Juventus To Show Defensive Prowess vs. MLS All-Stars

Tuesday, July 31, 2018 5:58 PM UTC

Tuesday, Jul. 31, 2018 5:58 PM UTC

High-scoring Josef Martínez and the MLS All-Stars host Italian Serie A power Juventus on Wednesday in Atlanta for what could be a low-scoring affair. Is backing the "under" a wise route is this friendly exhibition?

<p style="text-align:right"><strong><em>Capper MLS Record Last Week: 2-2-0 ATS</em></strong><br /><strong><em>Final July 2018 Capper Record: 10-10-2 ATS</em></strong></p><h2 style="text-align:center"><a href="https://www.sportsbookreview.com/betting-odds/soccer/" title="Soccer Odds Board">MLS All-Star Game: MLS All-Stars vs. Juventus FC</a></h2><h2 style="text-align:center">Wednesday, 7:30 p.m. ET (ESPN); Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta</h2><h2 dir="ltr" style="text-align:center">Free MLS Pick: Under 3½ -120</h2><h2 dir="ltr" style="text-align:center">Best Line Offered: <a href="https://www.sportbet.com/index.html">Sportbet.com</a></h2><p>Atlanta United FC sensation Josef Martínez (23 goals) welcomes the world to his still semi-new digs for the 2018 MLS All-Star Game against perennial Serie A powerhouse Juventus. In its first two games in ICC play in the U.S. (Benfica, Bayern Munich), Juventus — now without legendary GK Gianluigi Buffon (PSG) — didn’t allow a goal in the 90-plus minutes of play, but with so many playmakers on the MLS roster like David Villa (NYCFC), Diego Valeri (PORT) and Miguel Almirón (ATL, 8 goals, 11 assists) and scorers like former Juventus player (2006-2015) Sebastian Giovinco (TFC), Bradley Wright-Phillips (RBNY) and Carlos Vela (LAFC), <a href="https://www.sportsbookreview.com/betting-odds/soccer/" title="Soccer Betting Odds">it’s highly doubtful The Old Lady can register another clean sheet</a> despite the fact these All-Stars lack of familiarity playing with each other although MLS All-Star head coach Gerardo Martino has five of his own guys on the roster. Brad Guzan (ATL) and Zack Steffen (CLB) will be his two goalkeepers.</p><p>Two of the biggest names who might have played in the match are Cristiano Ronaldo and Zlatan Ibrahimović (L.A. Galaxy) — with CR7 just starting training with members of The Old Lady still at home in Turin and Zlatan citing travel issues. Juventus — formed in 1897 by a group of students from Turin as an athletic club — and Ronaldo’s old club, defending UEFA Champions League holders Real Madrid, will meet in ICC play in Landover, Maryland on Saturday (6 p.m. ET; ESPN2).</p><p>The MLS All-Stars have only two regulation wins in the last five All-Star Games and are 3-6 in the last nine overall. Their current form in the last 10 is WDLLWLWWLD (3-way line).</p><p>In a 2-0 victory over German Bundesliga power Bayern Munich in its last match, Juventus (2-0-0 in ICC, 3 GF/1 GA) had only 31% of the possession but had 6 Shots on target to stay unbeaten in the annual tournament. Juve employed a Starting XI of GK Mattia Perin; D’s Mattia De Sciglio, Daniele Rugani, Giorgio Chiellini, Alex Sandro; MF’s João Cancelo, Miralem Pjanić, Claudio Marchisio, Emre Can; and F’s Federico Bernardeschi and Andrea Favilli, who had both goals vs. Bayern. Not with Juventus stateside are Gonzalo Higuaín — who has been linked to a move to AC Milan — Paulo Dybala, Douglas Costa, Rodrigo Bentancur and Juan Cuadrado following participation for their native countries in the World Cup in Russia, while Leonardo Spinazzola (knee injury) is out.</p><p><img height="157" src="https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/Da-XSCrc19skWAa5TXPACKT08qPLM3Dbx5dzitTMOx4HluB3f1G496eicXkYbeJR4me-iObU5XTrm9ZS1xF6PLfZpiRBiU71C0_267yWeEWMRJxdD2WHqfKWPu02ecrJs_9z11cj" width="624" /></p><p>With all of that in mind, this one will sort of seem like a Juventus “B” squad playing against a nucleus of Atlanta United FC players and upcoming MLS talent, with the proud and evolving Italian side not wanting to allow any goals to the perceived novice American league, now consisting of many former European stars and designated players like Ibrahimović, Villa, Vela, Bastian Schweinsteiger (CHI) and Wayne Rooney, who just signed on with DC United.</p><p>Expecting around the same number of shots on target — 6 by both sides — in the Juventus-Bayern match seems a little light with this one being an exhibition game with plenty of scorers but players who will also be going less than 100% with half-a-season of club play left for the MLS participants and Juventus set to start a new Serie A season in Italy in three weeks.</p><p><img height="337" src="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/nzPoKTHL34JBcBCangHxGeiRa4Y_jKKd_xgK8mritiBOkkGM4W7puZxH5TLJKSJMWquDSHEZooUT0JPHQqFlaC9_ffq_lzeraCUINWNiGq6LOP4NUyn0A16zAUhCFLOI6570fB0u" width="624" /></p><p>In short, winning or losing (in regulation) will take a backseat to scoring and extending leg muscles, even with the omnipresent hype of it being an "All-Star Game." Juventus manager Massimiliano Allegri not wanting to go back to the country shaped like a boot losing to "the Americans" should probably be part of this handicap, with pride and emotions and club history combining with that 2-0-0 ICC record and those 0 goals allowed in over 180 minutes of play in the U.S. also being big components. And then toss in the presence of defensive anchors for Juventus like Euro-icon Chiellini — named the world’s 50th-best footballer by The Guardian — and Sandro, and <a href="https://www.sportsbookreview.com/picks/" title="Free Sports Picks">the MLS All-Stars scoring multiple goals will likely be much harder than some think</a>.</p><p>So maybe the prolific Martínez gets a goal for the home crowd — the retractable roof was finally opened and closed for the first time on Sunday — and Favilli scores again or maybe future star Luca Clemenza for The Old Lady here, but with so much ambivalence, fresh bodies coming in and out, no real need to score (or win for that matter) and an expected slower pace — despite likely lapses of wide-open pitch — this seems like it could evolve/devolve into another lackluster type 1-1 affair which may end up having to be settled by penalty kicks. If it’s tied after 90-plus minutes, it goes straight to PKs — putting some perceived value on the "draw" and the "under," especially at sportsbooks where<br />the number might be set at 3½.</p><p><strong>Predicted Final Score:</strong> Juventus 1, MLS All-Stars 1 (Juventus wins 4-2 in PK)</p>
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