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Serie A preview: Juve juggernaut heads to Cagliari

Juventus visit Cagliari and Inter Milan host Genoa in the last round of Serie A fixtures before the league heads for its winter break.

Antonio Conte’s Juventus side have again set the pace so far this season, sitting seven points clear of second-placed Inter after 17 matches and looking on track for back-to-back titles for the first time since 1999/00 and 2000/01.

Their form in Europe has also been strong, progressing to the last 16 of the Champions League after going through Group E unbeaten and finishing ahead of Shakhtar Donetsk, Chelsea and Nordsjaelland.

In fact, Juve have lost only twice all season, with both Milan clubs getting the better of them in Serie A.

The Italians have an even spread of contributors on the goal front, with Fabio Quagliarella leading the way with six followed by Sebastian Giovinco (five), Arturo Vidal (five), Andrea Pirlo (four), Claudio Marchisio (four) and Mirko Vucinic (three).

On Saturday they visit a Cagliari side sitting just three points outside the relegation zone and in dire need of a win at home so they can enjoy some Christmas cheer during the break.

Saturday’s other match sees eighth-placed Catania visit Pescara, who are mired in the bottom three.

Juve’s nearest challengers are Andrea Stramaccioni’s Inter side, and they are in action on Sunday when they host second-bottom Genoa at San Siro.

Perhaps the match carrying the most weight comes when AC Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri takes his side to the capital for a crunch clash with Roma.

Milan endured a wretched run of form to start the campaign but have shown signs of a recovery in recent weeks, winning six of their past seven games in all competitions.

With a win in Rome they can leapfrog their opponents into sixth place in the table and position themselves for a strong run home.

In other Sunday matches, Udinese will look to improve on ninth position when they visit Atalanta, third-placed Lazio travel to Sampdoria looking to keep pace with the frontrunners while Palermo play host to Fiorentina at the Renzo Barbera.

Bottom side Siena’s quest for much-needed points does not get any easier when they welcome fifth-placed Napoli, Chievo visit Torino and Bologna host Parma in a mid-table clash.

Fri 21 December, 2012
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