Champions League holders Chelsea will retake top spot in Group H should they beat Juventus by two clear goals at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday. Mark O'Haire expects the Blues to pick up maximum points against the Italians...
"This particular wager has paid out in all bar five of Chelsea’s triumphs under the German boss"
Chelsea consolidate top spot
Premier League leaders Chelsea ruthlessly tightened their grip on top spot when running out 3-0 victors against a lacklustre Leicester side at the King Power Stadium on Saturday. The Blues showed no sign of fatigue or lethargy despite the early start immediately after the international break with Antonio Rudiger, N'Golo Kante and Christian Pulisic all on-target.
Thomas Tuchel's team were in command from the off, scoring twice early on, and could have been out of sight by half-time with Ben Chilwell grazing the bar from a one-on-one situation. And the table-toppers continued their dominance after the interval, having three goals ruled out for offside as they won the shot count 16-4 and enjoyed 62% possession.
Post-match, Tuchel praised his players for adapting to the demands of the early start. He said, "It was a 12.30 game after an international break, an away game, not too easy - but we did very well. It was a good performance and an excellent result. We could have been more clinical, more precise, and a bit less hectic in the last third. But I'm very happy."
Bonucci at the double for Juventus
Juventus bagged a welcome 2-0 triumph away to Lazio on Saturday night at the Stadio Olimpico as a pair of Leonardo Bonucci penalties proved decisive in the Italian capital. In a match devoid of major goalmouth action, Max Allegri's understrength side kept their hosts at bay for the majority of the match, giving up just 0.27 Expected Goals (xG).
The Bianconeri were without Paulo Dybala, Giorgio Chiellini, Mattia De Sciglio, Aaron Ramsey and Federico Bernardeschi for the trip to Rome, whilst Alex Sandro was rested after returning from Brazil. Meanwhile, Danilo was stretchered off early on. Nevertheless, Juventus appeared in control of proceedings with the midfield receiving plenty of praise.
Speaking post-match, Allegri said: "I admired the spirit we showed, the only chances we allowed were on the counter because we had so many players going forward trying to score. Rabiot, Locatelli and McKennie worked really hard in midfield. Rabiot has a great engine, he could've played another 90 minutes, and he did really well to limit Milinkovic-Savic."
Juventus upset the odds to pinch a 1-0 success in the reverse match-up back in late September. The two teams have now crossed paths on only five occasions in Champions League history, with the Old Lady now enjoying a slight W2-D2-L1 supremacy. However, the away side has yet to table a triumph in previous meetings between the pair.
Since Chelsea 1.738/11 were beaten in Turin, Thomas Tuchel's team have appeared almost imperious at times. The Blues have since pocketed W7-D2-L0 across all competitions, conceding only two non-penalty goals. In fact, across league and Champions League action this term, the hosts have conceded just three non-penalty goals in 24 hours of action.
Juventus 5.509/2 boss Max Allegri has recognised the Bianconeri have been far from consistent since he returned to his role in the off-season. Even so, there have been slow signs of progress with the Old Lady posting W10-D2-L2 since mid-September - surprisingly, the two defeats in that sample came when heavy favourites against Verona and Sassuolo.
Chelsea's exceptional backline record, coupled with the Blues' preferred control of contests, has meant a large portion of matches are falling below the advertised goals line. And it's no surprise to see Over 2.5 Goals for Tuesday night's tussle available at 2.0521/20 considering the lay of the land in Group H - Juventus look likely to sit back and play for a point.
The Italians have improved immeasurably out of possession over the past eight weeks, recording seven shutouts in 14 outings, and the Old Lady know a share of the spoils at Stamford Bridge should ensure Max Allegri's men of top spot in the pool.
However, the smarter is to support Chelsea to win and Under 3.5 Goals at an appealing 2.1211/10 on the Sportsbook Bet Builder. A whopping 41 of the Blues' 46 fixtures across all competitions under Thomas Tuchel have seen Under 3.5 Goals bank. This particular wager has paid out in all bar five of Chelsea's triumphs under the German boss.
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