Juventus vs Lyon: Predictions, betting tips, odds & match preview
Two heavyweights of the Champions League lock horns for the second time since February in this Friday’s last-16, second-leg tie at the Allianz Arena: Juventus and Lyon.
The hosts, however, are the ones in murky waters, needing to come from behind to ensure safe passage into the quarter-finals. Take a read of our Juventus vs Lyon predictions below to find out whether the Old Lady can orchestrate one final stand…
Juventus vs Lyon Preview
When the pair met back in February in the first leg of the tie at the Groupama Stadium, the action that unfolded was far from what the pre-match predictions and analysis had forecast.
Indeed, it was Lyon, and not the visitors, who emerged triumphant, handing Juventus with their first defeat against Les Gones in European waters, courtesy of Lucas Tousart.
It was the 23-year-old who provided Zinedine Zidane a penny for his thoughts, converting Houssem Aouar’s cross from close range to put his side a goal up on home turf.
Though the Italian giants had plenty of chances to respond with a goal of their own, chiefly through their talisman Cristiano Ronaldo, there were very few clear-cut opportunities to strike at goal – a testament to Lyon’s stringent defensive setup.
Such was the sturdiness of the hosts’ plan to suppress the Juve triumvirate, Zidane’s men were made to appear sloppier, unconvincing, and far more suspect in the defense despite the return of Matthijs de Ligt.
With the minutes passing by, and the waves of attack from the visitors unsuccessful in their penetrative counters, Juventus were resigned to defeat away from home, a goal down, with the second leg at the Allianz Arena an all-important clash for their European hopes and dreams.
18 + only. Terms and conditions apply. Odds correct at time of writing.
Juventus vs Lyon Predictions
Given that Juventus failed to have a single shot on target against Garcia’s men in the first leg – their first time since October 14th against Atletico Madrid – it’s fair to assume that this Friday’s performance won’t be a repeat of that particular encounter.
Especially considering their record at the Allianz against this week’s opposition – a spotless one, featuring a 2-1 win in the Europa League in 2014, and a 1-1 draw in the 2016 edition of the Champions League.
Yet even if previous meetings held no precedence, there’s still plenty to suggest that the Old Lady and her compatriots will produce a performance akin of a former Champions League-winning side.
Spearheading the list of reasons to provide to all those dubious of a home win and rooting for Lyon, is Juve’s strike-force, led by Ronaldo.
The Portuguese international has snapped up 31 goals in 33 appearances this season, only bettered by Ciro Immobile’s feats. Alongside the trickery of Paulo Dybala and the clinical finishing of Juan Cuadrado, on home turf, the forecast of a more ruthless attacking display is well worth wagering on.
On the other end of the pitch, though a De Ligt-led defence was at its most vulnerable against Lyon in the first leg, constantly exposed by the likes Karl Ekambi and Aouar, Zidane will have worked out a way for his back four to appear more convincing in this newly-adopted man-marking system (though this does not rule out the chance of goals from either side, making for a good BTTS wager).
Combine all these factors with the knowledge that Lyon have lost four of their last five away European matches in Italy, and the odds look to be in the hosts’ favour.
There is one final word of warning for Juventus to take into this second-leg tie, however. Though they may be operating as betting favourites, still adapting to their new zonal system, and facing a slippery attack-heavy opposition, the conditions are certainly ripe for an upset.
Les Gones’ away form and track record at the Allianz however, condemns them to our final prognosis and betting prediction: a successful comeback for Zidane’s men, allowing them to swiftly progress into the Champions League quarter-final.
When it comes to attacking the opposition goal, there are very few who do it better than the Portuguese…
Squawka Stat: Lyon are winless in their last 10 European knockout games. Will history repeat this Friday?
Just as their away form beckons victory for Juventus, Garcia’s men boast another unappealing accolade that may aid their hosts’ chances: an inability to progress past the knockout stages, despite having 10 attempts to their name.
With so many chances down the years to progress into the latter stages of the competition spurned, it begs the question of whether the French side has the mentality to do the job, and play the game, not the occasion – something Juve possess in abundance.
Indeed, Zidane has a crop of players at his disposal who have all either dabbled or are veterans of the European game, experienced in the art of securing semi-final clashes, and well-versed in coping with the pressures of such ties, be it Ronaldo, Cuadrado, or Leonardo Bonucci.
On the other hand, the Lyon squad is a much younger one, and as such, the inexperience is telling. From Memphis Depay (26) and Moussa Dembele (24), to Aouar (22) and Bertrand Traore (24), these are all players in their early-to-mid twenties, still finding their feet in European waters.
Pitting a crop of 20-something year-olds, with a side used to playing at the pinnacle of European football means that despite the talent on show – as Lyon have displayed – Zidane’s men will find a way to win, with the knowledge of previous knockout games on hand to guide them through.
Lyon’s defensive line in its element…
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Juventus 2-0 Sampdoria (26/07/20 – Serie A)
Udinese 2-1 Juventus (23/07/20 – Serie A)
Juventus 2-1 Lazio (20/07/20 – Serie A)
Paris Saint-Germaine 0-0 Lyon (Coupe de la ligue – 6-5 to PSG on penalties)