21.09.2016 11:45 - in: Serie A S

      #JuveCagliari: key names and numbers

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      Goals galore, a long away trip and a host of familiar faces as the Bianconeri take on Cagliari at Juventus Stadium on Wednesday night

      While Juventus were succumbing to their first league defeat of the season, just their second in 32 Serie A outings, tonight’s visitors Cagliari were registering their maiden victory, putting three past Atalanta in Sardinia.

      That home success provided a bit of cheer to an otherwise tricky start to life in the top flight for the Rossoblu, who had collected one point from three matches after losses to Genoa (2-1) and Bologna (3-1) and a 2-2 draw with Roma. 

      A Derby d’Italia defeat for Juve on Sunday sees the Bianconeri occupy second place going into Matchday 5, one adrift of early leaders Napoli.

      By the same stage last season, Massimiliano Allegri’s men were a full five points worse off and would have to wait until October for a first Serie A home win against Bologna. 

      Long way home...

      Not only is Turin one of the longest away trips in the division (a 1080-mile round trip from the Rossoblu’s Stadio Sant’Elia to Juventus Stadium) it is also one that rarely yields success for travelling Cagliari fans.

      The Bianconeri have hosted the Serie B winners 35 times in the top flight, sending the islanders home happy just twice in November 1968 (1-2) and January 2009 (2-3) while scoring in every meeting between the pair since May 1992 (37 goals, 17 matches).

      Then again, the Old Lady’s recent record at Juventus Stadium ensures that similar statistics regarding other sides in the division are commonplace: a 1-0 defeat to Udinese in August last season stands as Juve’s sole home loss in 68 league outings and they have since won 18 times on the spin. 

      What’s more, all four of Cagliari’s Serie A points thus far have come at the Stadio Sant’Elia; Massimo Rastelli’s side are one of six (Fiorentina, Torino, Crotone, Atalanta and Bologna) yet to get off the mark on the road this term. 

      Goals, goals, goals

      One thing that both teams have had in common so far however is a shared eye for goal. Three strikes in the space of 23 first-half minutes blew away the last Serie A visitors, Sassuolo, to Juventus Stadium 11 days ago and Cagliari will need to sharpen up defensively if they are to avoid the same fate. 

      While netting seven times at one end, the same figure as the Bianconeri, the Rossoblu have conceded a total of 67 shots in their first four matches, a division high shared with Pescara, Palermo and Udinese. The link to goals conceded is clear: only Atalanta (10) and Bologna (eight) have shipped more than Rastelli’s charges (seven). 

      Curiously, tonight’s visitors also share a second unwanted rearguard record: three players have come off the bench to score against Cagliari, more than 16 other teams in Serie A. Given the strength of Juventus’ attacking reinforcements this term, this could well be a stat that worsens for the Rossoblù come 22.30 CEST. 

      Familiar faces

      You won’t find many better receptions than those likely to be afforded to the returning Simone Padoin and Marco Storari this evening.

      Between them, the pair lifted nine league titles in Turin and are set to line up against their old club for the first time since their departures in the summers of 2016 and 2015 respectively.

      Not that Padoin and Storari will be the only national champions among Cagliari’s ranks: frontman Marco Borriello scored twice in 13 appearances for Juventus in the 2011/12 season to take his own place on the winners’ podium in May 2012. 

      Borriello, a scorer for Carpi against Allegri’s men last campaign, has four goals to his name already this term and together with Marco Sau (two), is one half of one of the division’s leading strike partnerships.

      Trivia lovers will be pleased to know that fellow forward Niccolo Giannetti has also donned the black and white stripes in his career, the 25-year old collecting one Juve appearance in January 2011. The fifth of Cagliari’s former Bianconeri, Mauricio Isla, is not part of the matchday squad. 

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