Juventus to take quarter-final initiative over depleted Lyon

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There may not be any English interest left in the Europa League but that won’t stop its quarter-final matches flooding our TV screens on Thursday night.

Lyon’s clash with Juventus gets ITV4 air time with the French hosts priced up as 19/5 outsiders to topple the Serie A giants.

Antonio Conte’s side are handed the favourites tag at 8/11, with the draw available as a 13/5 shot.

Neither side come into the match with a recent win tucked under their belt, with Remi Garde’s French side losing to St Etienne last time out and Juventus losing their 14-game unbeaten run to Napoli.

However, Lyon’s chances of staying in the tie by the halfway stage are rendered almost zilch given their battered and bruised squad.

The former French dominators are without three first-choice defenders and back up option Mouhamadou Dabo, while in midfield influential duo Clement Grenier and Yoann Gourcuff are also left in the physio room.

Those missing men suddenly make Juventus’ price to win the match all the more alluring, especially as they’ve won three of their four matches since entering the competition and have the dream of playing the competition’s final in their own stadium driving them on.

Although depleted themselves – they are without five first teamers – Juventus have proven themselves to be big fish in a tiny pond since their shock exit from the Champions League.

They have conceded just one goal in Uefa’s B-list competition and with Lyon losing their last two home outings as well as their last game in the Europa League, should prove too strong for Les Gones.

Five of Juventus’ last six away games in all competitions have been won to nil and it’s 33/20 that they add a seventh victory to that string in France.

Three of those games ended as slim 1-0 triumphs for the Old Lady and Ladbrokes expect sterotypical Italian caution to prevail again with a 1-0 win here priced up at 1/2.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.