Cagliari vs Bologna Preview

Cagliari's match against Bologna will be open to only a select few once again as the Sardinian club's new home, the Is Arenas Stadium, is still not suitable to accept more than 5,000 fans.

Football News: Davide Astori.

Only season ticket holders and official club members will be able to see the game live as the club's battle for a real home continues.

Cagliari left the Stadio Sant' Elia towards the end of last season due to disputes with the city council.

And they could not have moved much further away either as they staged their final games of the season over 1,000 kilometres away in Trieste's Stadio Nereo Rocco.

The first few home matches this season were also staged on the other side of Italy with a group of fans taking the club to court, demanding a refund on their season tickets and damages for the inability to see their side.

The Is Arenas was pinpointed as a solution, but problems with strict Italian security rules means that venue does not match their criteria.

Cagliari's president recently told fans to ignore the security laws and turn up anyway - an appeal which resulted in the Sardinians losing their home game against Roma 3-0 without even playing as the game was called off by the council.

But despite the limited numbers tomorrow, defender Davide Astori hopes they will make their presence felt and give the team a real feeling of being at home for the first time in many months.

"The presence of spectators will be very important for us," he said. "The fans can give us a big hand and I hope we can give them something to smile about."

Cagliari did that from a distance a fortnight ago with a 1-0 win over Torino earning them their first three points of the season.

"We must not be under any illusions after that win," warned Astori. "We have got to confirm ourselves."

Indeed, Cagliari are still stuck inside the bottom three with only five points this season, but that is no reason for Bologna to take their trip to Sardinia lightly.

"Our opponents have not got as many points as they have deserved so far," said their coach Stefano Pioli.

"We are going to have to give it our best performance, like in all of our coming games, if we are to come away with a positive result."

Both sides are at full strength for Sunday's encounter with only Bologna's long-term injury absentee Cesare Natali still sidelined.

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