Champions League betting: Value with hosts Monaco in first leg against Juventus

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Updated: May 3, 2017

Real Madrid have one collective foot in the European Cup final having defeated crosstown rivals Atletico 3-0 in their first leg match-up last night. The Champions League spotlight shifts to the French Riviera tonight for the opening leg of the semi-final showdown between hosts Monaco and Juventus; overall record: 50-5-37, +25.25 units

 

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UEFA Champions League semi-final, first leg: AS Monaco (France) v Juventus FC (Italy)
Where: Stade Louis II, Monaco
When: Thursday, May 4, 4.45am (AET)
Prices: Monaco $3.10, Juventus $2.40, DRAW $3.30

Confirmed bets: Monaco WIN (one unit @ $3.10), Monaco DNB (three units @ $1.55)

TIW says: Free-scoring Monaco will aim to break down the best defence in continental football when they host Juventus in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final. The Ligue 1 leaders have scored plenty of goals this season and boast one of Europe’s most exciting newcomers – striker Kylian Mbappe (pictured below). The 18-year-old has netted 18 goals in his past 18 competitive games, including three in the 6-3 aggregate win over Borussia Dortmund in the previous round. This is Monaco’s fourth European Cup semi-final, and their first since 2004, when they beat Chelsea 5-3 on aggregate.

Leonardo Jardim’s team have won six of their seven home matches in the Champions League this season – the exception a 1-1 draw with Bayer Leverkusen in the group stage. They tallied 16 goals in those seven fixtures. Monaco have scored in all but one of their 14 games in this season’s competition, only drawing a blank in a 3-0 matchday 6 defeat in Leverkusen. Monaco have scored three goals in each of their four Champions League knockout games this season. They are the first team in the competition’s history to find the net at least three times in four successive knockout games. Midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko is in doubt due to a broken nose suffered in a training ground accident while right-back Djibril Sidibe is doubtful.

 

Juventus were last at this stage two seasons ago, when they went on to make the final – they are targeting a ninth European Cup final this season. The Turin giants boast the tightest defence in Europe’s top club competition, with just two goals conceded in this campaign. The Italian champions, who advanced to the last four with an aggregate 3-0 win over Barcelona, were held to a 2-2 draw at Atalanta in a rare defensive mix-up in Serie A last Friday but they are closing in on a record sixth straight Serie A title and can turn to their European history for inspiration, having won the showcase club competition twice, in 1985 and 1996.

Juventus will be without defender Daniele Rugani due to a knee injury and midfielder Sami Khedira, who is serving a one-game suspension. After failing to reach the last four of the Champions League for a decade (2004-14), Juventus have now made the semis for the second time in three seasons. Juve have won four and drawn the other of their five away fixtures in this season’s competition. They have kept four clean sheets on their travels, including a scoreless draw at Barcelona in their quarter-final second leg, shipping only one goal while scoring 10. The value lies with the hosts in this fascinating first leg match-up.

 

Yesterday’s results: 0-0-2, -3.0 units

Real Madrid v Atlético Madrid -2.5/total (two units @ $1.75) LOSE (3-0)
Real Madrid v Atlético Madrid correct score/1st half 0-0 (one unit @ $3.00) LOSE (1-0)

 

 

• Selections are listed in three categories – 1) Suggested (likely bet but yet to be finalised); 2) Confirmed (locked in at the price listed); and 3) Leans (tips, but not recommended bets); all times quoted are Australian Eastern Time (AET); prices with thanks to Bet365 (except where markets are not available), correct at time of publication. Results/comments on today’s games/races will follow in the next post.

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