THE Champions League quarter-finals conclude on Wednesday as Real Madrid welcome Juventus to the Bernabeu. Ben Levene (@BenLevene96) shares his best bets.
Real Madrid v Juventus | Wednesday 11th April 2018, 19:45 | BT Sport
When Real Madrid took a 3-1 lead to Paris in the last round of the Champions League, they most definitely did not shut up shop. They went to PSG in the second-leg and won 2-1 on the night, registering 22 shots.
A case can be made for the viewpoint that Madrid are at their best when they can hit teams on the counter. So with a three-goal lead coming into a game at the Bernabeu where the onus is on Juventus to push, the game could play into Real’s hands.
They scored in all seven games in the knockout phase of last seasons Champions League, and there’s no reason they can’t do similar here.
Paolo Dybala’s absence will be an undoubtable blow for Juventus. The Argentine has been at the heart of a lot of Juve’s best work at the elite level over the last 18-months.
The likes of Casemiro, Luka Modric, Isco and Karim Benzema were only on the bench at the weekend with this game in mind, so Zinedine Zidane is taking nothing for granted.
Based on what we’ve already established, Madrid are still the most likely winners on the night, and so there could be a spot of value in siding with them on Asian Handicap. Real Madrid -1 is 53/50, and sees our stake refunded if Zidane’s men win by exactly one goal.
One potential avenue of hope for Massimo Allegri’s side will be the suspension of Madrid skipper Sergio Ramos. With Nacho a doubt, it’s likely that either Jesus Vallejo or Casemiro will partner Rafael Varane at the heart of defence.
Over 2.5 goals is 8/13, which is too short for us to get involved with, but Over 1.5 goals in the first-half could be a shrewd investment at 29/20.
Juventus have conceded in the first-half in each of their last three-matches, and five of their last seven in the Champions League. They’re in need of a fast-start, so will have to be aggressive throughout. The nature of their play means they could be vulnerable if they aren’t defending deep.
Real Madrid v Juventus – Real Madrid -1 Asian Handicap (53/50 Blacktype)
Real Madrid v Juventus – Over 1.5 First-Half Goals (29/20 Coral)