PARMA (Sporting Alert) — Juventus FC will look to extend its lead at the top of the Italian Serie A with a win over Cagliari at the Stadio Tardini here on Friday.
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Competition: Serie A
Date: December 21 2012
Game week: 18 Kick-off 13:45
VenueStadio Ennio Tardini (Parma)
The defending champions hold a seven point lead over Inter Milan in the table standings, after tallying 41 points from its 17 games played this season and could go ten clear with a victory.
Antonio Conte’s side has won 13 games already in the league and has scored 36 goals, the second highest in Serie A thus far this season and come Friday night, the leaders will hope to add to those stats.
However, Juventus will have to do so without leading defender and captain Giorgio Chiellini, who is injured and will miss the contest.
Chiellini is out with a calf injury, but Conte is confident his side is strong enough to cope without the Italian.
“It’s a shame Chiellini’s injured, he’s a player everyone would like to have for what he offers both on and off the field of play,” the boss told www.juventus.com.
“He’s one of our leaders but I’m convinced he’ll come back stronger than before, looking to recover as soon as possible with the help of the club’s medical staff.”
Also expected to be out is on-loan Arsenal forward Nicklas Bendtner, who is still recovering from a thigh strain.
Things haven’t been going so well for Cagliari after dropping four straight games to dip to 16th in the table standings heading into the game.
Cagliari head coach Ivo Pulga is expecting a tough game against Juventus, but is trying to work out a way to stop the champs.
“There is only one way to deal with Juventus and that is not to submit to them,” he told La Repubblica.
“If you hole up near your own goal sooner or later you will concede a goal. We have to play an open game and match them blow for blow.”
Cagliari will be without captain Daniele Conti, who will serve a one-match ban and fellow defender Sebastian Eriksson, who misses out because of injury.