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Juventus v Celtic: Italians to complete job ruthlessly

Neil Lennon barks orders during the first leg, which Celtic lost 3-0

"The Serie A leaders have not conceded a goal in the last 400 minutes of Champions League football."
Best Bet: Back Juventus to win to nil @ 2.89/5  

After first-leg Armageddon for Celtic, Christian Crowther predicts another tough night for the Hoops at the Juventus Stadium...


Juventus v Celtic, Wednesday 19:45, Sky Sports 2, Match Odds: Juventus 1.374/11, Celtic 10.5n/a, The Draw 5.59/2

There are tough asks and there are absurdly tough asks. Unfortunately for Neil Lennon and Celtic, this second leg assignment against Juventus falls firmly into the latter category.

Celtic arrive in Turin with a mountain range to scale rather than a single peak, after the champions of Italy picked them off three times without reply in Glasgow three weeks ago.

The result was cruel on Celtic, whose attacking endeavour deserved at least to make a mark on the complexion of the tie but, as it was, Antonio Conte's men punished the Scots with ruthless efficiency.

Statistically speaking, the tie is buried. Opta reveal that no team has ever recovered from a 3-0 first-leg deficit to qualify in the history of the Champions League and, after losing to Motherwell in the SPL just last week for a fourth away blip in seven, this Celtic team don't look capable of changing that in Italy.

For the Bhoys, this is about trying to get something out of the match as a single event rather than worry about the aggregate score.

One of the main dangers lies in Celtic chasing the game from the first whistle as they did at home and playing into Juve's hands again; they are capable of countering with precision.

Juventus are also protecting a proud unbeaten run of 17 games in UEFA competition and were last beaten at home in Europe over three years ago, a run stretching right back to a 4-1 defeat to Bayern Munich in December 2009.

It's difficult to envisage anything other than a win for the Old Lady unless Celtic park the bus, which is extremely unlikely.

Win to Nil

As Opta inform us, Juventus are a team built on a rock solid defence. The Serie A leaders have not conceded a goal in the last 400 minutes of Champions League football.

In six visits to Turin by Scottish visitors in the past, the hosts have only conceded three goals and kept four clean sheets.

Best Bet: Back Juventus to win to nil @ 2.89/5

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05 March 2013

Champions League

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