MILAN – On Sunday at 20:45 Inter host Cagliari at San Siro for Serie A Matchday 17 of the 2021/22 Sere A season. After having beaten Roma last time out the Nerazzurri sit pretty in second place in the league with 37 points, the outcome of 11 wins, four draws and one defeat. They can boast the best attack in the division and the second-best defence, having scored 39 goals and conceded 15. Walter Mazzarri's Cagliari have only won once so far this campaign and sit on ten points in the league. They come into Sunday's fixture on the back of four consecutive draws against Sassuolo, Salernitana, Hellas Verona and Torino.
Sunday's clash will be the 83rd time Inter and Cagliari have faced off in Serie A. The Nerazzurri have won 40 of these games while the Sardinians have claimed 14 wins, while the other 28 matches ended all-square. This number of draws means that only against Sampdoria have they drawn more Serie A games, on 31 occasions.
Inter have won seven of their last nine matches against Cagliari in Serie A, drawing and losing the other two. They average 2.4 goals per game during this period. The Nerazzurri have only failed to score one in their last 38 games against Cagliari in Serie A, when they fell to a 2-0 defeat to the Sardinians in April 2013.
SAN SIRO SHOWDOWNS
Inter and Cagliari have faced each other 41 times at San Siro, with the hosts winning 24 times, the visitors seven and the rest of the ten matches being draws. Cagliari have only won twice in their last 20 Serie A games, drawing five and losing 13.
Among the opponents Inter have always scored against in the era of three points for a win they have faced the Sardinians more than any other team in this period, 21 times. The last time Cagliari came away from an Inter game at San Siro with a clean sheet was in March 1992.
Inter have won their last four Serie A games while Cagliari have four draws on the bounce. The Nerazzurri sit on 37 points while Mazzarri's side are on ten.
In 2021 Inter have won more home games than any other side in the top five European leagues, claiming 17 wins out on 19. They have only beaten this record on one occasion, when they won 18 home fixtures in 1989.
The Nerazzurri have scored 94 goals in Serie A in 2021. Only in 1950 did Inter manage more goals in the same calendar year, scoring 99. It is also the third time they have picked up more than 36 points in their first 16 Serie A fixtures since 2009/10. The other two occasions were 2017/18 and 2019/20 when they got 40 and 39 points respectively.
No team in the top five European leagues have scored more headers than Inter. Like Paris Saint-Germain they have found the net ten times this way.
The Nerazzurri have scored goals from 13 set pieces so far this campaign, while Cagliari have conceded 12 goals from dead ball situations.
Inter have had 101 shots on target this season. This means that out of the big five European leagues only Real Madrid, Liverpool and Bayern Munich have bettered them in this regard.
Inter have had 472 touches in the opponent's box this season - more than any other side - and have only allowed for their opponents to have 262 touches in the box. Only Napoli have a better record at this - 257.
The Nerazzurri have come from behind to rescue 13 points in the 2020/21 Serie A season, more than any other team. In total they have been ahead for 395 minutes at home, longer than another team, while Cagliari have only led for 21 minutes away from home, the worst record in the division.
Lautaro Martinez scored his first-ever Serie A goal against Cagliari back in September 2018. He has since gone on to register a record of four goals in six games against the Sardinians in Serie A; they are his favoured opponent for goalscoring.
The Argentine is on a three-game scoring streak in the Italian top flight and if he finds the net on Sunday he will break the record for his best goalscoring run.
Alexis Sanchez has been involved in five goals in Serie A against Cagliari (three goals and two assists). Only against Torino has the Chilean done better, scoring once and providing five assists.
Nicolo Barella played 105 times for Cagliari in both Serie A and Serie B, scoring seven goals. Fellow Nerazzurri Matias Vecino also represented the club, featuring nine times for the Sardinians in Serie A, scoring twice in the process.
The second of the three times Ivan Perisic has scored more than once against a Serie opponent was against Cagliari away from home in March 2017, a game which the Nerazzurri won 5-1.
Edin Dzeko has been involved in four goals in his last seven games in Serie A against Cagliari, scoring twice and providing two assists. In his most recent encounter with the Sardinians he managed to find the net, back in December 2020.
If Matteo Darmian plays it will be his 250th appearance for clubs in Europe's big five leagues. He featured four times for Milan, 11 for Palermo, 100 for Torino, 60 for Manchester United, 36 for Parma and 38 times so far for Inter.
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