Fresh from their first away defeat in over a year, Juventus will be looking to get back on track when they make the short trip across town to face local rivals Torino this Saturday.
Losing to Swiss side Young Boys was a major shock for the Bianconeri, their last loss on the road coming back in November 2017 against Sampdoria.
That means a streak of 26 unbeaten matches (23 wins, three draws) in all competitions is now over, and the derby is by no means a foregone conclusion, as Torino owner Urbano Cairo explained in an interview this week.
“We’re not sixth by chance, despite some points thrown away along the road,” he told the Tuttosport newspaper.
“We need to prepare well all week and go on the pitch with the desire to show that Toro is a team with quality and solidity, which we’ve already shown. We’re in good form, but now we have a very difficult game against a Juve who have won all but one, which was a draw.”
That is undoubtedly true as – despite the loss in Bern and one at home to Manchester United, the Bianconeri remain undefeated in domestic competition.
They also rested a number of key players in midweek and know that they must quickly address the issues which blighted their display on Wednesday night.
“There will be a lot of games over the season which will be easy on paper, but you start at 0-0 on the pitch and you have to earn a win in any match.” defender Daniele Rugani said after the Young Boys clash.
“We need to do a mea culpa because we weren’t the Juventus we’ve shown ourselves to be, but there’s always a lesson to be taken from a bad performance.”
While local derbies are notoriously difficult to predict, the clash between Juventus and Torino has been incredibly one-sided in recent years.
Indeed, the Granata have won just one of the last 26 meetings between these two, a 2-1 triumph in April 2015 marking the only time they have taken three points since the mid-1990s.
The fact that only five of those subsequent clashes have even seen them hold their neighbours to a draw only serves to underline the superiority of the visitors here and that is reflected in the odds.
Bettors looking to back the Old Lady will find value in short supply, Juve available at just 6/10 with Bet365 to record a victory on Saturday evening.
Perhaps the best way to improve that is to consider the fact that Torino have been losing at both half time and full time in six of their last eight meetings with the Bianconeri, an outcome which is available at 7/5 with the same bookmaker.
With that in mind it may also be worth considering having a bet on Juventus to keep a clean sheet.
Torino have failed to score with any of their last 29 shots on target, netting just twice against third tier side Sud Tirol in a Coppa Italia clash before last week’s 0-0 draw with AC Milan.
Juve, meanwhile, have conceded the fewest number of goals (nine), faced the fewest shots (141) and shots on target (43) of any Serie A side as their defence once again has been consistently solid.
Therefore, odds of 13/20 on both teams to score are intriguing, but if you expect a Juve win then backing them to do so and only one side to find the back of the net is available at 10/3 with 888Sport.
Just one goal behind Serie A’s leading goal scorer Krzysztof Piatek’s tally of 11 goals, Cristiano Ronaldo has yet to find his best form at Juventus, yet he is still contributing heavily to their success.
His tally of five assists in the league have provided some key goals to the cause, but there is little doubt that there is much more to come from the Portuguese megastar in 2018/19.
Juve fans would enjoy nothing more than seeing him start to do that against their crosstown rivals, something he certainly enjoyed doing at Real Madrid where his record vs Atletico saw him grab 22 goals in 31 appearances.
With that – and the fact he has failed to hit the net in each of his last two appearances – in mind, it is well worth backing CR7 to be back among the goals this weekend.
Indeed, backing Ronaldo to score first and Juventus to win 2-0 is available at 16/1 with BetVictor.
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