10.02.2017 14:30 - in: Serie A S

      #CagliariJuve: key names and numbers

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      The Bianconeri head to Sardinia this Sunday to take on Cagliari. Juventus.com gives you all the context you could possibly need before another crucial Serie A clash
      From Crotone to Cagliari

      Fresh from their journey to Calabria and 2-0 win at Crotone’s Stadio Ezio Scida on Wednesday evening, Juventus are gearing up for another trip south just four days later, this time of course to Sardinia and the slightly more familiar arena that is Cagliari’s Stadio Sant’Elia.

      Since losing their first away game of 2017 against Fiorentina, the Bianconeri have been much happier travellers of late, recording back to back victories over Sassuolo and Crotone, and they’ll be keen to keep the positive trend going this weekend.

      After all, the Old Lady’s form outside the walls of Juventus Stadium has been the only chink in her armour in recent times – Massimiliano Allegri’s men have won a jaw-dropping 28 consecutive homes games in Serie A – so improving matters on the road certainly bodes well for the rest of the campaign.

      Cagliari, meanwhile, come into the match off the back of a draw and two defeats in their last three matches, though it should be noted that those losses came away to high-flying Roma and Atalanta, while their 1-1 draw at home to Bologna extended their unbeaten streak at the Sant’Elia to three games, where they have taken seven points out of a possible nine.

      Indeed, the Rossoblù are in no way to be underestimated, especially on Sardinian soil. Their 23 points from 11 matches represents the seventh best home record in Serie A this season.

      The Signora in Sardinia

      Until the 2010/11 season, Cagliari and Juventus had enjoyed the same number of wins over one another in Sardinia: nine apiece with 12 draws in the process.

      However, five away victories on the spin since then have handed the Old Lady a clear historical lead in this fixture.

      This quintet of wins has come about in pretty comprehensive fashion too, with 15 goals scored by the Bianconeri at an average of three per game.

      Upon switching Cagliari for Juve in 2010, Alessandro Matri made a habit of netting at the home of his former club with braces in 2011 and 2012.

      The Stadio Sant’Elia would also become a happy hunting ground for Fernando Llorente, the Spaniard scoring three goals in just two outings.

      Now let’s take a look at a few of the men who have the potential to make a similar impact in Sardinia this time around… 

      Main men to monitor

      With five goals in his last four away matches, it’s impossible not to look past Gonzalo Higuain as Juve’s main scoring threat, especially when they’re on their travels.

      Pipita might easily have netted more than once in his previous outing at Crotone, given the opportunities that came his way, but the Argentine forward made no mistake whatsoever with his last chance of the encounter, coolly rounding the keeper to tap home his 16th league goal of the campaign.

      Watch out for Mario Mandzukic too. The Croatian has tended to score in bursts for the Bianconeri, as his five strikes between 26 October and 3 December 2016 clearly demonstrated. Could Super Mario’s opener in Crotone be just the start of another purple patch in front of goal? Let’s hope so, even if his all-round contributions on the pitch count for so much already.

      Cagliari, meanwhile, will be looking to a former Juve man in the shape of Marco Borriello to get them on the scoresheet this Sunday.

      The 34-year-old striker, who had a short loan spell with the Bianconeri back in 2012, has in many ways reignited his career with the Rossoblù, scoring 10 goals in 20 appearances this term.

      In defence, Massimo Rastelli’s men count upon the highly experienced centre-back Bruno Alves, who signed from Fenerbahce last summer. The Portugal international, capped 85 times by his country, top his team’s charts for total passes (1,118), defensive clearances (125) and interceptions (45).

      Another player worthy of mention before kick-off is Cagliari’s Davide Di Gennaro. Capable of playing anywhere across the midfield, the ex-Palermo man has been the Rossoblù’s main source of assists this season (five) and he’s also whipped in the highest number of crosses (81).

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