Allegri aiming to join Atleti in Champions League last 16
Massimiliano Allegri’s Juventus are aiming to join last year’s Champions League finalists in the last 16 of Europe’s elite club competition, and have odds of 11/10 with Coral to beat Atletico Madrid who came close to winning the crown last term.
Juventus are unbeaten in nine home UEFA competition matches, though will hope they can improve significantly on a disappointing goalless draw against Fiorentina last time out in the league.
“We certainly made a step backwards in terms of chances, as we had created so much in previous games and were a little less precise in the final ball,” said Juve defender Leonardo Bonucci.
“I am happy in any system and try to put myself to the service of the team. Obviously with three I can read the situations better, but I have shown over the years I can do well with four too.”
“We have excellent sensations,” Allegri said. “It’s an important match, we must try to win with two clear goals, as our objective is to qualify and hopefully even top the group.”
Diego Simeone’s men won the reverse fixture earlier in the season 1-0, and are 15/2 to do so again; however, if the Turin titans are victorious by two or more goals, they will leapfrog the Spanish side to qualify as Group A winners.
Arda Turan dispatched the solitary goal at the Vicente Calderon, and has odds of 7/2 in the anytime scorer market. His team travel to Italy, having won four matches in a row, and are on a streak of three straight clean sheets.
“I think that the team is improving and growing, which makes us competitive in all the competitions,” said boss Simeone, whose side trail La Liga leaders Real Madrid by four points, and whose goal for Lazio against Inter Milan in 2002 helped Juventus win the Serie A title.
To do the business for the Italians, Carlos Tevez is offered at 5/1 to break the deadlock, having hit three in five fixtures in Europe this season.
Andrea Pirlo has also shown on numerous occasions that he has still got what it takes and is deadly from a set piece situation. With one in the competition so far, he has odds of 7/2 to dispatch anytime.
For the visitors, meanwhile, summer signing Mario Mandzukic, who has scored 12 in 19 this term for his new club, is a sensational 6/1 to net the opener, and the Croatian hit a hat-trick against Olympiacos last time out to guarantee qualification to the last 16.