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Juventus - Cagliari Preview: Bianconeri continue double quest in Coppa Italia clash
The Turin club enjoy a four-point cushion at the Serie A summit, and can reach the quarter-final's of Italy's cup competition if they can overcome Wednesday's visitors
By Daniel Edwards
Barzagli, Bonucci, Caceres
Padoin, G'ini, Pogba, Marchisio, De Ceglie
Perico, Rossettini, Ariaudo, Avelar
Ekdal, Nainggolan, Dessena
After recording victory in his return to the Juventus bench having served a lengthy suspension for his part in a match-rigging scandal, coach Antonio Conte is set to rotate his team for the visit of Cagliari in the Coppa Italia last-16.
Gianluigi Buffon will drop to the bench, replaced by Marco Storari who will be given the chance to shine in goal, while Andrea Pirlo is another who will be rested for the clash, with Paul Pogba set to start.
There are also two changes in attack. Alessandro Matri and Mirko Vucinic, who led the line against Palermo at the weekend, see their places taken by Sebastian Giovinco and Fabio Quagliarella for the cup tie.
The Sardinians will hope for an immediate recovery after going down 2-0 at the weekend to Chievo, leaving them 14th in the Serie A standings. One of the key changes could be seen in the playmaking position; Andrea Cossu is likely to be rested, meaning former Penarol youngster and Uruguay Under-20 international Pablo Cepellini may get the chance to shine in Juventus Stadium.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Juventus were the first-ever Italian team to complete the national double, lifting the Serie A and Coppa Italia titles in 1960. They were also the first to repeat that feat, in 1995.
- The Bianconeri are making their Coppa bow at the last-16 stage, having reached the final in 2011-12 and going down to Napoli.
- Victory at the weekend extended Juve's Serie A lead to four points, ahead of Inter who went second on Sunday with victory over Napoli.
- Cagliari have already won twice in this year's Coppa, downing Spezia and Pescara 2-1 and 4-2 respectively.
- Brazilian striker Thiago Ribeiro (right) is joint-top scorer going into the last-16, thanks to a hat-trick notched against Pescara.
- The Rossoblu have never lifted the Coppa Italia, their best performance came in 1968-69 when the Sardinians finished runners-up to Roma.
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Top 3 Predictions
Juventus 3-0 Cagliari
- 30.01 %
Juventus 2-0 Cagliari
- 19.16 %
Juventus 3-1 Cagliari
- 9.08 %
|Italy - Serie A (ITA1)||May 11, 2013||Juventus 1 - Cagliari 1|
|Italy - Serie A (ITA1)||Dec 21, 2012||Cagliari 1 - Juventus 3|
|Italy - Coppa Italia (ITAC)||Dec 12, 2012||Juventus 1 - Cagliari 0|
|Italy - Serie A (ITA1)||May 6, 2012||Cagliari 0 - Juventus 2|
|Italy - Serie A (ITA1)||Jan 15, 2012||Juventus 1 - Cagliari 1|
|May 18, 2013||Sampdoria 3 - Juventus 2||ITA1|
|May 11, 2013||Juventus 1 - Cagliari 1||ITA1|
|May 8, 2013||Atalanta 0 - Juventus 1||ITA1|
|May 5, 2013||Juventus 1 - Palermo 0||ITA1|
|Apr 28, 2013||Torino 0 - Juventus 2||ITA1|
|11||Paolo De Ceglie||Defender|
|34||Dario Del Fabro||Defender|
The 19-year-old midfielder has made an instant impact in Turin, with comparisons to Patrick Vieira already being thrown around after some accomplished displays. He will have the chance to further enhance his reputation against the Sardinians.
The Chilean striker was on target in both of Cagliari's opening Coppa Italia meetings, and will be hoping to find the net to keep the club's hopes of winning a first cup title in their history alive.
The Italians have been in imperious form so far in 2012-13, and even with a rotated starting line-up should have more than enough to dispatch their Coppa Italia rivals and advance to the last-eight.
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed