Juventus face a trip away to Cagliari at the Sardegna Arena on Wednesday evening, in what will be their first game since securing a ninth successive Serie A title.
The Old Lady clinched another Scudetto on Sunday after a 2-0 win over Sampdoria, in which Cristiano Ronaldo scored to take his tally to 31 Serie A goals for the season.
As for Cagliari, the 14th-placed side haven’t won in their last eight fixtures, with their last triumph coming on 27 June in a 4-2 thumping of struggling Torino.
The hosts will not exactly be expecting to end that dreadful run against the champions on Wednesday, especially as they lost the reverse fixture 4-0 earlier this season.
Here’s 90min’s preview of this fixture…
When is Kick Off? Wednesday 29 July
What Time is Kick Off? 20:45 (BST)
Where is it Played? Sardegna Arena
TV Channel/Live Stream? Premier Sports 1, LiveScore App
Maurizio Sarri will have to make do without a number of his star attractions, with Brazilian winger Douglas Costa set for another spell on the sidelines, alongside Sami Khedira, Giorgio Chiellini and full-back Mattia De Sciglio. The former Napoli boss could also be without both Paulo Dybala and Danilo who were forced off through injury during their triumph at the weekend.
With the league already secured and a meeting with Lyon in the Champions League on the horizon, Sarri could rest some of his key men.
As for the home side, there should be no major injury concerns to trouble manager Walter Zenga, although Nahitan Nandez will miss out through suspension.
Cagliari: Cragno; Pisacane, Ceppitelli, Walukiewicz; Mattiello, Birsa, Ionita, Rog, Lykogiannis; Simeone, Pedro
Juventus: Buffon; Cuadrado, Rugani, De Ligt, Alex Sandro; Matuidi, Bentancur, Ramsey; Bernardeschi, Higuain, Ronaldo
While Juve did wrap up another relatively comfortable league title at the weekend, it’s not all been plain-sailing of late. The restart has seen them drop points at both Atalanta and Sassuolo, while they also suffered defeats to AC Milan and Udinese – with the latter loss delaying their title celebrations.
Their season as a whole has been somewhat confusing, with their title triumph perhaps overshadowing some poor performances and their ageing side. With a vital Champions League clash to come, it could be a good opportunity on Wednesday to build some momentum.
As for Cagliari, their wretched run of form may not have put at them at risk of relegation, but it doesn’t exactly bode well ahead of next season. In fairness, the hosts have rarely been thrashed of late, albeit they have been on the wrong side of a number of cagey affairs.
Here’s a look at both side’s last five fixtures:
Cagliari 0-1 Udinese (29/07/2020)
Lazio 2-1 Cagliari (23/07/2020)
Cagliari 1-1 Sassuolo (18/07/2020)
Sampdoria 3-0 Cagliari (15/07/2020)
Cagliari 0-0 Lecce (12/07/2020)
Juventus 2-0 Sampdoria (26/07/2020)
Udinese 2-1 Juventus (23/07/2020)
Juventus 2-1 Lazio (20/07/2020)
Sassuolo 3-3 Juventus (15/07/2020)
Juventus 2-2 Atalanta (11/07/2020)
Juve may have one eye on their European hopes, but they will no doubt want to end their title-winning season in style. Star man Cristiano Ronaldo will also be hoping to hunt down current top scorer Ciro Immobile, who is currently on 34 Serie A goals for season.
It’s never straightforward with this Juventus side, but it would be no surprise to see them score a hatful of goals on Wednesday.
Prediction: Cagliari 2-4 Juventus