UCL at the Wembley: Tottenham vs Juventus
The UEFA Champions League continues today with the 1st knockout round second legs. Our game in focus is played at the Wembley in London, where Tottenham Hotspur host Italian giants Juventus. The first leg finished in a 2-2 draw in Torino three weeks ago.
During the three week period of preparation after the first leg, Tottenham has played four games, winning three. In Premier League they beat Crystal Palace on the road and Huddersfield at home, while Rochdale was destroyed in FA Cup replay 6-1. The first game finished in a 2-2 draw at Rochdale.
Juventus has only played three games since the clubs last met, winning all of them. In Serie A Torino and Lazio were shut out on the road, both games ending in Juventus 0-1 victory and Atalanta was beaten at home in Coppa Italia as well one – nothing.
Juventus is forced to make changes to their starting lineup, as Federico Bernardeschi and Juan Cuadrado are sidelined due to injuries. Blaise Matuidi and Paulo Dybala are the likely replacements, which means there’s not a lot of difference in quality of the starters. Tottenham need not change a thing, they’re still without Toby Alderweireld at the back and it looks likely that Serge Aurier might be replaced by Kieran Trippier, while up front Heung-Min Son might step up to take the place of Erik Lamela. Son has been impressive lately, scoring twice against Huddersfield and Rochdale playing next to Harry Kane up front.
Domestically both teams have played well overall. This season Juventus have to actually fight for the title and as of now they’re chasing Napoli by one point with a game in hand. Juventus has won 10 in a row in Serie A and have gone 20 games without losing in all competitions. Their record on the road is equally impressive: 10 straight wins in all competitions and only one loss in past 15.
Tottenham, while maybe not as impressive as Juventus, have made strides this season. They’ve gone 17 games unbeaten in all competitions, with 11 wins and six ties. Their last loss dates back to 16.12.2017, when they lost on the road to league leading Manchester City. At their temporary home, the Wembley, Spurs have been even better: they’ve won seven in a row in all competitions and have gone 15 without losing. Spurs have only lost two games at home all season.
With the first tie finishing 2-2 in Italy, the home team Spurs have a slight edge because of the away goal rule. Juventus needs to either win the game or match at least those two away goals in a draw. Spurs, on the other hand, can play their own game, knowing that they don’t need to score a goal to progress. It’s an intriguing situation, since Spurs is known for their attacking prowess and Juventus’ strength has always been the solid defense. Now Juventus needs to attack and Spurs need to defend.
The Accuscore simulations put a lot of faith in the last year’s finalists Juventus. In the simulations, the Italians win with 44.3% probability while Tottenham takes the win with only 29.3% chance. The game end in a draw with 26.4% likelihood. With the odds heavily tilted towards the Spurs, there’s good value in taking the more experienced and seasoned Juventus.
Even with the nature of the game being what it is – a defensive battle for the most part, in simulations we see plenty of goals. Juventus will definitely need at least one and if the hosts score as well, they’d need two or more. Both teams are likely to score a goal, with Juventus averaging 1.65 and Tottenham 1.31. The most likely score is 1-2 for Juventus but another 2-2 draw wouldn’t surprise either.
The most likely players to score a goal for Juventus are the forwards Gonzalo Higuian – who missed a penalty in the first leg, by the way – and Paulo Dybala with 40% probability. Surprisingly for the Spurs it’s not Harry Kane who’s most likely to hit the net, but Heung-Min Son, who has been on fire lately. Son scores a gola (if he is in the starting XI) with a 43% likelihood, while Kane is marked tightly and only scores with 31% probability.
It’s an extremely tough game to predict, because of the outcome of the first leg. We assume Juventus will go for the jugular and put the pressure on Spurs early on, who are likely to try and score as well in order to make life difficult for the visitors. The value in odds is on the visitors as well as plenty of goals.
- Juventus to win, 44.3 % - take the away win with odds of 2.26 | +126 or better
- Double chance: X2,70.7% - take Juventus or draw with odds of 1.42 | -238
- Total goals: over 2.5, 56.3% - take over 2.5 goals with odds of 1.78 | -128
- Goal scorers: 40%
- Son, Higuian, Dybala – to score take odds of 2.5 | +150
More Accuscore analysis, expert picks and predictions available at accuscore.eu!