EUROPE: Champions League
Time: 20:00 PM
Venue: Allianz Stadium (Turin)
Despite winning 3-2 for a second game running on Sunday, Juventus are still way off the pace in the Serie A title race. This puts more importance than ever on them claiming a first UEFA Champions League (UCL) trophy since 1996, the odds against which would shorten drastically if Juventus emulate their last home H2H result against Chelsea (W 3-0, November 2012).
Juventus’ 3-0 win vs Malmö on matchday one saw Paulo Dybala augment his 100% record for scoring in UCL seasons with the club into a seventh campaign. However, his absence here puts the spotlight on the fact that Juventus have won just one of their previous five UCL group stage home fixtures against sides from Pot 1 or 2.
Chelsea’s defeat here nearly nine years ago proved damaging in their UCL title defence of 2012/13, as they ended up third in the group. As for the current campaign, the ‘Blues’ were unconvincing on matchday one against Zenit (W 1-0), with only a Romelu Lukaku strike (69’) proving the difference after the ‘Blues’ failed to land any first-half shots on target. They also head into this match after suffering their first competitive defeat of the season last Saturday.
As their away performances vs Italian opposition this century have been largely forgettable (W1, D1, L5), Chelsea will want to start well at both ends. Notably, they’ve won all of the last ten UCL matches to see them lead at half-time, and recorded a clean sheet in seven of the last eight UCL battles to see them get a first-half shutout.
Key battle: Two of Juventus’ last three match-winning goals have come via defenders, namely Matthijs de Ligt and Alex Sandro. They will surely be kept busy by Romelu Lukaku, who scored against Juventus only in May (L 2-3) and boasts a 70% win rate across his previous ten goalscoring UCL matches.
- Juventus’ form in last 5 matches: WWDWL.
- Chelsea’s form in last 5 matches: LDWWW
PREDICTION: Away/Draw and Over 1.5