THE CHAMPIONS LEAGUE Last 16 concludes this midweek. We asked Tom Love (@TomLove_18) to source the best bets from Atletico Madrid's trip to Juventus.
Juventus v Atletico Madrid | Tuesday 12th March 2019, 20:00 | BT Sport
Two of the best defensive teams in Europe meet in Turin on Tuesday night with Atletico Madrid holding a 2-0 lead from the first leg. We will find out if they can take another step towards the final, which is of course hosted at their home, the Wanda Metropolitano.
Uruguayan centre-half partners Diego Godin and Jose Gimenez both popped up with late goals from the first leg and it gives the Spaniards something to hold on to. Los Colchoneros deserved the win, and had an Alvaro Morata strike controversially ruled out.
We know that Atleti are one at the best in the business when it comes to holding on to leads so it’s going to have to be something special produced from the hosts to qualify for the next round.
It will be intriguing to see if Diego Simeone allows some form of attacking, after all, if they score then Juve have to notch four. Keeping a clean sheet in Madrid was a welcome boost and it puts them in an excellent position with the away goals rule applying.
Makeshift full-back prime for a card
Los Rojiblancos have injury problems at left back though, with both Filipe Luis and Lucas Hernandez both out injured. This could well mean Juanfran shifts over and Santiago Arias would come in at right-back. With the experienced Juanfran out of position, and Juve likely to make the pitch as big as possible, it could be something the Old Lady try to exploit.
The Spanish international is 3/1 to be carded (William Hill) and that looks a very interesting angle. He’s played 11 times in La Liga this season and been carded five times. With his side having something to defend, do not be surprised to see a card-heavy game, especially given how streetwise Atletico are.
Juanfran is one of Simeone’s disciples and he will know when he has to make a foul, moreover the fact he’s right-footed would see him struggle if players go round him. He’s as short as 7/4 elsewhere.
You get the feeling that a large proportion of this game will be played In Juventus’ attacking half. Expect the Old Lady’s full backs to add width and an extra option for midfield general Miralem Pjanic to pick out. Also expect the visitors to employ a low block, two banks of four with the two strikers dropping onto Juve’s deep lying midfielders.
Thinking along these lines I’d like to get Juventus onside in the Corner Handicap market. We have to stretch to a -3 line but with Atleti unlikely to do any attacking and Juve going at it from the get-go, it looks a decent play at evens with Betfair.
Late goal drama
It was a goalless first-half in the first leg and I could see something similar again here. But with the calibre of players on show you can’t rule out a goal out of nothing. Instead, I’m happy to get involved in the Time Of Last Goal market and back 76th minute to full-time at 13/10 with Betway.
With the game likely to be tight, pressure may grow in the latter stages with Juve committing plenty of players forward and the possibility that they leave gaps at the back to exploit. Simeone has the likes of Thomas Lemar to bring off the bench and they have pace to burn on the break.
The first leg saw this bet land and there’s greater reasoning for it to land here – 13/10 doesn’t look a bad price.
Juventus v Atletico Madrid – Juventus -3 corner handicap (1/1 Betfair)
Juventus v Atletico Madrid – Time Of Last Goal: 76th minute to full-time (13/10 Betway)
Juventus v Atletico Madrid – Juanfran to be carded (3/1 William Hill)