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Chelsea v Juventus: Tough test for Blues as they begin title defence

| 19.09.2012

Juventus return to Europe’s top table following a two-year absence when they face the reigning champions at Stamford Bridge.

At 12/5, the Old Lady are a good shout to mark their Champions League comeback with a win, especially given Chelsea’s performances in their previous two outings.

There was a football match played after all the pre-match handshake furore between the Blues and QPR but, given how dull it was, you can see why the focus was on the antics that took place before the action started.

A 0-0 against a QPR team in transition was preceded by a 4-1 trouncing at the hands of Falcao and Atletico Madrid in the European Super Cup. In reality, the west Londoners got off lightly with that scoreline and Juventus represent a step-up in class from the Europa League winners.

Chelsea, however, are 6/5 favourites to beat a side who were one game away from going the whole of last season undefeated and have started this campaign in similar fashion. Three Serie A wins from three followed an Italian Super Cup extra-time win over Napoli and they will be confident of toppling last season’s winners on their own patch.

Juve also have a horrible record against English clubs that they will be desperate to put a stop to in this one.

The Turin club have picked up just two wins against Premier League opposition in 14 contests since the turn of the century, none outside of Italy. This run includes a 1-0 defeat on their only previous visit to the Bridge thanks to a Didier Drogba goal.

A repeat of that scoreline tonight pays out at 6/1 with Ladbrokes while, since Drogba’s Chelsea exit, the best first goalscorer bet here come in the shape of Chelsea’s Frank Lampard at 9/1. He has picked up two in four league games from midfield already this season, once to break the deadlock.

Another bet with the prospect for profit is for there to be over 2.5 goals scored in this one.

Eight of the 14 aforementioned clashes with English opposition since 2000 have crossed this line and it’s priced at 11/10 to happen again here.

All odds and markets correct as of publication

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Author

James Middleton