Juventus will be looking to bounce back against Cagliari after a disappointing Champions League exit last week at the hands of FC Porto. Cristiano Ronaldo, after heavy criticism from Juve supporters in the past week, will be hoping to help get Juventus’ Serie A title defense back on track at Cagliari.
Andrea Pirlo’s men head to Cagliari on Sunday evening in need of a response after last week’s disappointing Champions League display.
Currently, a whole 30-point gap lies between the two under-performing clubs in the Serie A table. And the Bianconeri are ahead in third-place and need a win to keep their title hopes alive, while Cagliari on the other hand, are struggling for survival down in 17th.
Moreover, just fine margins could decide this game, as Cagliari have shown promise under their new manager and won the corresponding fixture 2-0. On Juve’s part, a lack of attacking edge could prove costly for them, which they wouldn’t want.
Cagliari Form & Stats
Radja Nainggolan’s last-gasp equalizer sealed Cagliari a 2-2 draw against Sampdoria last time out. The stalemate was enough to move the club two points above the relegation zone and maintain manager Leonardo Semplici’s unbeaten start.
Since replacing Eusebio Di Francesco last month, the former SPAL boss has won two of his opening three games in charge [D1]. However, his first true test comes on Sunday against Juventus, a team Semplici has only beaten once in five clashes (D1 L3). The outcome could make a decisive impact on how he ultimately fares in Sardinia.
But to make matters worse for Cagliari is their poor home form. The Islanders have lost six of their last 10 games at the Sardegna Arena, winning just one time (D3), and averaging less than a goal. The one bright spark, and the club’s biggest hope, is Joao Pedro. The Brazilian forward continues to be prolific in front of goal and may represent Juventus’ biggest threat.
Cagliari’s Key Team Stats
- Recorded Victories in 2 of their 3 league games under new boss Leonardo Semplici [D1]
- Lost 6 of their last 10 home league games (W1 D3) and averaged under 1 goal scored.
- Leonardo Semplici has lost 3 of his five games against Juventus (W1 D1)
- Joao Pedro has scored 13 goals in 26 league games and 2 goals in his last 3 outings
- Under 2.5 goals in their last 4 home games against Juventus in all competitions.
Juventus Form & Stats
Juventus has been criticized lately especially for their star man Cristiano Ronaldo since the shock Champions League last-16 exit. As the case may be, the Old Lady has only the Serie A left to compete in until May’s Coppa Italia final.
Thus, Andrea Pirlo needs a statement response from his side. The rookie coach has been called out for his tactical choices and lack of organization recently, which have left Juventus still in search of consistency this season. But, the two Porto matches aside, the club’s defensive has done well despite the long-running injury crisis. They’ve also won each of their last seven home league games.
Meanwhile, Cristiano Ronaldo has had a hand in seven goals (5 goals, 2 assists) in only four league games against Cagliari. The 36-year-old has a point to prove in Sardina as he and Juventus look to get their title bid back on track.
Juve Team Key Stats
- Won only 5 of their 12 away league games this season (D5 L2).
- Won 8 of their last 9 games against Cagliari in all competitions.
- Kept a clean sheet in 7 of their last 9 games against Cagliari in all competitions.
- Cristiano Ronaldo has managed 5 goals and 2 assists in 4 league games against Cagliari.
- Cristiano Ronaldo has scored 4 goals in his last 4 league games.
- Alvaro Morata is just 1 goal away from equaling Fernando Llorente (23 goals) as Juventus’ top Spanish goalscorer in Serie A.
- Juan Cuadrado has made 14 assists in 27 games in all competitions.
Out: Marko Rog, Ricardo Sottil, Leonardo Pavoletti, Charalampos Lykogiannis.
Out: Paulo Dybala, Merih Demiral, Rodrigo Bentancur, Gianluigi Buffon, Aaron Ramsey.
Cagliari: Cragno, Rugani, Godin, Ceppitelli, Nandez, Duncan, Nainggolan, Marin, Joao Pedro, Simeone.
Juventus: Scheszzny, de Ligt, Bonucci, Danilo, Chiesa, Rabiot, Arthur, McKennie, Bernardeschi, Kulusevski, Ronaldo.
The line-ups are a subject of prediction, which can change with the official line-ups for the game are announced. You can share your score predictions below!