Best Odds: 19/10
Unbeaten in Group H, both leaders Sevilla and runners-up Juventus will look to finish their job of securing the knockouts qualification when they lock horns at Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan on Tuesday night in what promises to be a scintillating clash.
The Rojiblancos apparently won’t be able to defend the UEFA Europa League crown they’ve been wearing for three years in a row now. This will hardly come as a disappointment to Sevilla supporters however who have been waiting for quite some time for their team to make a step further at the international scene. Not many fans would have hoped and anticipated such outcome following a hugely turbulent summer which ended up in Unai Emery and the host of the first-team players leave at the end of the 2015-16 season. Wild-eyed, bald-headed Argentine tactician Jorge Sampaoli has so far proved to be an upgrade however, as the former Chile head coach seems to be leading his team to glory this term with impressive performances and noteworthy results. Only two competitive defeats since August will serve as great validation of Sevilla’s form as Rojiblancos head into the Juventus clash looking for at least a point to secure their place in the elimination round.
In-form Manchester City loanee Samir Nasri is likely to miss the action against Serie A champions due to the fact that the French midfielder is still suffering from a hamstring injury.
Carlos Fernandez’s season is over which is also the case with Michael Krohn-Dehli who is facing another seven to eight months on the sidelines due to a kneecap fracture.
Similar in form, but so different in style to their Spanish rivals, Serie A champions Juventus are coming to town looking to extend their unbeaten run and claim a win that could propel them to the knockout stages of the UEFA Champions League. Juventus are coming off from a comprehensive 3-0 victory over Pescara and will be well motivated to record a fine result in Spain, although they still have a Dinamo Zagreb match at home ahead of them to validate their knockouts ticket if they fail to do so on Tuesday in Spain. The Old Lady are unbeaten in the Champions League and their main aim is to keep the record intact for the time being. On the long run, Max Allegri’s men are looking to upgrade their last season’s exploits in the competition which ended somewhat disappointingly in the round of 16. Bundesliga giants Bayern eliminated Bianconeri 6-4 on aggregate after two highly exciting matches and Juventus are now looking for a chance to extend their time in the competition as much as possible. Aware of the challenge in front of them, Allegri’s men will be urged to make a serious improvement to their game from this month’s 1-1 draw at home to Olympique Lyonnais during which Juventus left themselves dangerously exposed in some stages.
Stephan Lichtsteiner and Mehdi Benatia are yet to return from their injuries and make an impact this season.
What is more, Allegri will be without Barzagli and Marko Pjaca, who are struggling with shoulder and fibula problems, respectively. Paulo Dybala is still experiencing problems with his thigh injury and is likely to miss the clash.
Key Aspects to Consider
- Sevilla lost only 2 of their last 16 matches in all competitions
- Juventus have won 13 of 17 games all season long
- Rojiblancos need a point to secure progression to the knockouts
- Sampaoli’s men lost 3 and won 7 of their last 10 home games
- There has been under 2.5 goals in all 3 matches between two sides
Sevilla and Juventus are not undress great pressure given the fact they are currently sporting a huge gap in front of their rivals in Group H. Much is at stake however, as both La Liga and Serie A outfits are searching for points in order to seal their place in the elimination stage as early as possible. Therefore we should expect and openly contested game between two great teams and an openly-contested game.
Best Odds: 19/10