Freiburg v Juventus: Betting tips, predictions, odds & match preview
Juventus will be hoping to hold their advantage when they travel to face Freiburg in the second leg of their Europa League last 16 tie of Thursday at 5:45pm (UK time).
This is not the last 16 Juventus will have expected to be in at the start of the season, but now the Bianconeri are in the Europa League they will be determined to win it. One, because it’s a trophy, but more importantly because it is likely their best route back to the Champions League after their 15-point deduction in Serie A has all but ended their hopes of a top four finish.
Juventus were one of the eight teams to drop down from the Champions League, finishing third in their group behind Benfica and Paris Saint-Germain. They went into the knockout round play-offs where they faced French side Nantes but it looked like they were in for a tough ride after a 1-1 draw in the first leg. However, Angel Di Maria inspired them to a 3-0 win in the return fixture, and Juventus have now lost just one of their past 16 games in the Europa League.
Freiburg, meanwhile, were in the Europa League from the off and were one of the surprise packages in the group stage which coincided with their strong start to the Bundesliga season. Placed in a group alongside Nantes, Qarabag and Olympiacos, Freiburg went unbeaten with four wins and two draws, boasting the joint-best attack and the second-best defence in the competition.
Topping the group gave Freiburg a bye into the last 16, but that did not protect them from getting their first defeat of the Europa League in the first leg as Angel Di Maria got the only goal of the game for Juventus. The defeat capped of a three-game winless streak for Freiburg across all competitions, which two draws against Bayer Leverkusen and Borussia Monchengladbach, but they did bounce back to beat Hoffenheim at the weekend.
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Freiburg v Juventus match stats
Angel Di Maria was the man for Juventus in the second leg of their knockout round playoff tie against Nantes with a hat-trick and after also scoring last week, the Argentine is already the third-top scorer in the Europa League this season, with only Victor Boniface and Marcus Rashford (both five) scoring more. Di Maria does, however, lead the Europa League for shots (12) since the start of the knockout stages.
Juventus will be confident of a win against Freiburg with history on their side. The Bianconeri have lost just one of their last nine European matches against German teams (five wins and three draws) and have won each of the last three without conceding.