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Jul 29, 2020 at 8.45pm UK at Sardegna Arena
Gagliano (8'), Simeone (45+2')
Rog (17'), Pedro (65')
FT(HT: 2-0)

Pjanic (25'), de Ligt (25')

Preview: Cagliari vs. Juventus - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Wednesday's Serie A clash between Cagliari and champions Juventus, including team news and predicted lineups.

Juventus are in action for the first time since being crowned Serie A champions as they travel to Cagliari in their final away match of the season.

The Bianconeri won a ninth successive Scudetto with a 2-0 win over Sampdoria on Sunday and will now be looking to keep their momentum going against bottom-half opponents Cagliari.

Match preview

Juventus attacker Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates scoring against Sampdoria on July 26, 2020© Reuters

After suffering a shock 2-1 loss to lowly Udinese, Juve got the job done at the second time of asking by seeing off Sampdoria with a comfortable victory on home soil.

Cristiano Ronaldo notched his 31st league goal of the season in his 32nd appearance and Federico Bernardeschi added a second to make sure of the title-clinching triumph.

A month on from Bayern Munich matching their record of eight straight title wins, Juve went one better by topping the pile once again in Italy's top flight.

Maurizio Sarri's first season at the Allianz Stadium has not quite been plain sailing, with the side having been given a scare at various points by Inter Milan, Lazio and Atalanta BC.

Sunday's win was also only Juve's second in six matches after dropping points against AC Milan, Atalanta, Sassuolo and Udinese this month.

Cagliari boss Walter Zenga pictured in April 2018© Reuters

Ultimately it is job done for Sarri, although the Italian will know that this season can only be considered a real success if his side win the Champions League.

The Bianconeri trail Lyon 1-0 ahead of next month's rearranged last-16 second leg, with focus now very much on that game.

Cagliari's players can be forgiven for thinking about their shortened summer breaks, meanwhile, given that they are 14th in the table and have little to play for on the face of it.

Walter Zenga's side have dropped off massively since picking up back-to-back wins over SPAL and Torino at the end of last month, failing to win any of their eight matches since.

That includes successive losses to Lazio and Udinese in their last two games - Stefano Okaka's early strike proving the difference in the second of those matches.

Cagliari can still finish as high as eighth should results go their way over the coming days but, with Juve and Milan to face, a bottom-half finish is the more likely outcome.

Cagliari's Serie A form: DDLDLL

Juventus' Serie A form: LDDWLW

Team News

Paulo Dybala celebrates scoring for Juventus on March 8, 2020© Reuters

Douglas Costa is facing another spell on the sidelines for Juve after picking up an injury in training.

The Brazil international is one of a number of players ruled out for the visitors, along with Giorgio Chiellini, Mattia De Sciglio and Sami Khedira.

Sarri will want to keep his players fresh for the Lyon tie, so Gianluigi Buffon is in line to replace Wojciech Szczesny in goal.

Paulo Dybala and Danilo went off injured in the first half against Sampdoria, meanwhile, opening the door for Bernardeschi and Juan Cuadrado to return to the starting XI.

As for Cagliari, Nahitan Nandez will serve a one-match ban after picking up another booking at the weekend.

Marko Rog is the favourite to partner Artur Ionita and Valter Birsa in a tweaked midfield, assuming that the hosts go with a 3-5-2 again.

Up top, Giovanni Simeone and Joao Pedro look certain to retain their places, with Charalampos Lykogiannis providing support from wide.

Cagliari possible starting lineup:
Cragno; Pisacane, Ceppitelli, Walukiewicz; Mattiello, Birsa, Ionita, Rog, Lykogiannis; Simeone, Pedro

Juventus possible starting lineup:
Buffon; Cuadrado, Rugani, Demiral, Alex Sandro; Matuidi, Pjanic, Ramsey; Bernardeschi, Higuain, Ronaldo

Sports Mole Logo

We say: Cagliari 0-2 Juventus

Juventus have failed to win any of their last three away matches, but they are taking on a side with just one win in their last 10 home games. Indeed, Cagliari cannot seem to pick up a victory of any sort at the moment, so we are backing Juve to claim all three points and build some momentum ahead of the Champions League restart.

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Bologna's defender from Morocco Adam Masina (L) jumps for the ball with Napoli's defender from Spain Raul Albiol during the Italian Serie A football match Carpi vs AC Milan at the Dall'Ara stadium in Bologna on December 6, 2015.
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Olympic medal table header
CountryGold medalSilver MedalBronze MedalT
United StatesUnited States29352791
Olympics flagRussian Olympic Committee16222058
Great BritainGreat Britain16181852
Today's Olympic highlights header

Friday's key events

· Great Britain's women aim to secure their place on the podium as they face India in the bronze medal match (2.30am)
· Netherlands - silver medallists five years ago - and Argentina battle for the gold medal in the women's final (11am)

· The women's gold medal will be decided as Australia and USA go head to head (3.30am)

· Lauren Price will be looking to add to Team GB's success in the ring when she takes on Nouchka Fontijn of Netherlands in the women's middleweight semi-final (6am)

· Tom Daley already has one Olympic gold to his name in Tokyo, and he begins his bid for second in the men's 10m platform. Teammate Noah Williams is also involved in the preliminary round (7am)

· Jason Kenny's reign as sprint king may be over, but Jack Carlin looked strong in his bid to succeed his compatriot. He takes on Harrie Lavreysen in his sprint semi-final (8.10am), with the final taking place later in the day (10.35am)
· The women's madison makes its Olympic debut at the velodrome as Team GB duo Katie Archibald and Laura Kenny look to add another medal to their collections (9.15am)

· Hosts Japan will look to get themselves on the podium as they face Mexico in the men's bronze medal match (10am)
· The women's champions will be crowned as both Sweden and Canada aim to win Olympic gold for the very first time (1pm)

· The men's 5000m final includes Great Britain's Andrew Butchart, but most eyes will be on Ugandan world record holder Joshua Cheptegei (1pm)
· Team GB's Jodie Williams will hope to get on the podium in the women's 400m final, but defending champ Shaunae Miller-Uibo is favourite for gold while Stephenie Ann McPherson should challenge and Allyson Felix is bidding to become the most decorated female track and field athlete of all time (1.35pm)
· Netherlands' Sifan Hassan takes on leg two of her ambitious attempt at a Tokyo treble in a women's 1500m final which also includes Great Britain's Laura Muir and Faith Kipyegon of Kenya (1.50pm)
· A star-studded women's 4x100m relay final will see a Team GB quartet including Dina Asher-Smith look to upset defending champions USA and favourites Jamaica, who boast Elaine Thompson-Herah as she goes for her third gold of the Games (2.30pm)
· Great Britain and Jamaica will also be going for gold in the men's 4x100m relay final, and their medal hopes have been boosted by USA's failure to qualify (2.50pm)

> Today's schedule in full
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