Juventus v Barcelona
Live on ITV, Sky Sports 1 and Sky Sports 5
Match Odds: Juventus [6.4], Barcelona [1.63], The Draw [4.2]
Barcelona have won only two of the eight European meetings against Juventus (D2 L4)
There are several reasons to suspect that Barcelona are ripe for a laying. One is that Juventus are unbeaten in nine Champions League clashes since November, winning four of their six knockout ties despite far from simplistic draws against Borussia Dortmund, Monaco and Real Madrid. Another is that this is Luis Enrique’s first encounter against an Italian side since his year at Roma in 2011/12, when he wasn’t very good at it at all. He pitted wits with Juventus coach Max Allegri – then in charge of AC Milan – twice that season, losing 3-2 at Stadio Olimpico and 2-1 at San Siro.
Recommended Bet: Lay Barcelona to win @ [1.64]
For the first time, a team has two players with nine-plus goals scored in a single Champions League season (Neymar and Messi for Barcelona)
Messi still has a goal more than Neymar’s nine in this edition of the Champions League, but he has been convincingly upstaged in the knockout phase, scoring twice to his teammate’s six. Even more impressively, all six of the Brazilian’s goals came in the quarter-finals and semi-finals. Not only did the 23-year-old strike in every one of those showdowns with French champions Paris St-Germain and German title winners Bayern Munich, he fired a brace in the second leg of those ties too.
Recommended Bet: Back Neymar to score @ [2.8]
Dani Alves has been booked six times in the Champions League this season, more than any other player
The Brazilian right back is far too classy to be dismissed as a dirty player, yet he has been carded on six of his ten European appearances this term, including three of his five in the second half of the competition. The 32-year-old earned a place in the referee’s notebook on the sole other occasion that he contested the Champions League final in 2011, having missed the 2009 spectacle due to suspension. Intriguingly, Barcelona’s right back has seen yellow in three of their past four Champions League finals, one of those being the last against an Italian club (AC Milan in 1993/94).
Recommended Bet: Back Alves to be shown a card @ [3.3]