewest goals scored, third-fewest expected goals generated, and the worst shooting percentage in the entire league. On that alone, Patricio figures to have an easy day but despite all that Cagliari are sixth in goals per shot while striker Joao Pedro is currently third in the league with six goals. Patricio likely won't hear his name called much tomorrow, but he needs to be on his toes anytime Pedro enters the box. Cagliari won't present much of a threat, but what danger they do create will likely involve João Pedro, so Patricio will need to pay special attention to the 29-year-old Brazilian forward.
Those are our four candidates for Wednesday, but you tell us: which one will click against Cagliari?
Who is your Pick to Click against Cagliari?
This poll is closed
Other (You tell us)