Juventus v Real Madrid
Tue, 19:45 BST
Live on ITV
For readers of a certain age, this game has echoes of the 1998 final, won by a late Predrag Mijatovic goal for Real. This time, hosts Juventus are underdogs. They will be without midfielder Paul Pogba. Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modric is also sidelined. Striker Karim Benzema is doubtful with a knee injury.
Juventus [3.1], Real Madrid [2.6], The Draw [3.3]
Real Madrid are favourites to win on the night in Turin, hardly surprising considering their pedigree and superior individual talent. Juventus are playing at this stage of the competition for the first time in more than a decade and this is comfortably the biggest test they have faced in the tournament this season.
Three factors are in Juve’s favour. The first is they won the home legs of their last-16 and last-eight ties, against Borussia Dortmund (2-1) and Monaco (1-0) respectively. The second is that Real have been far from perfect in the knockout phase, winning only two of four matches. The third is Juve’s remarkable home record: Opta points out ‘La Vecchia Signora’ have lost only one of their last 54 home games (W45-D8-L1).
But there’s simply not enough evidence to make a convincing case for a home victory. This Juventus side are semi-final debutants and that lack of top-level experience counts against them. The Draw or Real Madrid are the only sensible picks.
Under/Over 2.5 Goals
Unders [1.67], Overs [2.48]
Under 2.5 Goals is odds-on, with good reason. Wary of what a talented side the visitors are, Juventus are likely to be cautious rather than expansive, as they were against Monaco (1-0, 0-0) in the previous round.
Real have a formidable array of attacking talent but their two last-eight fixtures against Atletico Madrid produced just one goal in total. Those two low-scoring encounters against city rivals Atletico show that backing this game to be high-scoring simply because Real have so many talented goalscorers would be too simplistic, especially as one of those goalscorers, Benzema, may sit out this match through injury.
The prices look about right so this is a market to avoid.
DRAW NO BET (DNB)
If, like me, you think Real or The Draw are the bets to consider in the Match Odds market, there are two ways to make sure you have those two runners on your side: Either back Real in the DNB market or back Real 0 Asian handicap, as these two wagers are essentially the same thing. In both instances you’ll get your stakes back if the game ends in a draw and make money if Real win.
Carlos Tevez and Alvaro Morata have scored three and two goals respectively in the knockout phase. They are worth considering in the ‘To Score’ market at odds of around [3.3] and [4.0] respectively that should be available when the market has liquidity. Arturo Vidal – who scored the winner in the last round against Monaco, and also scored the goal that clinched the Serie A title for Juventus when they beat Sampdoria 1-0 at the weekend – is available at [4.5]. If you think Juve will score then consider splitting your stakes across some or all of these players.
Real Madrid Draw No Bet @ [1.77]Alvaro Morata and Arturo Vidal To Score @ [4.0] and [4.5] respectively
(split your stakes)