Napoli vs Cagliari preview - Napoli out to seal third place

Posted Tuesday, May 06, 2014 by PA

Coppa Italia winners Napoli are hoping to clinch their place in next season's Champions League when they host Cagliari on Tuesday.

Rafa Benitez's team need just one point to seal a third-placed finish in Serie A and the precious last Champions League qualifying spot.

Napoli go into the encounter at the San Paolo stadium full of confidence after beating Fiorentina 3-1 in the Coppa Italia final on Saturday evening in Rome.

A brace from Lorenzo Insigne and a goal from Dries Mertens handed Benitez his first trophy since joining Napoli last summer.

"I am very satisfied with the outcome because the team deserved it as they gave everything on the pitch," Benitez said to "To have won the Coppa is a fantastic achievement for the city of Naples and for this club.

"We now hope to give our fans more joy in the next few weeks.

"We must now focus on our game against Cagliari."

Napoli are third in the standings, eight points clear of nearest rivals Fiorentina with three games remaining.

Rivals Cagliari travel to the San Paolo stadium looking for only their second win on the road this season.

The Rossoblu players head into the encounter also in celebratory mood after a 1-0 triumph over Parma last time out was sufficient to see them retain their top-flight status.

The result lifted Cagliari to 14th place, 11 points clear of the drop zone.

"Our aim is still to take as many points as possible in our last three games," Cagliari coach Ivo Pulga said. "We are very satisfied to have defended our Serie A status."

The Sardinia club are without injured midfielder Albin Ekdal, who fractured his collarbone during the match against Parma.

The home side will be bolstered by the return of defender Federico Fernandez from suspension.

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