Juventus vs Bayer LeverkusenUEFA Champions League, KO: 20:00 Oct 1, 2019, Allianz Stadium
THESE two sides will have been disappointed with their results on Matchday 1, for differing reasons.
Leverkusen were left stunned by a surprise home defeat to Lokomotiv Moscow. The Russians silenced the BayArena with a 2-1, despite enjoying just 21% of possession against Peter Bosz' side. The result leaves the Germans in a horrible position in the group ahead of their trip to Turin this week.
There, they'll face a Juve side who let a two-goal lead slip in Madrid on the opening matchday. Cuadrado and Matuidi had put the Italians in pole position for the three points after 65 mins but Diego Simeone's men never know when they are beaten and the Old Lady failed to repel the onslaught from Atletico, conceding and equaliser in the 90th minute.
The result certainly wasn't a disaster for Juventus but it would've felt like two points dropped rather than one gained in the race to top the group.
Imperious in Serie A, Juventus are desperate to crown their domestic glory with the Champions League title, but they've not lifted the trophy since 1996, despite appearing in five finals since then. In fact they lay claim to the inglorious record of having lost more finals (7) in the competition than any other club. With five-time winner Ronaldo on board you wouldn't bet against them reaching the final once more.
To do so, they need to arrest a semi-slide in form at home in the competition. They have lost only four of their 38 European matches at the Juventus (Allianz) Stadium (W22 D12) but three of those defeats have come in their last six matches. Time to build that fortress once again, starting with a win over Bayer.
Speaking of Bayer, their form in the competition is a bit more difficult to decifer. Defeat to Lokomotiv on Matchday One made it just two wins in Leverkusen's last 14 UEFA Champions League matches (D8 L4). However, they're unbeaten in five on the road (W1 D4) so have become some kind of draw specialists. They've been chalked up at 6/1 to win in Italy but the shrewdies might fancy a bit 7/2 on the game finishing level, or the 13/8 on Draw or Leverkusen.
Depsite their reputation as one of the tournament contenders year-in-year-out, Juventus aren't renknowned for banging in the goals in the group stages. Prior to the 2-2 draw at Atletico, the last five campaigns have seen them consistently manage to qualify for the knock-out stages scoring an average of just 8.4 goals across their six matches per season, or if you prefer just 1.4 goals per game.
That also points to a very stingy defence that concedes at a rate of just 0.6 goals per match. So don't expect a high scoring affair in Turin
Juventus are best priced at 1/2 to win but I prefer the 5/2 on them winning by a single goal margin. Four of their last seven have been won by one goal and they were that injury time equalizer in Madrid away from making that five in seven.
On Bet365's BetBuilder you can also get 5/4 on Juve to win and there to be Under 4 goals in the game, which looks a steal.
The lack of expected goals makes a goalscorer bet a bit of a no-go. Most money will be on Ronaldo, of course, but British football fans might be tempted by the 11/1 (LeoVegas) on Aaron Ramsay to follow up his goal on his first start for Juve with the opener in his second Champions League ouing for the Italians.
This UEFA Champions League match between Juventus and Bayer Leverkusen will be played on Oct 1, 2019 and kick off at 20:00