Juventus v Chelsea: Blues can bounce back in Turin
Champions League winners Chelsea head to Turin on Wednesday night to face Juventus in a mouthwatering Group H match-up. Mark O'Haire previews the encounter.
Juventus claimed their first home Serie A win of the season on Sunday when beating Sampdoria 3-2 but another unconvincing performance, plus an injury to Paulo Dybala, cast a shadow over proceedings at the Allianz Stadium. The Bianconeri's issues at the back again blighted their progress - the Old Lady are 20 games without a top-flight clean sheet.
To make matters worse, head coach Max Allegri confirmed post-match that Dybala and Alvaro Morata will "certainly" miss the midweek clash against Chelsea in the Champions League, whilst Adrien Rabiot joined Arthur and Kaio Jorge on the treatment table. It means Moise Kean and Dejan Kulusevski could be in the frame to start in attack, although Aaron Ramsey could also be used.
Allegri remained bullish post-match, whilst also acknowledging Juve's errors saying: "The team defended well as a team, but there were errors on a corner for 3-1 and then we gave it away in midfield for 3-2. We should've killed the game off earlier, we're happy to have a second consecutive victory, the first at home, and will now prepare for Chelsea."
Chelsea fail to fire against City
Chelsea's unbeaten start to the new Premier League season was ended by title rivals Manchester City at Stamford Bridge on Saturday in a deserved 1-0 defeat. The Blues produced a strangely passive and conservative performance and had no answer to the Citizens' relentless press, failing to muster up a single shot on-target on home soil.
Fielding three defensively-minded midfield players in N'Golo Kante, Jorginho and Mateo Kovacic failed to give the capital club a foothold in the fixture, whilst strike pair Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner were cut adrift. The touch of both strikers also disappointed on the rare occasions they were able to get into the game in a forgettable afternoon.
Post-match, Thomas Tuchel admitted his side were second-best, saying: "The performance was not complex enough. Overall, we were not at our best level. After the goal it felt like the belief in winning was bigger than the fear of losing, I don't know why. We tried to push and get the crowd behind us. It was a very emotional game but never on our highest level."
Market has moved for the Blues
Juventus and Chelsea have met on four occasions in Champions League history, sharing a solitary success each and playing out two draws with the away side yet to table a triumph. The most recent duels came in the 2012/13 group stage with the Old Lady running out 3-0 victors in Turin as the Blues failed to qualify from the pool.
Juventus 4.40 are yet to produce a performance of note since Allegri's return to the hot-seat. The Bianconeri brushed outsiders Malmo aside, and have seen off Spezia and Sampdoria in Serie A, yet were beaten by Napoli and involved in a bland stalemate with Milan. The hosts' defensive struggles cannot also be ignored here.
Chelsea 1.98 have faced difficult fixtures so far in 2021/22, including trips to Liverpool, Arsenal and Spurs, as well as hosting City. The Blues haven't appeared as imperious as they can be since the international break, although they do boast a W12-D3-L3 record in Champions League matches and against fellow Big Six outfits under Tuchel.
Chelsea can bounce back
Goals have been reasonably prevalent in Juventus' matches this term. The Old Lady's only shutout arrived against Malmo on MD1, and the Italians' have been struggling to keep the goals out domestically for quite some time. Such frailties and vulnerabilities could be exposed against a Chelsea squad that's dripping in offensive quality, with a point to prove.
Over 2.5 Goals is trading at 2.20 with the market anticipating a narrow Chelsea victory in Turin. However, the smarter option could be to support Chelsea to win and Under 3.5 Goals at an appealing 2.35 on the Sportsbook Bet Builder. A whopping 34 of the Blues' 37 fixtures across all competitions under Thomas Tuchel have seen Under 3.5 Goals bank.
This particular wager has also paid out in all bar two of Chelsea's triumphs since Tuchel arrived at Stamford Bridge in January.
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