The Champions League is finally back as Juventus host Tottenham
Last updated: February 12, 2018 by Leon Marshal
|Home Team Form:||WWWWW|
|Away Team Form:||WDWDW|
One of the most anticipated clashes in this week’s round of Champions League knock-out fixtures has to be Juventus against Tottenham. Two teams that are balanced on paper will meet head to head, with the first leg held in Turin. These two teams have never met before and while they will of course be aware of each others reputation, no one can predict what will happen here.
Juventus go into this one in fine form. They’ve won their last eight league games and have conceded just once in 16 games in all competitions. Moroccan defender Benatia seems central to this specific stat; with him on the pitch, Juve have conceded three goals in Seria A, compared to twelve goals in ten games without him. Injuries could be a problem for the Bianconeri however. Cuadrado, Matuidi, and Höwedes are all ruled out, while Dybala is also likely to miss out. Douglas Costa should feature then, but Matuidi is a hard man to replace in midfield, though Marchisio is perhaps the most likely. Juventus haven’t lost at home in the competition so far. In fact, you’d have to go back to 2013 for the last time Juventus lost at home in a UEFA competition, when they were beaten by Bayern Munich in April, meaning they’ve lost just one of 31 home games in the competition. Despite losing their opening match to Barcelona, Juve pulled it back to finish runner up in the group. That home form, together with Juventus’ confidence and experience in the knock-out stage of the competition could go a long way towards earning a result here.
Despite the comparative lack of experience at this stage of the competition, Spurs are unlikely to be affected. Spur’s sixteen points in the group stage was the highest of any team, which is especially impressive, when you consider they had Dortmund and Real Madrid in their group. Unlike opponents Juventus, Tottenham have a fully fit squad for manager Mauricio Pochettino to choose from. Reports suggest Toby Alderweireld has not travelled with the squad as he builds up fitness, but the Spurs defence has been solid of late, with three clean sheets in a row all against top six Premier League opposition. Similarly to Juventus, Spurs are in great form. Their pedigree in the competition means they can’t compete with Juve’s record, but Spurs are nine league games unbeaten and are never a team that look low on confidence. With Harry Kane, Tottenham have perhaps the world’s hottest striker and keeping him quiet will be the number one priority for the Juve backline. Spurs will feel they have something still to prove in this competition and a win here would be a real statement.
There are a number of key injuries for Juventus coach Massimiliano to contend with. Cuadrado, Matuidi and Höwedes are all ruled out.
Juventus fans will also be sweating on the fitness of Paulo Dybala. The Argentian is unlikely to feature here due to a thigh injury.
Tottenham have the luxury of a full strength squad, though English media reports that Toby Alderweireld has not traveled with the squad to Turin.
Mauricio Pochettino is known for rotating his full backs, meaning Danny Rose and/or Serge Aurier could come in for Ben Davies and Kieran Trippier respectively.
|Juventus (4-3-3):||Buffon, De Sciglio, Benatia, Chiellini, Alex Sandro, Khedira, Pjanić, Bentancur, Douglas Costa, Higuaín, Mandžukić|
|Subs:||Lichsteiner, Marchisio, Barzagli, Pinsoglio, Asamoah, Szczesny, Rugani|
|Injured:||Cuadrado, Matuidi and Höwedes|
|Tottenham (4-2-3-1):||Lloris, Trippier, Sánchez, Vertonghen, Davies, Dembélé, Dier, Alli, Eriksen, Son Heung-min, Kane|
|Subs:||Lamela, Wanyama, Vorm, Sissoko, Llorente, Aurier, Winks|
So Far In The Champions League
|2 (1)||Wins (away)||3 (2)|
|2 – 0 vs. Olympiacos||Biggest Win||3 – 0 vs. APOEL|
|0 (1)||Draws (away)||3 (2)|
|0 – 3 vs Barcelona||Biggest Defeat||—|
|Gonzalo Higuaín (2)||Top Goal Scorer||Harry Kane (6)|
|Y8, R1||Discipline||Y11, R0|
|2||Failures to Score||0|
|33%||Both Teams to Score Games||66%|
|33%||Over 2.5 Goals||75%|
|66%||Under 2.5 Goals||25%|
- Juve’s domestic form going into this one is very strong. They’ve won their last eight league games and have conceded one goal in the last 16 games in all competitions.
- Spur’s form is also great. They’re unbeaten in nine games, though they have drawn three of those.
- Juventus’ strong defence helped them out of trouble, with clean sheets in half of their games so far.
- Tottenham definitely have the better stats in the competition. They’re unbeaten, with impressive results against both Dortmund and Real Madrid.
Conclusion & Betting Tips
Looking at Juve’s form – both recent and going further back to their home form at this stage in the Champions League – it’s hard to imagine them losing. However, as we pointed out above, there are a number of key injuries among the squad and Tottenham are in fine form of their own.
It will be tough to win, but because of the above, we are going to go with a Juventus Draw no bet, which you can get at a great price at William Hill.