Following last week’s tense draw against Roma at the Stadio Olimpico, some Juventus fans might be counting their lucky stars, especially after Francesco Totti saw his penalty saved by Gianluigi Buffon in the second half.
Though they might have averted a disaster, Juventus still proved that they had what it took to snatch a priceless point.
They managed to hang on – if only just – and once more demonstrated that they are one of the title favourites. Milan’s draw against Bologna also meant they remained at the top of the table, though a result is needed against promoted Novara to regain pole position after the Rossoneri’s 2-0 win against Siena on Saturday.
Were this game to be an away fixture, one could genuinely be interested in the 12/1 odds on a Novara win, as minnows tend to pack their home grounds to the rafters and pull out an FA Cup-like performance.
At the Juventus Arena, however, expect the visitors to strengthen their defence and hope to sneak a goal – meaning that ambitious bettors should rather focus on odds for a draw (19/4), or even the possibility of guessing the exact score right, with 0-0 and 1-1 the most likely manifestations of this particular outcome (9/1 and 10/1).
Some may also be interested in the odds of Novara scoring once (17/10), an interesting possibility considering that the Old Lady has often conceded at home, and only kept three clean sheets so far.
Attilio Tesser’s men have also been reinvigorated by recent results and have already defied the odds in claiming a shock 1-0 win against Inter and last weekend’s draw against Napoli.
This new-found resilience leads me to believe that Juventus will have a tough time, especially considering their inconsistent (if efficient) form of the last few weeks.
Antonio Conte is still looking for his ideal starting eleven, so expect him to fiddle around with the team and for the Bianconeri to consequently have trouble finding their feet in the first half, before breaking through in the second.
At 37/20, it might be worth punting on Novara to prevent Conte’s men from scoring in the first half, as these are interesting odds to say the least.
Juventus have only scored one of their last eight goals in the first half, so that 11/4 on them netting twice in the second half is particularly interesting, as is the 5/1 on three goals or more.
In terms of goalscorers, Alessandro Matri has five goals in his last ten games, but hasn’t found the net in the last two weeks – he’s due a goal and looks good to notch at any time at 17/10.
Another good option is Juventus’ tall set-piece experts. Novara are likely to force the home side to a siege in the second half and dead-ball situations will make all the difference.
Giorgio Chiellini was on the scoresheet against Roma and could repeat his exploits at 6/1, as could Claudio Marchisio (7/2), who has already netted six this season.
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