The Champions League matchups resume Friday afternoon, and Juventus will be hoping to overturn a one-goal deficit when they do battle with Lyon.
In the first leg, Juventus didn’t play all that great, and ended up losing 1-0 despite being the favoured side. And though they have been proficient in recent years at reversing score-lines and turning these ties around, it won’t be easy against a defensively proficient Lyon side.
Making matters more intriguing is the issue of Juventus’ current form. Though they were crowned victors of the Serie A season, they really didn’t look all that convincing as they tried to hold on to their large points lead. Both Atalanta and Inter nearly caught them, ultimately holding on by just one point.
For Lyon, it will be interesting to see their style of play and form for this pivotal showdown. Ligue 1 cancelled their campaign and never resumed, so rust could be a factor for the French side. With everyone thinking Juventus should be able to make up this deficit, can the surprising group from Lyon hold off Ronaldo and Co.? As always, read on beneath the posted odds for team news, a tactical preview, and betting analysis. Enjoy this one folks, it should be intense!
Juventus vs. Lyon Betting Odds:
Over 2.5 (-110)
Under 2.5 (-110)
*Betting odds provided by BetOnline.ag
Juventus vs. Lyon Pick:
As is indicated by a lofty price on the betting markets, many seem to think Juventus will be able to overturn this deficit on Friday afternoon. Will Lyon be rusty or well rested following their long layoff? And can Juventus shake off a poor run of form in Serie A to flip the switch for this big match?
It is going to be a challenge for Juve’s bench boss in Maurizio Sarri, but thankfully for him his side is moving closer to full health. Matthijs de Ligt will return to the heart of defense, paired with Leo Bonucci. That tandem has been steady when together all season long, and should help to keep Lyon out.
Juventus will line up in a 4-3-3, and likely play an aggressive style from the outset to make up their deficit. Alex Sandro and Juan Cuadrado will be activated regularly as offensive wing-backs, which should stretch the field brilliantly against Lyon’s defense.
Up top is where Juventus can and should be powerful. Ronaldo is still an elite finisher and needs to be watched tightly, though his pairing with Gonzalo Higuain will be one to watch. Without Paulo Dybala, Ronaldo will need support – and Higuain should be up for the task against Lyon’s backline.
Expect the French side to stick with their tried and tested 3-5-2 formation, hoping to clog up the midfield and not allow much time and space for Juve to generate offense.
Memphis Depay is back in fine form, and his pace and ability should play well against Juventus’ defense. At worst, he’ll be one for de Ligt and Bonucci to really focus in on.
Where Lyon are worrisome is their play without the ball. How will this long layoff impact their legs, especially if they’re chasing for upwards of 90 minutes. Yes, they’ve loaded their midfield and will seek to disrupt passing, but are they talented enough defenders against the Serie A champions?
Expect Juventus to control possession and ultimately secure the goals they need. Lyon are a talented side, but this is a new scenario for them and their squad isn’t really built to deny a gifted Juventus team over 90 minutes. While the team’s recent form doesn’t inspire confidence, expect yet another special outing from Ronaldo. The Portuguese star netted 31 goals in 33 games this year, and can’t be counted out. Lean to a Juventus win in 90 minutes, but whether it’ll be enough to advance – remains to be seen.
Pick: Juventus 2-1