MARK O’HAIRE (@MarkOHaire) shares his betting views on Bayern Munich’s last-16 second leg Champions League tie with Juventus on Wednesday night.
Bayern Munich v Juventus | Wednesday 19.45 | BT Sport 2
Bayern Munich will have been kicking themselves after throwing away a two-goal advantage in the first leg in Turin three weeks ago. Pep Guardiola’s men were in total control but a sloppy final half hour allowed Juventus to level the tie thanks to a stirring fightback.
The balance of power still sits firmly in Bayern’s camp and I’d expect the Bavarians to show their teeth at the Allianz Arena.
FC Hollywood tend to produce their most dominating performances in front of their home supporters and with nine wins on the spin in Champions League competition as hosts (by an aggregate 36-4); it’s hard to oppose Bayern.
Of those aforementioned nine victories, Bayern kept clean sheets in six with Barcelona the only side to manage to score twice in that time. And Pep’s charges have enjoyed the highest possession (71%) average, the most shots, the most efforts on-target and the highest number of goals in the 2015/16 tournament.
Warming up for this fixture on the back of a 5-0 smashing of Werder Bremen at the weekend, the Germans also welcome back Mehdi Benatia from injury, giving the Bavarians backline a look of semblance once more.
Sure, Mainz won here just a fortnight ago but Bayern have W17-D0-L1 in their 18 games across all competitions at the Allianz Arena this term, scoring at least four goals in nine of those fixtures and keeping their sheets clean on 12 occasions. The hosts are understandably second favourites to go the distance.
Juventus produced an unusually timid effort for large swathes of that first meeting and although Max Allegri’s men battled back valiantly and bravely, the Old Lady have been hurt by a series of key withdrawals from action.
Giorgio Chiellini, Claudio Marchisio and Paulo Dybala are all absent with Mario Mandzukic rated extremely doubtful. It’s a bitter pill to swallow for the Turin travellers; with Chiellini, Marchisio and Dybala making up the successful spine of the Bianconeri’s XI.
Juve have embarked on a stunning W18-D1-L0 run in Serie A action, churning out 10 consecutive shutouts since the start of November but their Champions League form shows just four successes in 11 and only one in five on their travels. So it’s difficult to see the Old Lady producing the goods here.
Thirteen of Bayern’s 21 Champions League goals have been shared between Thomas Muller (six) and Robert Lewandowsi (seven) with both forwards on target at the weekend. With the latter now notching 34 goals this season and Bayern plundering an eye-watering 53 goals in front of their home supporters – an average of 2.94 per-game – I’m keen to take a goals approach.
Lewandowsi has scored 21 of his 34 goals (62%) in 17 matches at the Allianz Arena, meaning the Polish hitman is averaging 1.23 goals-per-game on home soil. It’s a phenomenal scoring rate which makes the 6/4 from Ladbrokes on Lewandowsi to score in a Bayern win most appealing here.
Bayern Munich v Juventus – Robert Lewandowski to score and Bayern Munich to win (6/4 Ladbrokes)
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