Cagliari vs Juventus preview

December 17, 2014
By: Nemanja Lazarevic

Cagliari vs JuventusThe first of two early matches of Gameeek 16 in Italian Serie A will see struggling Cagliari play host to leaders Juventus.

Isolani are going through a very rough patch at the moment and they find themselves in the relegation zone after 15 fixtures.

The interesting thing is that Cagliari recorded their only two wins of the campaign on the road, hammering Inter Milan and Empoli in the process.

Meanwhile, they have been thoroughly disappointing at their Sant-Elia, taking mere three points from seven matches and it is clear where the problem lies.

While needing a penalty shoot-out to eliminate Modena from Coppa Italia, Cagliari are winless in last seven league fixtures and they cannot really hope to end the barren run against Italy’s strongest side.

The hosts will have important attacker Victor Ibarbo back from suspension, with Samuele Longo expected to make way.

However, top scorer Marco Sau continues to miss out through injury, just like Sebastian Eriksson and Simone Colombi.

Probable starting line-up (4-3-3): Cragno – Balzano, Ceppitelli, Rossettini, Avelar – Crisetig, Conti, Ekdal – Farias, Ibarbo, Cossu.

Reigning champions Juventus remain the team to beat in Italian Serie A, although the Bianconeri will need to sustain another challenge from title rivals Roma.

The Old Lady were finally able to make it to the Champions League knockout stages, where they were pitted against underperforming Borussia Dortmund, but now it’s time to turn their attention to the league campaign.

The Bianconeri were not properly punished for back to back draws against Fiorentina and Sampdoria, although Roma did close the gap to just one point, meaning they desperately need to return to winning ways.

And with Cagliari utterly disappointing at their Sant-Elia, bear in mind that Juventus can be backed at 1.44 (4/9) to claim maximum points.

Giorgio Chiellini returns to the side to replace the suspended Leonardo Bonucci, while coach Max Allegri could decide to rest one or two players ahead of the Italian Super Cup match against Napoli.

However, Andrea Barzagli, Luca Marrone, Martin Caceres, Romulo, Kwadwo Asamoah and Marco Storari are all out injured.

Probable starting line-up (4-3-1-2): Buffon – Lichtsteiner, Ogbonna, Chiellini, Evra – Pogba, Pirlo, Vidal – Marchisio – Tevez, Llorente.

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