Lyon vs Juventus by JerryDrake
When Lyon faced Real Sociedad in August (0-2 H, 0-2 A) nobody expected the French team to be eliminated. They collected four wins in a row before meeting Real Sociedad (2 in CL with Grasshopper and 2 in Ligue 1). The same thing happened when Juventus lost in Turkey 0-1 against Galatasaray in a Champions League group where they lost points with Copenhagen in Denmark and with Galatasaray at home (2-2) and in the last decisive game.
Second choice: Europa League
After being eliminated from the Champions League one could notice that Lyon was going to live a year of transition, where young players have the opportunity to grow and create the foundation walls for the next seasons. The times when Lyon used to win 7 French consecutive titles (from 2002 to 2008) are far away.
In the Europa League Lyon won the Group I with Betis, Vitoria Guimaraes and Rijeka and then eliminated Chornomorets and Viktoria Plzen in the two successive rounds. They made their job by scoring only one goal at every home game except the last one: 1-1 Tottenham, 1-1 Vitoria G., 1-0 Rijeka, 1-0 Betis, 1-0 Chornomorets and 4-1 Viktoria Plzen.
Juventus defeated Trabzonspor, 2-0 at home and same result in Turkey while they had to struggle against Fiorentina: 1-1 at home and a 1-0 victory in Florence obtained through a perfect free kick scored by Andrea Pirlo.
Ligue 1 versus Serie A
Lyon coach Garde stated that “Juventus are like Paris Saint-Germain as both are winning their national titles and both are strong and plenty of good players”. True, PSG and Juventus both played 31 games in their leagues, PSG collected 76 points (+13 over Monaco) and Juventus 81 points (+8 over Roma). Lyon are 5th placed with 48 points (13-9-9, 46/37), in this game of analogies we can compare them to Inter (49 points) or Parma (47) against whom Juventus never lost this year but also never scored more than one goal on the road: 1-1 in San Siro, 1-0 victory in Parma.
Truth is also that PSG are still in Champions League and they defeated Chelsea yesterday 3-1. While Juventus must hope in reaching the Europa League final in Turin if they want to start winning in European competitions again. Lyon never did. Juventus is a team which improves their game when they come to higher stages, so I expect them to qualify. How will they qualify? Probably not by scoring many goals in Lyon but basically trying not to concede goals as they must face two dangerous strikers like Gomis and Lacazette.
Antonio Conte is good for reality checks. He has a good team but he has no “Cristiano Ronaldos”, “Messis” or “Maradonas” if you prefer. He has a quality team with players who guarantee a high degree of solidity in the defense while keeping a good degree of scoring chances, but not dominating away games with many goals. The star in the midfield is Andrea Pirlo who can decide a match anytime with assists and free kicks. Upfront the star is Carlitos Tevez, 18 goals in Serie A, but he has not scored a single goal in Europe since he played for Manchester United 4 years ago. Since then he played 22 games without scoring a single goal in Champions League, Europa League and European Super Cup. Conte will want his team to defend well and after having the control of the match, try to win it without taking big risks.
Second choice becomes first choice
If Antonio Conte or Andrea Agnelli had the chance to chose, they would have chosen to play the Champions League Quarter Finals instead of the Europa League. But there they would have not had many chances to reach the final. Here is different. As the Europa League is getting more important year by year, confirmed by the fact that many top teams made their best in this competition and we have now teams
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|Juventus to win by one||Ladbrokes||3.60||7||0-1 WON (+18.2 units)|