Juventus make the trip south to the scenic Sardinia this weekend as they take on Cagliari in Serie A on Saturday night.
The Bianconeri had their 16-game unbeaten run and Scudetto hopes dashed last time out as Inter Milan claimed a brave 1-0 win the Derby d’Italia. Massimiliano Allegri, however, took plenty of positives away from the defeat as his side were dominant for the most part while playing a style atypical of his side this season.
They must now respond this weekend against a team who are fighting for their right to remain in the top flight.
Juventus’ predicted XI vs Cagliari
Allegri will be without Mattia De Sciglio and Alvaro Morata for Saturday’s game due to their respective suspensions, while Manuel Locatelli’s knee injury will keep him out of action for a month. The manager, though, will be buoyed by the performances of his midfield last weekend and here’s the starting XI he could pick for the Cagliari game.
Goalkeeper & Defenders
Wojciech Szczesny (GK) – Allegri could give Mattia Perin a go between the sticks. But with the back-up set to start in the Coppa Italia semi-final second leg later this month, I think Szczesny will remain the Serie A shot-stopper. The Polish international is continuing to impress.
Danilo (RB) – Danilo’s importance to Juventus isn’t spoken about enough. He’s one of the first names on the team sheet.
Leonardo Bonucci (CB) – When was the last time this stalwart was in Allegri’s XI?! It’s been a while, eh? February 26, to be precise. Injuries have derailed Bonucci’s campaign but he’s back in contention for Saturday. I think Allegri starts him and gives Matthijs de Ligt, who has started all but six of Juve’s Serie A games this season, a rest.
Giorgio Chiellini (CB) – Chiellini looked at ease against Inter and is expected to retain his place in the XI.
Luca Pellegrini (LB) – Pellegrini impressed towards the back end of March and is returning from a one-game suspension on Saturday. With De Sciglio out and Alex Sandro struggling last Sunday, Allegri should opt for the dynamic Pellegrini.
Arthur Melo (CM) – Arthur dropped to the bench against Inter with Max Allegri’s distrust in the Brazilian on the big occasion once again manifesting. However, for the trip to Sardinia, the metronomic midfielder should return to the fold and play at the base of midfield.
Denis Zakaria (CM) – Zakaria impressed off the bench last weekend and Manuel Locatelli’s knee injury means he’s a sure bet to start on Saturday for the first time since the 3-2 win over Empoli in late February. The Swiss international is a powerful midfielder; capable of breaking lines and servicing the front three.
Adrien Rabiot (CM) – Rabiot has to retain his place in the starting XI following his monstrous showing against Inter. The physically imposing Frenchman is so impressive from an athletic standpoint and is showing signs of significant defensive improvement. Let’s hope he adds some consistency to his game!
Paulo Dybala (RW) – Dybala flashed his magic in what was surely his last Derby d’Italia in Bianconeri colours, but he couldn’t put together a complete showing. Nevertheless, he should keep his place in the team with Allegri attempting to maximise all he has left of La Joya.
Dusan Vlahovic (ST) – After going scoreless last weekend, Vlahovic has now failed to score in eight of his 12 Juventus appearances thus far. While the physical Milan Skriniar had his number in the derby, there’s no doubting that the Serb requires better service. He needs a goal this weekend.
Moise Kean (LW) – Morata’s suspension should see Kean start on Saturday. The Italian has struggled this season, but this could be a good opportunity for him to impress. I suspect he’ll play a flexible role off the left, attempting to combine with Vlahovic as much as possible.