Friday, September 22, 2017

Prediction: Juventus vs Porto

Verdict: Home win

Best Odds: 4/6

Bookmaker: William Hill

Serie A champions Juventus are set to welcome Portugal giants FC Porto, who are facing a gargantuan task of clawing back from 2-0 down to write another piece of history in the UEFA Champions League.

Juventus

Bianconeri are sitting in the driving seat for the return leg of the Champions League Last-16 tie against Porto as they carry a two-goal lead into the Tuesday’s match at their own stadium in Turin. Massimiliano Allegri’s men are going through a purple patch which saw them win eleven and draw one of their last 12 matches across all competitions. To put their current stretch of form in even better perspective, it is enough to say that Serie A titleholders are unbeaten at their own stadium since August 2015, which makes for an incredible run of 45 matches. Furthermore, Juventus have not lost a single one of their 20 home games in Europe, ever since falling short 2-0 against Bayern Munich in April 2013. The Italian giants are heading into the rematch with Porto feeling confident after a morale-boosting derby win over AC Milan, which was achieved in thrilling fashion, thanks to a dying-moment penalty Dybala converted for a 2-1 victory.

Team News

Giorgio Chiellini missed the Friday night’s derby match through a muscle problem, but Allegri will be hopeful reliable defender will be able to recover in time.

Mario Mandzukic is ill, whereas Stefano Sturaro is suffering from an abdominal injury.

Porto

Portuguese giants have nothing to lose and will be forced to chase the result, which can leave them vulnerable and open so Nuno Espirito Santo might be forced to adopt a cautious approach for the game as Juventus are expected to go for the kill at their home ground. The visitors are well-aware of the Herculean task that lies ahead of them and will do their best to write another piece of history in Europe’s elite club competition. No team managed to claw their way back from a 2-0 home defeat in the first leg of the knockout stages ever since Champions League was reformed back in 1992. Portugal Dragons are unwilling to go down without a fight and are expected to build up on a fine form of late. Porto have won last nine league games without conceding in their last five, but those numbers will count for nothing if Porto don’t show defensive solidarity and head in the game bravely, but not recklessly. Porto held on rather well in the first leg, but Allegri’s tactical switches made all the difference in the world, so Nuno Espirito Santo will be hoping to see a better response from his team in Turin.

Team News

Telles is suspended for the return leg and will not be able to help his teammates, whereas Jesus Corona is a doubt due to his ankle injury.

Hector Herrera has struggled with a foot injury, but is expected to make a timely recovery, while Joao Costa’s knee injury will heep the back-up goalkeeper out of contention.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Juventus are unbeaten in last 45 home games across all competitions
  • Bianconeri are without a defeat in 20 home Champions League matches
  • Porto won last nine league games without conceding
  • No team has managed to overcome a 2-0 home deficit in the UCL thus far
  • Juventus failed to keep a clean sheet in last three games

Conclusion

Nuno Espirito Santo is a careful manager by nature, but Porto will have little time to waste as they trail by two goals and need to go strong from the off. We expect an openly-contested affair with the main battle to occur in the midfield. Both teams boast quality individuals and we have no doubt that a fine game is in store. Juventus are expected to continue their impressive home run and we are sure they will take nothing for granted.

Verdict: Home win

Best Odds: 4/6

Bookmaker: William Hill

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