Bayer Leverkusen v Juventus – UEFA Champions League Betting Preview and Prediction
Juventus and Bayern Leverkusen are slated to meet for one last time in the UCL group stage this Wednesday, December 11 in what will be a must-win fixture for the Germans and only a formality for the Italian champions who have already secured a spot in the final 16. Losing here would not change anything for Juventus. That on its own paints a clear picture of which side has a lot more to lose, which should inspire efficiency for Peter Bosz and his men.
Bayern Leverkusen chasing playoffs ticket
Bayern Leverkusen are entering their sixth and final fixture of the UCL group stage with a 2-0-3 record and six points next to their name, which sits them at a third spot in the group, one point behind Atl. Madrid and three above Lokomotiv Moscow. A draw here would guarantee them a spot in the Europa League, however, it’s safe to say Peter Bosz’s men are aiming higher than that and will look to claim all three points in a bid to finish above Atl. Madrid and claim the UCL playoffs ticket.
Looking back at how the Germans performed so far into their UCL group stage venture, they lost all of their opening three fixtures against Lokomotiv Moscow (1:2), Juventus (0:3) and Atletico Madrid (0:1), but managed to bounce back with confidence by defeating both Atl. Madrid (2:1) and Lokomotiv Moscow (2:0) in their last two fixtures, which gave them hope to finish in the UCL playoffs. Since Leverkusen lost to Atl. Madrid in round three, they are 6-2-1 across all competitions, which includes a three-game winning streak against previously mentioned Lokomotiv, followed by two wins against Bayern Munich (2:1) and Schalke (2:1). All things considered, Bayern Leverkusen are in great shape ahead of this bout and while this will be their toughest test yet, we are safe to assume Peter Bosz’s men are as ready as they will ever be to stack up with Juventus.
Juventus without a worry
Juventus are already through into the playoffs and no matter how the remaining two fixtures end, they are guaranteed to come out of group D as the first seed. That ultimately means we can’t expect the Old Lady to come into this match too hungry for a win and while they will look to claim another three points just for the sake of it, losing won’t be a disaster.
Juventus have not lost a single match in the group stage, with their worst result coming from their round one draw against Atletico Madrid in Spain (2:2). Following the stalemate, Juventus won against Leverkusen (3:0) and Lokomotiv Moscow (2:1), both at home, and away (2:1), and defeated Atletico Madrid in round five (1:0) to secure a ticket into the playoffs. All in all, Juventus are 7-2-1 in their last 10 across all competitions, with the most worrying result being their defeat against Lazio in the last round of Serie A (3:1). In away games, Juventus are 3-1-1 in their last five, which includes the previous defeat against Lazio and a stalemate against Lecce (1:1).
Verdict & Prediction
Juventus are not in a great spot as of now. Not only have they lost their leading position in Serie A, but Sarri also has a handful of problems on his hands due to a long list of injured players, which include De Ligt, Khedira, Bentancur, Ramsey, Can, Douglas Costa and Chiellini, who will all surely miss this bout. It is safe to say Juventus are eager to step into the Christmas break to regain some strength and forge a plan on how to approach the remainder of the season. With such a long list of injured players, we have to ask ourselves; will Sarri play his star players or will he rest them in a bid to end the remaining league fixtures strong. With that in mind, we could see both Ronaldo, Pjanic and other stars miss this fixture, as there is no real reason to play them and risk seeing another injury. Furthermore, we have to figure out, who will stand in the goal.
There are a lot of question marks above Juventus and their approach to this game. We would not be surprised if Sarri rests his starters and gives other players a chance to prove themselves. At the end of the day, the Old Lady has nothing to lose here. Motivation to win will be the key here and we are certain Leverkusen will enter this fixture better prepared to claim a win as compared to the visitors.
Prediction: Bayern Leverkusen to win
Odds: 2.01 Matchbook