The Old Lady to boss it
Juventus are seeking the win that confirms their place as group winners and a place in the pot of seeded teams for the last 16 draw. Standing in their way are competition debutants, Young Boys, looking to salvage some pride before they bow out with the wooden spoon in Group H.
It was always going to be a hard ask for the Swiss Champions to compete with Juventus, Man United and Valencia. And so it has proved as they prop up the group with just 1 point to their name.
Gerardo Seoane’s side have hardly disgraced themselves though. They were within seconds of holding Man United to what would’ve been a famous draw last time out, while their draw at home to Valencia - their first ever Champions League point - will always be looked back on as a momentous moment in the club’s history.
All going well, they should be in contention for a place in next year’s tournament too. Having only clinched their first domestic title in 32 years just last year, supporters of Young Boys won’t be waiting so long for the next one.
The gulf in class was evident in the first match with Juve
They’re storming the Super League this term, and look home and hosed with nearest challengers Basel a whopping nineteen points back in second place. To put it into context just how dominant they’ve been, Young Boys have won 15 from their 17 games. Basel, meanwhile have posted just 7 victories.
Asserting themselves so well domestically is a far cry from where they find themselves in Europe and they’re heavy underdogs to suffer another defeat. The gulf in class was evident in the first match with Juve, the Italian Champions running out comprehensive 3-0 winners.
With motivation not at its highest and an opponent dead set on winning the group, it’s probable their last game will go the same way as the first.
It tells you everything about the ambition of the ‘Old Lady’ when Massimo Allegri claimed this final group match in Switzerland to be more important than the Derby d’Italia at home to Inter.
Winning in Bern will ensure top spot ahead of Man. United and should also guarantee a more favourable draw in the next round. For Allegri, this carries more significance in terms of their season and objectives. Put simply, they’re out to win the Champions League.
So, despite being qualified, expect no let up from Juventus. This is still a worthy game, make no mistake of that. Few changes will be made to a side churning out win after win.
This team are one close to resembling perfection
The victory over Inter in the derby on Friday was their sixth on the bounce in Serie A, and it was nine in a row before dropping their only points to date at home to Genoa in mid-October. Not only are they winning though, they’re doing so without giving the opposition so much as a sniff. Five consecutive clean sheets from a spell in which they’ve played both Milan clubs and Valencia gives an indication into how smoothly this side are operating.
The addition of Cristiano Ronaldo means this team are one close to resembling perfection and the man himself has gone on record to say this is the best group he’s been part of, quite a statement given what he won during his time at Old Trafford and then the Bernabeu.
Matching the Champions League wins at United and Madrid is his ultimate aim. First though, finishing top of the group is the priority.
Not much value can be found in backing Juve to win outright so I’ve gone for the visitors to win to nil.
Allegri’s defence are keeping clean sheets for fun at the moment and as much as the hosts are scoring at will domestically, this is a different level entirely.
Three blanks and just two goals in five games demonstrates how tough Young Boys have found it and I can’t see them breaching Europe’s best defence.
Nick’s tip: Juventus to win to nil @ best market odds of 11/8 (2.38) with BetVictor