Having lost Carlos Tevez, Andrea Pirlo and Arturo Vidal this summer, it was always going to be difficult for Juventus to rebuild. They’ve made some smart signings, but it takes time to recover from losing such influential individuals.
Manuel Pellegrini’s side have made a sensational start to the season. Five wins in five, 11 goals scored and none conceded has ensured that they’ve made their title statement early.
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However, the Chilean must now start to deliver in the Champions League as City have been disappointing since taking their place at Europe’s top table. They’ve won just five of their 14 home games in the competition to date, and domestic honours won’t be enough this season.
The biggest problem that the hosts have though is fitness concerns. David Silva and Raheem Sterling returned to training on Monday and are expected to feature, but Sergio Aguero has been ruled out.
In contrast to their opponents, it has been a difficult start to the season for the Turin giants. Still looking for their first win of the campaign, they were at least able to stop their two-game losing streak with a draw against Chievo at the weekend.
Having lost Carlos Tevez, Andrea Pirlo and Arturo Vidal this summer, it was always going to be difficult for Massimiliano Allegri to rebuild his squad. They’ve made some smart signings, but it takes time to recover from losing such influential individuals.
The Serie A champions are also dealing with injury woes as midfielder Claudio Marchisio is out. However, Allegri needs more from his senior players and new faces to avoid another defeat as this game comes at a bad time for them.
Juventus are heavy underdogs at 5.50, which is a slight surprise considering they proved their Champions League pedigree by making the final last year. But, as noted, this isn’t the same team and I can’t see them returning home with all three points regardless of how poor City have been at the Etihad in this competition.
Without Aguero spearheading their attack it could be a frustrating night for City but I fancy them to brush their troubles aside in a close match and will be taking the 1.80 available on the home win.
Over/Under 2.5 Goals
City struggled to break down Crystal Palace at the weekend, and Juve haven’t exactly been shipping goals. While we know how well Pellegrini’s defence has been playing, Gigi Buffon, Leonardo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini are no slouches and will take some beating. They will look to frustrate their hosts and will prioritise not conceding first. Back Under 2.5 Goals at 1.83.
Man City clean sheet
Joe Hart has yet to pick the ball out of his net this season, and he will be confident of extending that run. Mario Mandzukic will be the biggest threat along with Paul Pogba in ruining that unblemished record, but I think this will be a wasted journey for the visitors and will be backing a home shutout at a decent looking 2.42.
Back Man City to beat Juventus @ 1.80
Back Yes in Man City to keep clean sheet @ 2.42
Man City’s recent form in the Champions League suggests that this will be a struggle for the hosts but it is a good time to play a vulnerable looking Juventus side, says Sumeet Paul…