Juventus
    08.05.2015 14:39 - in: Serie A S

    Cagliari on the road

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    The 18th-placed Rossoblu have recorded three victories, five draws and nine defeats away from the Stadio Sant’Elia in this season's Serie A

    Cagliari kicked off their campaign on the road courtesy of a spirited 1-1 stalemate at Sassuolo on the opening day in August, with Marco Sau cancelling out Simone Zaza’s earlier strike.

    A 2-0 defeat at the hands of Roma followed three weeks later before the Sardinians ran riot at the San Siro, recording a 4-1 success over Inter in which former Bianconero Albin Ekdal struck a hat-trick.

    They were soon brought back down to earth in a matter of days, however, when Greek international Panagiotis Tachtsidis hit a last-minute winner as Hellas Verona triumphed 1-0 in early October.

    Cagliari returned to the victory trail at the culmination of the month, dispatching newly-promoted Empoli 4-0 in Tuscany thanks to strikes from Sau, Ekdal and a Danilo Avelar brace which all came in the space of 16 first-half minutes.

    The Rossoblu were then on the wrong end of a six-goal thriller at the start of November, losing 4-2 to Lazio in Rome before Diego Faris bagged a brace during an exciting 3-3 draw away at Napoli 20 days later.

    Fellow strugglers Parma were held to a priceless point in the final encounter of 2014, only for Cagliari to then see in the new year on a sour note following a 5-0 humbling to Palermo.

    Brief respite was soon restored during a 2-2 draw at Udinese, with Avelar keeping a cool head to convert a spot-kick deep into second-half injury time at the Stadio Friuli in February.

    Atalanta became the next team to take all three points off the Sardinians, as Giuseppe Biava and former forward Mauricio Pinilla struck either side of Daniele Dessena’s equaliser in a 2-1 success.

    The winless run continued into their next four games: a 1-1 stalemate at Torino preceded losses at Sampdoria (2-0), Milan (3-1) and Genoa (2-0) which saw Cagliari begin to be cut adrift by the sides above the relegation zone.

    Gianluca Festa was then appointed the Rossoblu’s third manager of the season, succeeding Zdenek Zeman in a attempt to stop the rot.

    And it looked to be a masterstoke from the club’s hierarchy as the former Roma and Inter defender led Cagliari to a surprise 3-1 victory over Fiorentina, courtesy of a Duje Cop brace and Farias strike.

    But Festa’s men were made to pay for missed chances in their subsequent away encounter, succumbing to a narrow 1-0 reverse at Chievo in late April.

    With 17th-placed Atalanta boasting a six-point advantage over the Rossoblu in the relegation dogfight, it’s of paramount importance that Cagliari pick up wins in their remaining two away encounters if they are to harbour any chance of Serie A survival.

    Points, however, have been notoriously difficult to claim at Juventus, a side who have not lost in the league on home soil since January 2013. Should they want to claim an improbable victory, this weekend’s visitors cannot afford to put a foot wrong up against the newly-crowned league champions.

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