Juventus’ players showed a lot of character in coming through their Last 16 tie with Tottenham Hotspur. The comeback was nothing short of remarkable, showing the current Juve players can call upon tactical nous and experience when it counts in the big games.
As a consequence, Juventus odds were slashed to win the Champions League this season. They are now best-priced with Ladbrokes at 11/1 to win their first Champions League trophy since 1996. That makes them sixth-favourites overall, with the teams ahead of them priced as follows:
Man City 3/1
Real Madrid 4/1
Bayern Munich 9/2
Juventus’ experience key to Champions League aspirations
On the evidence of the performance against Spurs, many will feel that Juventus should be much closer in the betting odds to the favourites. The three-minute spell of attacking that saw Gonzalo Higuain and Pablo Dybala restore Juventus advantage will be lauded as mercurial, but it was the way that they defended after the goals which showed what Juventus were all about.
Giorgio Chiellini in particular was a rock in the heart of the defence, making important tackles and clearances, but also neutralising the threat from Harry Kane. If Juventus do succeed in the Champions League this year, his contribution in this match should be regarded as more than just a footnote.
Allegri wins intriguing tactical duel with Pochettino
Plaudits should also go to Massimiliano Allegri. The Juventus coach has sometimes been criticised for getting his tactics wrong in the big games, but, especially in the second half, he got everything right on the night. He made impactful substitutions to change the pace of the match when needed and showed a cool head in the face of Tottenham’s sometimes thrilling attacking football.
And, what of Juventus’ chances of going all the way? They are priced at 5/1 to reach the Final again – but getting to a sixth final since 1996 without winning will not be enough for most Juventus fans. A lot will depend on how the draw pans out, with many of the ties being potentially tricky for Juventus and others. However, you can get betting tips on Champions League matches from experts to keep you up to speed.
Performance at Wembley bodes well for even tougher tests to come
The performance against Tottenham should really act to galvanise the side. They should take heart from the game management they displayed against one of England’s best attacking sides. Tottenham looked like they had finally worked out how to turn Wembley into a fortress before this game, but Juventus made them look naïve in the second half. Can they repeat the trick at somewhere like the Bernabéu or the Etihad?
You can see why the bookmakers have short-priced so many teams ahead of Juve, but all of those teams have flaws too. Manchester City are somewhat like Tottenham in terms of their lack of experience in the latter stages of the competition. Real Madrid are having all sorts of problems domestically this season. Juventus proved last season that they are capable of managing a game against Barcelona. Juventus should take to the field against any of these sides knowing that they are capable of seeing out the game should they nick a goal.
It is always difficult to land a Champions League title – Juventus fans can attest to that fact more than most. But the way that comeback was managed on Wednesday night will have some fans dreaming again and some neutrals considering Juventus odds’ just a bit too generous to ignore.