Juventus vs Cagliari build-up, pre-match team news & previous line-ups:
The reigning Scudetto holders are currently sixth in the league after seven games, and remain one of the three Serie A sides yet to taste defeat. However, Andrea Pirlo’s start to life as a manager has been relatively underwhelming, with the Bianconeri entering matchday eight in Serie A outside the top two for the first time since 2015/16.
Juventus have won just three of their seven games so far, drawing the other four, and one of those victories was awarded off the pitch as Napoli were forced to forfeit their clash earlier in the campaign. Another stalemate this weekend would see Juventus start a Serie A campaign with five draws in their opening eight games for the first time since 1978/79, but their record against Cagliari is fairly good.
The Bianconeri have lost just one of their past 19 league games against Cagliari, though that defeat did come in the most recent meeting, in July last season. Cagliari are also in good form too, winning three of their past four league games to move up to 11th in the table following a poor start. A win over Juventus would see them move level with the Bianconeri on 13 points, but above on a better head-to-head record.
- Juventus (vs Lazio): Szczęsny; Danilo, Demiral, Bonucci*; Cuadrado, Rabiot, Bentancur, Frabotta; Kulusevski, Morata, Ronaldo.
- Cagliari (vs Sampdoria): Cragno; Zappa, Walukiewicz, Godin*, Lykogiannis*; Nandez*, Marin; Rog, Joao Pedro, Ounas; Simeone.
Juventus are without Leonardo Bonucci, who has been battling with a muscle injury over the past few games and will not return in time. Giorgio Chiellini is also out, so Matthijs de Ligt is expected to return to the starting XI following his own injury layoff. However, Juventus have been boosted by the returns of Federico Chiesa and Paulo Dybala to training, with both available for selection.
Left-back Charalampos Lykogiannis is injured for Cagliari and while Diego Godin and Nahitan Nandez are both absent.
Players to watch:
- Juventus: Cristiano Ronaldo endured a frustrating international break with Portugal but, now back with his club, the forward will be looking to continue his excellent start to the season. Despite playing just four of Juventus’ Serie A games so far this season, Ronaldo is the club’s top scorer, with six goals, averaging one every 48 minutes. He has scored in every Serie A game he has played, with Roma and Spezia both conceding twice to the Portuguese international. Should Cagliari also concede two to Ronaldo this weekend, he would join Paulo Dybala (2017/18) as having scored eight goals in his first four games of a campaign, the best record at Juventus in the three points for a win era.
- Cagliari: Giovanni Simeone is another player chasing a milestone in Saturday’s game, albeit a slightly more momentous one. The Argentinian has been in Serie A since 2016, joining Genoa from River Plate, enjoying a debut season in Italy. This earned him a move to Fiorentina but things weren’t as smooth, and Simeone was eventually loaned to Cagliari, signing permanently over the summer. And it’s at Cagliari where Simeone has found his feet once more, scoring 17 goals in 44 Serie A games, just three fewer than he managed in 74 for Fiorentina. But, more importantly for the weekend, Simeone’s next goal will be his 50th in Serie A. Should he reach the milestone tomorrow, at the age of 25 years and 139 days, he will be the fourth youngest Argentinian to do so after Mauro Icardi, Dybala and Hernan Crespo. Fine company for him to be in.
Scoreline prediction: Juventus 2-1 Cagliari
Serie A 2020/21 recent form:
- Juventus: WDDWD
- Cagliari: LWWLW
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