MONACO produced the shock of the round in the Last 16 knocking out Arsenal. Can their run continue in the Quarter-Finals, Chris Graham (@chrisgraham79)?
Juventus v Monaco | Tuesday 19:45 | Sky Sports 1
It was supposed to be easy wasn’t it? Finally, Arsenal had landed their Champions League Last 16 dream draw when Monaco came out the hat as their opponents. But as always, things are never simple for the London club and they lost on away goals.
Let’s give Monaco the credit they deserve though. Leonardo Jardim’s side outwitted Arsenal in London and were defensively solid enough to concede no more than three goals over the two legs. From a price point of view they look underrated here.
Opponents Juventus are marching towards another Serie A title. They’re 12 points clear with just eight games left after their main rivals Roma fell apart at the turn of the year.
The Old Lady have had a difficult relationship with the Champions League in recent years, but produced their best performance in the competition for some time in the last round when crushing Borussia Dortmund 3-0 in Germany. Massimo Allegri’s side are now being mentioned as serious contenders.
They very well may be contenders, but I can’t be backing them at 1/2 to win this match. I’m still not a huge believer in the Italian champions and see them as comfortably behind Bayern, Real, Barcelona and Atletico in the pecking order.
Their victory over Dortmund was hugely impressive, but think about all the problems that have plagued the German club this season. In the group stages Juve lost two of their six games and were level on aggregate with Olympiakos over their two matches with the Greek side.
Perhaps it’s not relevant, but while Juventus barely dropped a point in the Italian top-flight last season, they were eliminated from a Champions League group that contained FC Copenhagen and Galatasaray. They also lost to bottom and bankrupt Parma on Sunday in Serie A.
Monaco have built their season’s successes on their stingy defence. They’ve conceded just 22 goals in 32 Ligue 1 games and still have a chance of winning the title. In the Champions League group stages they conceded just one goal.
I’m happy to swerve the 1/2 on Juventus and side with the Evens (Bet365) on Monaco +1 on the Asian Handicap. If the French side lose by just one goal I’ll get my stake returned.
Juventus scored just seven goals in their group and I get the impression the bookmakers are reading too much into that win over Dortmund last month, hence the really short odds.
Juventus v Monaco – Monaco +1 Asian Handicap (Evens Bet365)
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