With just the solitary 90 minutes win in seven outings, the pressure is beginning to mount on Roberto Di Matteo who, just six months ago, proudly held the Champions League trophy aloft in the Allianz Arena.
He takes Chelsea to Turin next for a game he dare not lose with Christmas coming up and Roman Abrahamovic’s finger hovering over the eject button wired up to the seat in the Stamford Bridge manager’s office. The match odds crystal ball, however, suggests Di Matteo could be plunged deeper into hot water as Juventus head the betting as 5/6 favourites.
The Blues currently top Group F on goal difference from Shakhtar, while Juve are a point behind both in third. The Ukranian side are heading to Nordsjaelland where they are widely expected to win against a team whose interest in European football has expired for the season.
This would put them three ahead of Chelsea should the Old Lady get the better of them and leave the defending champions sweating in the dreaded Europa League spot going into the final game.
Di Matteo would snap your hand off if you offered him a draw right now and this can be backed at 5/2, while a surprise away win is available at 10/3.
Chelsea have failed to win in seven of their last 12 on the road in Europe and with the hosts formidable at home – losing just once in 36 across all competitions on their own patch – it’s difficult to envisage the stuttering west Londoners prevailing in northern Italy.
For those intent on avoiding a dabble on the match betting markets, there’s great value to be had on both teams to score at 4/6.
A punt on this being the outcome in each of their Champions League games to date, aside from their 4-0 wins over Nordsjaelland, would have resulted in payout. There have been no clean sheets in each of Chelsea’s last nine either, nor has there been in seven of Juve’s last 11.
In light of Ladbrokes money back offer ensuring punters a free bet as insurance on losing first goalscorer flutters if Fernando Torres nets first or last, a good player to back in this market is Juventus’ Fabio Quagliarella.
Juve have opened the scoring inside 10 minutes in three of the last four, with the Italian international averaging a goal a game in that period.
All odds and markets accurate as of publication’s time and date