Cagliari host Chievo in a mid-table Serie A scrap tomorrow, with the number four playing an uncanny role in both sides' recent fortunes.
Chievo triumphed 4-2 at Genoa to climb up to 15th place in the table on Sunday, before Cagliari atoned for a 4-1 defeat at Udinese by dispatching Pescara from the Coppa Italia with a 4-2 victory at the Stadio Is Arenas.
Four points separate the Flying Donkeys from the bottom three, with the Sardinians just one point better off but within touching distance of the top 10.
Neither coach is willing to pretend that this game is anything but a relegation battle, though, and Cagliari boss Ivo Pulga has not won in five attempts, despite winning four games in a row following his appointment in October.
He told Sportmediaset: ``Chievo are our direct competitor and it will be important to get a result.''
Fringe striker Thiago Ribeiro scored a hat-trick against Pescara, with Victor Ibarbo the creative force behind the majority of Cagliari's best moves, and Pulga admits he could be spoilt for choice up front tomorrow.
He said: ``Those two were excellent. We've finally seen the Ibarbo that we all know well, with that pace he's been missing.
``He proved that it was just a question of preparation and it's a shame he didn't get a goal himself. That would have been the icing on the cake.''
Chilean forward Mauricio Pinilla is close to a return from injury but Albin Ekdal and Daniele Dessena serve one-match bans.
Defender Marco Andreolli is suspended for the Gialloblu with Kamil Vacek, Nicolas Frey, Luciano and Paul Papp back on the treatment table in Verona.
Victory at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris marked a first away win of the season for Eugenio Corini's Chievo and the ex-Palermo midfielder hopes to double up on the road tomorrow.
``It was a massive victory at Genoa,'' he said. ``Now we need to put on a good show at Cagliari in order to bring some points home and continue on our way.''