Champions League Odds & Picks: Back Juventus vs. Lyon With Dybala’s Return
Mattia Ozbot/Soccrates/Getty Images. Pictured: Paulo Dybala
Editor’s note: Paulo Dybala has been named on the squad for today’s Lyon vs. Juventus match, supporting our analyst Dillon Essma’s pick on Juventus to advance (-122).
Champions League Odds: Juventus vs. Lyon
|Time||Friday, 3 p.m. ET|
|TV||CBS All Access|
Juventus welcomes Lyon to Allianz Stadium Friday night for a game that will decide which club advances to the Champions League Quarterfinals.
Lyon are playing with house money at this point, as Juventus were the large favorites before the first leg. Now Lyon leads 1-0 on aggregate, and the pressure is on Juventus. The status of Juve’s Paulo Dybala will affect my bet on this game, so pay close attention to the starting XI pre-game.
Prior to Ligue 1’s season being called short due to Coronavirus, Lyon sat 7th in the table. They were within one point of 5th however, and had the tiebreaker on goal differential. Not the best season, but perhaps within striking distance of Europe if the campaign did continue.
Expected goals (also known as xG) is an advanced statistic that gives an indication of whether results are based on sustainable factors like a steady creation of scoring chances, or whether it is down to aspects such as luck or outstanding goalkeeping.
The club averaged 1.29 expected goals per game and conceded only 0.88 xGA/game. That data came through when you saw some good quality from them in the first leg in France.
Lyon are going to defend well and have a good shape about them. They will likely get a few chances on the counter attack, and that will be the decider in the game.
In the first leg, they frustrated Juve, and took advantage of their chances. I expect a very similar strategy out of them. Defend for their lives and see what they can do on the counter when the Italians push more men forward.
Juventus took home the Scudetto once again. They had a solid season, but I wouldn’t say it was dominant. They were within striking distance for Inter, Atalanta and Lazio behind them. Those clubs just really faded down the stretch, and Inter dropped crucial points in a few unacceptable games.
Frankly, the club’s success has come down to individual greatness. Cristiano Ronaldo, who some call the GOAT (not me) has been fantastic. Their secret weapon however has been Paulo Dybala.
The 26 year-old Argentinian has been scintillating. Juventus have not played like a cohesive unit all year. They have depended on Ronaldo and Dybala to bail them out time and again by creating great individual performances. Their defending hasn’t been flawless, their midfield does not control the possession and style of play, and they haven’t been in sync with their manager.
However, it was still good enough to win Serie A this year. Both season long and since the restart, they have generated 2 xG and 1 xGA/game. Those are good metrics, regardless of how they have gotten there. The key to this game is Dybala’s health. He is nursing a hamstring injury, and his status is uncertain. Whether he plays or not has a significant impact on how I see this game playing out.
|Expected Goals For Per Match||Expected Goals Against Per Match|
Lyon might be a bit rusty, not playing a truly competitive match for a few months. Juventus just finished their season, and had a nice little break to re-energize. My pick in this game is unfortunately dependent on Paulo Dybala’s status. If he is out, I would lay off and maybe lean under.
If Paulo plays, I think Juve pull it off and advance.
Pick: Juventus to advance (-122)