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Bayern Munich v Juventus: Don't discount injury-afflicted Old Lady

Bayern Munich 1.41 v Juventus 10.50; The Draw 5.10
Wednesday, 19:45
Live on BT Sport 2


Bayern Munich
Bundesliga point spills against Bayer Leverkusen, Mainz and Borussia Dortmund and the surrender of a 2-0 first-leg lead in Turin have encouraged speculation that Bayern Munich have slacked off slightly since learning that coach Pep Guardiola will be leaving them for Manchester City this summer.
The criticism is exaggerated though. Almost every club on the continent would still swap places with them: they have two more Bundesliga points than at the same stage last term, they are in the DFB-Pokal semi-finals and they fired two away goals past the 2014/15 Champions League runners-up.
That doesn't alter the fact that this promises to be a really difficult task - one of their trickiest of the entire campaign - and that it will be tougher by the continuing defensive injury pileup which sees Holger Badstuber and Jerome Boateng ruled out and Javi Martinez a doubt. Arjen Robben might also miss out.

Juventus

The Old Lady haven't lost any of their last 15 games in either Serie A or the Champions League, winning 13 of those contests, and they will arrive at the Allianz Arena with renewed belief after outscoring their esteemed hosts and 2012/13 conquerors 2-0 in the final half hour of the first leg.
Yes, the first hour of that experience wasn't so pleasant as they were thoroughly outplayed, causing many to conclude that they didn't deserve their 2-2 draw.
However, the Bianconeri begun that clash like a different team to the one who have collected 55 league points from a possible 57 since Halloween, only realising in the closing section that they were equipped to compete with Bayern, and they will surely carry that assurance into the second leg.
What they won't have in Munich though is Giorgio Chiellini, Martin Caceres, Claudio Marchisio and Paulo Dybala, which is alarming as three of those would almost certainly start if fit. It increases the importance of former Bayern forward Mario Mandzukic recovering in time to lead the line.

Match Odds

The hosts have been shorter than 1.5 to triumph in every Champions League encounter this week, and generally it is easy to see why punters are so confident of that outcome. Yet this is the exception: surely it is an insult to Juventus for Bayern Munich to be as slim as 1.41 to get the win?
Massimilano Allegri's men have lost just one of their last seven trips abroad and that was against Sevilla when they were already assured of knockout-phase progression. They stunned Borussia Dortmund 3-0 at Signal Iduna Park at this juncture last season, eliminated Real Madrid at the Bernabeu despite trailing and won at Manchester City in Group D.
Bayern are on a nine-game Champions League home victory run, but Man City, Arsenal and Real Madrid have all avoided defeat or better there during Guardiola's tenure, the latter two in double headers, and Juventus' recent success in Italy and overseas places them in the same bracket.

This writer, who admittedly does occasionally overestimate the chances of Serie A sides in Europe, actually has a suspicion that the visitors will go through at 7.80. However, I won't be quite so bold as to claim it as the best bet when Guardiola has never failed to reach the semi-finals in six prior entries as a coach, let alone the quarter-finals. There are less punchy yet enticing opportunities available...


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