Juventus vs. Fiorentina and Pick to Win
Date:Saturday, August 20th, 2016
Where: Italy Serie A Torino, Italy
by Keith, Professional Soccer/Football Handicapper, Predictem
Match Odds: Juventus 1/2, Draw +340, Fiorentina 8/1
Moneyline: Juventus -200, Draw 17/5, Fiorentina +800
Over/Under Best Market: OVER 2.5 EVENS
It is Week One of Italys Serie A, echoing the sentiments of the English Premier League last week, anything can happen. Juventus enters as the reigning Serie A champion after they topped the table in their 2015/16 efforts. Juventus now plays host to fifth place Fiorentina, who qualified for Europa League play-in positioning with their efforts last season. As expected with a defending champion and a name brand team like Juventus, this pedigree requires a substantial amount of juice to take back as the expectation and propensity for victory is extraordinary. In spite of this fact, it is worth mentioning that Juventus will be playing this opening fixture without a key player. His name is Paul Pogba and he is one of the best midfielders in the world. In groundbreaking fashion, Juventus announced the sale of Pogbas services to Manchester United where the superstar will make a new home under the management of prolific boss Jose Mourinho. Nevertheless, Juventus will have to determine how to replace Pogbas presence in their opening fixture of this Serie A campaign.
Juventus has a great vulnerability for crafting a let-down more than ever. In their last five outings, the Italian kings of the football ground have been exceptional, securing four victories and one draw. These accolades were fostered against premier Italian and European sides, including AC Milan and Tottenham Hotspur. Needless to say, the juice required to take back this outfit reflects a direct reaction from the public when they gaze upon the name Juventus and consider what this team has done recently. Oddsmakers and bookies play on this reaction and as we have championed time and time again, assess a hidden premium for any action any punter wishes to take. The consensus have followed suit, as a huge majority of the money has been piling in on Juventus.
Fiorentina is offered as a deceptively delicious secondary option. However, it is hard to fathom Florences football club pulling off an upset of magnanimous proportion on opening day with the game taking place in Tornio. In their most recent encounter in Florence, Fiorentina fell to Juventus 2-1 but they did manage to keep the contest much closer than expected. In light of this, the books seem to be giving away a potentially huge purse if Fiorentina were to emerge victorious. Some players adeptly may have jumped on this side, hoping to be in the sharp money. However, given Juventus dominance of the league at large, it may be a very risky play. The books look to never be in a vulnerable state and chances are the odds here are true odds but they are highly unlikely to materialize. Nevertheless, there is one option that almost all have passed up on: the draw.
With both teams opening their seasons respectively, both clubs may be feeling things out and approaching things cautiously. We saw a similar phenomenon take place last week with Manchester City under their coronation of the Pep Guardiola era. Manchester City had difficulty scoring and resorted to late game theatrics to pull off a result that should have likely been a draw. Sunderland entered the fixture as a 15/1 pooch, yet Sunderland for all intent and purposes should have actually won the game outright. A similar situation can easily take shape here but on the side of caution and laying almost all of the public, the draw offers most upside especially with consideration to the fact that Juventus will have to figure out life without Pogba. With this being established, three goals were scored in that contest and given the fact the last contest between these two opponents proliferated a similar total, we will take the academic approach and take the OVER 2.5 in this opening Serie A fixture.
Juventus Recent Form
W South China 2-1
W Tottenham Hotspur 2-1
D Melbourne Victory 1-1
W AC Milan 1-0
W Sampdoria 5-0
Fiorentina Recent Form
W Lazio 4-2
D Palermo 0-0
D Chelvo 0-0
L Juventus 1-2
L Udinese 1-2
Keith’s Prediction for the Game: DRAW 17/5 +340 and OVER 2.5 EVENS