Beaten 3-0 by Barcelona, it is safe to suggest that things did not go to plan for Italian champions Juventus in their opening Champions League match of the season.
Massimiliano Allegri’s men, runners-up in this competition last season, however, can get their bid to reach the knockout stages back on track when they play host to Greek side Olympiakos in Turin on Wednesday night.
Juventus have picked up maximum points from their opening six Serie A matches – including a 4-0 thumping of rivals Torino at the weekend - and the Italian champions, who have celebrated Scudetto success in each of the past six seasons, boast a hugely impressive home record of being unbeaten on their own patch for over two years since they lost a competitive match on their own patch.
As such, it is little surprise that bet365 make Allegri’s charges their 1/6 (1.17) favourites to claim a vital victory here, while the odds compilers offer 13/2 (7.50) that the Italian champions are forced to settle for a share of the spoils.
Olympiakos were beaten 3-2 in a thrilling Group D curtain-raiser against Sporting earlier this month and those defensive deficiencies were exposed once again on Sunday as Besnik Hasi’s men surrendered a 2-0 lead in a 3-2 defeat against AEK Athens; as such, the Greek champions will be determined to make amends in this match, but they face a tough test in Turin and the enormity of the task facing the visitors is reflected by bet365’s 12/1 (13.0) quote for the Olympiakos to shock the in-form Italians.
Juventus have scored 11 goals without reply in their first four matches on home turf so far this season and bet365 offer 11/10 (2.10) that Allegri’s men win by at least three goals against the Greeks, while the same firm offer a tempting 8/13 (1.62) that Juventus win without conceding – that particular selection would have seen punters profit from six of the last eight home games that Juventus have won in this competition.
Allegri’s side have been beaten Champions League finalists in two of the past three seasons and there is no doubt that, despite suffering a bitterly disappointing defeat against Barcelona at Camp Nou earlier this month, the Italian outfit are credible contenders to secure the silverware this season.
Paulo Dybala has enjoyed a sensational start to the season, scoring 10 goals in just six Serie A matches – including two hat-tricks - and the Argentine international will pose a serious threat to Olympiakos, while Dybala’s international team-mate Gonzalo Higuain and Mario Mandzukic, who scored a sensational goal in the final of this competition last term, are also in contention to face Hasi’s team.
With so much quality in the final third, it seems inevitable that Juventus can kickstart their Champions League campaign with a big win here and bet365’s 4/5 (1.80) quote for the Serie A side to score more than two goals may be a solid selection for punters.