16-4 ATS Round of 16
Champions League action is back, and only 8 teams remain in the battle for supremacy with the final taking place in Kiev, Ukraine on May 26th.
Juventus vs. Real Madrid
Less than a full calendar year since these antagonists faced off in the National Stadium of Wales in Cardiff, we get a rematch of last years final. A 4-1 thrashing, led the Spanish Giants to their 12th European title as well as being the first team to claim the trophy back to back years. Although the final score was lopsided, these clubs have been pretty even throughout history. These teams have faced off 19 times with Real Madrid leading the way with 9 wins thanks to last years performance, while Juventus have claimed victory on 8 occasions and have drawn twice. The last of the Juventus victories was a significant one in the 2014/15 UEFA semi-finals, and Álvaro Morata played the villain netting an equalizer in the 57th-minute in the second leg to push Juventus through to the final 3-2 on aggregate.
“Tomorrow we want to build an advantage to then take to Madrid. Therefore, to score and not concede would be the ideal scenario. We need to play like we did in the first half in Cardiff, but to maintain that level throughout the tie.” – Massimiliano Allegri, Juventus coach
If the Juventus Manager was content with his clubs performance in last years final, let’s take a look at the numbers in the first half.
There were a total of 13 shots with two ending up in the back of the net. Real Madrid dominated possession 55%-45%, but of their 5 total shots in the half, only one was on target. The numbers tell us Juventus was content with giving up possession but then were aggressive to collapse to the ball in their defensive third, limiting the accuracy of the Madrid shots making them shoot from outside the box. If we look at the way the Old lady played in the last round vs. Tottenham, they also lost the possession battle but were able to score more goals on fewer shots. The objective; to play defense aggressively and close spaces in their final third but playing the counter perfectly with their dangerous attackers.
Ronaldo has now scored in his last 9 Champions league appearances, tying the record of Ruud van Nistelrooy. In 20 quarterfinal appearances, the Merengue prolific goal scorer has scored 18 goals. A lot depends on the formation, but if Bale gets the start and Madrid play an open game, I see the Spanish Giants scoring the pivotal away goal. Even if they choose to go another route, playing the over 2 goal total and paying the juice gives you many options to cash a ticket, as Juventus could score 2 themselves. With players like Dybala, Higuaín, and Douglas Costa, I expect Juventus to be up to the task and goals will be scored on both sides.
Over 2 -158
Juventus Team Total over 1 -118
Real Madrid Advances
Sevilla vs. Bayern Munchen
Sevilla played the ideal match vs. Barcelona for almost 90 minutes. Almost is the keyword, and they failed to complete the job giving up 2 goals after the 88th minute. How will this translate to their biggest match in the clubs 128-year history? Bayern is on a miraculous streak since manager Jupp Heynckes returned for his fourth stint, and the Germans have responded well winning 27 of their last 30 matches. History tells us Bayern have struggled on Spanish soil, where they have tasted defeat in their past five contest. Also, Sevilla has never lost at home in 11 matches vs. Germans, owning 7 wins and 4 draws.
Bayern Munchen has found the back of the net in their last 16 away matches; I expect them to get on the scoreboard Tuesday night. Sevilla has played 48 games this season and has failed to score in only 8 of those matches. I think we see goals, continuing the trend we have seen this entire tournament.
Sevilla +1 -123
Sevilla Team Total over 1 +108
Over 2.5 -150