Italian league champions Juventus kick off their pre-season campaign as they take on Barcelona in the International Champions Cup at the MetLife Stadium, New Jersey.
International Champions Cup – United States / Saturday 22nd July – 23:00 UK Time
Best Odd of: 3/1 at Sky Bet
Best Odd of: 9/4 at Sky Bet
Best Odd of: 1/1 at Sky Bet
Juventus had a great campaign in 2016/17, completing a domestic double by winning a sixth consecutive Serie A title and the Coppa Italia. They also reached the final of the Champions League before losing 4-1 to a rampant Real Madrid.
They will be looking for a solid start to pre-season, with only elite friendlies planned as they prepare their challenge for a seventh consecutive league title.
In this competition last year, Juventus were crowned 2016 ICC Australia champions. They lost on penalties to hosts Melbourne Victory, then went on to beat Tottenham Hotspur. This was enough for four points and a place at the top of the table.
Barcelona lost out on a third consecutive La Liga title last season, finishing three points behind champions Real Madrid. They also had a disappointing run in Europe, only reaching the quarter finals of the Champions League for a second season in a row.
They will be determined to have a more successful campaign this time around and will hope to start their preparation with a win here.
Last year, they finished fourth behind Paris Saint-Germain, Liverpool, and Chelsea in the ICC US and Europe. They won two of their three matches, against Celtic and Leicester, before getting hammered 4-0 by Liverpool at Wembley Stadium.
Head to Head
These sides have met twelve times since 1952. Juventus have a slight lead, with five wins. Barcelona have won four, and three have been draws.
One of Juventus’ victories did come After Extra Time, so can be counted as a draw after 90 minutes. This means the head to head is all-square, if you only count the result at the end of 90 minutes, with four wins apiece and four draws.
Counting the extra-time victory as a draw, three of the past five meetings have finished level.
The most recent match between the two was in the Quarter Final Second-Leg of the Champions League in April this year. That match finished 0-0, after Juventus had won the first leg 3-0 a week earlier.
Betting Odds and Predictions
This match is a close call, with not much to choose between the two teams. They’re level with regards previous meetings and are both top teams.
Sky Bet have Barcelona a slight favourite, priced at 6/5, with Juventus looking good value at 21/10. The draw is priced at 5/2, and could be the way to go if using recent meetings as a guide.
Barcelona had trouble finding a way to score against Juventus in the Champions League last season. Punters who believe they will have the same trouble here can get odds of 100/30 on Barca not scoring.
If you believe Barca will fail to score and Juventus will be victorious, it’s 11/2 for the Italian side to win to nil. If you think Barcelona will pick up a victory without Juve scoring, it’s odds of 100/30.
Although Barcelona failed to score in the last two meetings, they did net five goals in the three before. Both teams have scored in five of the last eight meetings and it’s 4/7 for Both Teams to Score here. Punters can also back Both Teams to Score in Both Halves at 12/1.
Two of the last three meetings have had at least three goals, and Over 2.5 Goals in this match is priced at 8/11.
For Both Teams to Score and Over 2.5 Goals, Sky Bet are offering odds of 1/1.
With regards who we think will score the goals, it may pay to side with last season’s top scorers for both teams, with both being Argentinia internationals.
Gonzalo Higuain netted 32 goals for Juventus in all competition in 2016/17, whilst Barcelona’s top scorer was Lionel Messi with an incredible tally of 54 goals.
It’s priced at 11/8 for Higuain to score in 90 minutes, 4/1 for him to score first, 9/2 for a brace, and 28/1 for him to net a hat-trick. For Messi, it’s 6/5 to score in 90 minutes, 7/2 to score first, 7/2 to score a brace, and 22/1 for a hat-trick.
Sky Bet are offering odds of 4/1 for both to score in 90 minutes.
Top Betting Tips
Having taken past meetings into account, our top betting tip is a draw after 90 minutes. This is priced at 5/2 with Sky Bet. The 4/1 on both Higuain and Messi to score also looks a tempting bet.