In-form Juventus represent value on the Asian Handicap against Bayern Munich

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Juventus +0.25 on the Asian Handicap @ 37/50 (1.74) with 32Red Sport

With all due respect to Arsenal and Barcelona, this is arguably the Champions League tie of the round, as last season’s runners-up Juventus play host to Bayern Munich, the one team that most pundits believe could give the defending champions Barcelona a run for their money.

There is an added edge to this game with Arturo Vidal and Kingsley Coman for Bayern and Mario Mandzukic for Juve, facing their former clubs.  The teams also met at the quarter-final stage of the 2012-13 Champions League, with Bayern easing through 4-0 on aggregate after winning both games by a two-goal margin (Mandzukic scoring the opening goal for Bayern in the 2nd leg in Turin).

Friday’s 0-0 draw at Bologna brought to an end a club record run of 15 consecutive Serie A victories for Juventus.  They’ve also won 18 of their last 20 matches in all competitions, although the one defeat was a 1-0 loss at Sevilla in their final Champions League group game that resulted in them losing top spot in the group to Manchester City and having to face Bayern Munich here as a consequence.

Bayern are, as one might expect, on a pretty decent run of form themselves, with Saturday’s 3-1 win at home to SV Darmstadt being their ninth win in an unbeaten 10-match run during which they’ve only conceded three goals.  They’ve lost just two games all season; a 2-0 defeat at Arsenal in the Champions League and a 3-1 loss at Borussia Moenchengladbach in early December.  

Injury issues seem to be clearing for Juve ahead of the 1st leg.  Defender Giorgio Chiellini was initially thought to be highly doubtful for the 1stt leg, but is now battling to make it after a calf strain. Having Chiellini available would be a major boost.

Fellow defender Leonardo Bonucci was also considered a doubt, but came through the Bologna game unscathed and striker Mandzukic is also likely to be available according to Juve boss Max Allegri.  It’s not such good news with Alex Sandro, Kwadwo Asamoah and Martin Caceres though, with all three ruled out.

Bayern have injury worries at the back, with Jerome Boateng, Javi Martinez and Holger Badstuber all out injured.  On the plus side, Franck Ribery did appear as a substitute against Darmstadt, having missed the vast bulk of the season to date with ankle and muscular injuries.

This looks set to be tight and the Germans would probably be content with a draw away from home.  Backing Juventus at +0.25 on the Asian Handicap looks a decent option.  Your bet wins if Juve win the match, but in the event of a draw, half your stake would be settled as a winner and the other half would be returned.

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