Juventus have taken their sweet time to confirm a ninth straight Scudetto, but while they only have two victories from their last six (W2-D2-L2) they can now play without any pressure at all.
Cagliari also have nothing to play for and went on their holidays a long time ago. An impressive run across their first 15 games this season lifted them up to an improbable fifth in the table, but since then they’ve gone a dismal W2-D7-L12 and they’ve now slipped to 13th place.
That horrible streak includes eight defeats from 11 winless encounters with top-half teams, including a 4-0 demolition by Juventus themselves near the beginning of this spell, as well as five defeats from the last six such matches.
Both Teams To Score, Juventus To Win And Both Teams To Score
However, Cagliari have found the net in 14 of 18 matches this season against those top-half teams, including six of the last eight during their awful run of results.
That encourages us to back them to find the net, especially with both teams scoring in 14 of Juventus’ last 16 road trips.
In fact, the last eight of these saw Maurizio Sarri’s men concede a total of 15 goals, while only netting that same number down the other end, as the last three alone saw them ship a combined nine goals versus Milan, Sassuolo and Udinese.
Ronaldo To Score Anytime
Cristiano Ronaldo trails Lazio’s Ciro Immobile by three goals in the race for the golden boot, but with Juve having sealed the title already, we’d expect their efforts to concentrate on massaging the Portuguese superstar’s ego and help him to claim individual honours.
He certainly represents the most likely scorer with Douglas Costa injured, Gonzalo Higuain clearly past his best and managing just three league goals since late November, while Paulo Dybala was forced off clutching his thigh after 40 minutes last time out.
The latter was heavily linked with a move away from Turin last summer but has struck up a really good understanding with Ronaldo on the pitch, so Sarri won’t want to risk him ahead of the resumption of their Champions League campaign.
Ronaldo now has 26 goals in his last 22 league appearances, scoring at least once in 19 of these games, so looks like great value to add another here.
Indeed, if Sarri was to rest Ronaldo ahead of their second leg with Lyon, it would more likely be the final Serie A game rather than this one, allowing the 35-year-old greater recovery time ahead of the more important fixture.