The Champions League returns on Tuesday night as Tottenham travel to Turin to take on last season's runners-up in a mouthwatering Last 16 match. Mark O'Haire previews the encounter...
"The hosts have leaked a solitary strike across those 16 matches – 24 hours worth of football – and shutout each of their past eight visitors to their Turin base"
Juventus v Tottenham
Tuesday 13th February, 19:45
Live on BT Sport
Juventus standing strong
Juventus kept their 15th clean sheet in 16 outings since mid-November when overcoming Fiorentina 2-0 in Florence. Federico Bernardeschi and Gonzalo Higuain grabbed the goals but the match was marred by a controversial intervention from the video assistant referee who overturned an 18th-minute penalty decision in Fiorentina's favour.
The Bianconeri weren't at their best, firing in only four attempts on goal whilst goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon saw an effort cannon back of the post in his 500th league appearance for the champions. Nevertheless, Juventus ground out a 11th straight success in all competitions to keep the heat on league leaders Napoli.
Blaise Matuidi, Paulo Dybala and Juan Cuadrado remain sidelined for the Italians meaning Claudio Marchisio may be called upon to fill a midfield berth. Elsewhere, Douglas Costa could replace Bernardeschi on the right-hand side of Max Allegri's preferred 4-3-3 formation.
Tottenham take derby spoils
Harry Kane scored the only goal as Tottenham deservedly took North London derby honours at Wembley on Saturday. After a lacklustre opening 45 minutes, Spurs were irresistible after the break, swamping their opponents with a formidable display of power, pace and sheer intensity.
Only the excellence of Petr Cech kept Mauricio Pochettino's men at bay, producing a collection of outstanding saves as Spurs threatened to run riot. Following recent performances - a 2-0 win over Man Utd and a 2-2 draw with Liverpool at Anfield - the in-form outfit will head to Italy in confident mood.
Toby Alderweireld and Harry Winks were rested for Saturday's showdown whilst Lucas Moura remained on the bench. The latter is eligible for Champions League duty with the former pair expected to travel with the squad to Turin.
Difficult to oppose experienced hosts
Juventus [2.00] are unbeaten in their past 22 (W14-D8-L0) Champions League matches on home soil since April 2013 and head into this tie having claimed top honours in nine of their most recent 11 outings at the Juventus Stadium. The two exceptions were goalless draws with Barcelona and Inter Milan.
Finalists in two of the past three years, the Old Lady have churned out W14-D2-L0 across all competitions since their last loss in mid-November. The hosts have leaked a solitary strike across those 16 matches - 24 hours worth of football - and shutout each of their past eight visitors to their Turin base.
Tottenham [4.50] upset the odds to top a competitive group ahead of Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund, picking up four points from their two away trips against their illustrious pool rivals. However, Pochettino's troops have W2-D6-L11 away at top-six Premier League finishers under the Argentina head coach.
Indeed, Spurs have secured only three victories from their last 12 games as guests - at Swansea, Burnley and Dortmund - as well as just five triumphs in 17 trips to the continent since 2014.
Tight tussle anticipated
Last season's Last 16 saw six of eight first leg ties feature at least three goals. Juventus' clash with Monaco was one of only two that failed to fire and it's difficult to build a case for a high-scoring contest on Tuesday night.
Both Juventus and Spurs are in the top 15 when viewing Expected Goals against from open play across Europe's major five leagues and with the Old Lady keen to avoid the potential of a damaging away goal, a defensively-minded display is anticipated from the Bianconeri.
As well as their marvellous recent defensive record, the Italians have delivered Under 2.5 Goals profit in five of their past six on home soil. Home meetings with Barcelona, Inter and Roma have produced just a solitary strike overall and nine of their 13 Champions League guests since 2015 have been silenced here.
Seven of Spurs' last 10 outings have fallen below the 2.5-goals line, including three of their recent four on the road.
Mark's 2017/18 Profit/Loss
Staked: 114.00 pts
Returned: 129.21 pts
P/L: +15.21 pts
Back Under 2.5 Goals @ [1.67] in Juventus v Tottenham