LYON host Juventus on Wednesday evening as the Last 16 of the Champions League continues. We asked Jack Lambden (@_JackL_) to analyses the odds and share his best bets.
Lyon v Juventus | Wednesday 26th February 2020, 20:00 | BT Sport
The Old Lady make the journey to France in the next step in their quest to become European Champions for the third time in the club’s history, a feat they have fallen short of for the best part of 24 years.
With a slender one point lead in Serie A, Juventus will know that they need to be at their best until the end of May to pull off a domestic and Champions League double. However, Juventus have to up there when talking about potential winners of this competition, especially with there being no clear favourite and question marks around each of the remaining teams.
There’s certainly plenty of experience and strength in depth in this Juve squad which makes them attractive on the outright markets at 11/1 when factoring in their relatively kind draw for this round on paper too.
Maurizio Sarri’s men have been less than convincing this season however and gone are the days when you could back Juve to win to nil almost blindly and be confident it would land – the team conceding to the likes of SPAL, Hellas Verona and Parma in recent matches and earning just two clean sheets in their last 15 away matches.
Lyon will be hoping to be another name to add to that list of sides that have penetrated the Bianconeri goal but all is not well in the east of France. Supporters group ‘The Bad Gones’ protested recently against those running the club for their lack of ambition and reinvestment in the squad following the 100 million Euros intake of funds received for Ferland Mendy and Tanguy Ndombele.
Lyon’s president refutes those claims but the fact remains that the team look absolutely nowhere near the domestic superpower they were during the early 2000’s golden era.
The next few days, with the first leg against Juve and then another home match against bitter rivals Saint Etienne, represents a defining week in the club’s season and a talented group of individuals needs to come together to salvage something from a deflating campaign. The young squad scrapped through the group stage with two wins in six
I’m always a little reluctant backing away sides to win in the Champions League so instead will look to the player stat markets where Juventus are concerned.
One man who has made more impact on this competition than anyone else in its history is Cristiano Ronaldo. The debate on who is better between him and Messi will go back and forth but there’s no doubting that the Portuguese man has owned this competition for years now and become the all time UCL leading goalscorer in the process.
Ronaldo registered 27 shots in the Group Stages and a quite incredible 121 in 21 Serie A appearances. CR7 has scored 19 goals in his last 15 games and two or more shots on-target in 10 of his last 11 Serie A games so I’m willing to take on him to score anytime and have 2+ shots on target.
Prop markets seem to throw up a fair amount of price variances when it comes to the Champions League and another player for the Turin side that I’ve benefitted from in recent weeks has been Juan Cuadrado.
The Colombian international has been deployed in his more regular right winger role in the last three matches since Danilo’s return from injury, as opposed to right-back where he’s slotted in for the rest of the campaign and some bookies have been slow to catch on to this change.
In those three matches, Cuadrado has got 2, 3 and 4 shots away so to see odds of 19/5 with Coral on him managing at least two again in this match is just too big. After a goal an assist in his two Serie A matches further up the pitch, Sarri would be wise to stick with this positional change and hopefully see even more reward from a Ronaldo-Cuadrado partnership which the latter has talked up in the past couple of days.
Lyon v Juventus – Cristiano Ronaldo to score anytime (27/25 Unibet)
Lyon v Juventus – Cristiano Ronaldo 2+ Shots on Target (11/10 PaddyPower)
Lyon v Juventus – Juan Cuadrado 2+ Total Shots (19/5 Coral)