Juventus required extra time to beat Napoli in last season’s Italian Supercoppa and, following several decidedly ordinary warm-up performances for this term, punters should look to oppose Juve against Lazio in the eternal city of Rome.
Bookmakers who are quoting Juventus at odds on to win the Italian Supercoppa in normal time must not have seen Juve’s displays in the lead up to Sunday’s glorified pre-season friendly because, if they had, they would be keen to lay Antonio Conte’s misfiring team before it hits top gear.
Juventus participated in the International Champions Cup, competing alongside Chelsea and Everton from the English Premier League, Real Madrid and Valencia from the Spanish La Liga, Los Angeles from North America’s Major League Soccer and Milan and Internazionale from Italian Serie A. Juventus was grouped with Everton, Los Angeles and Real Madrid and had a nightmare, losing 5-6 on penalties after a 1-1 draw and going down 1-3 to Los Angeles to end up in the game to determine seventh place. Juventus could not get past its Italian Serie A counterpart Internazionale in 90 minutes and paid the price, losing 8-9 in the subsequent shoot-out competition. So Juventus finished eighth out of eight, with its opponents losing all their other tournament matches.
Lazio has not bumped into the same class of opponent during its friendly program but at least it has been winning and building confidence, something in which Juventus may be in short supply as Conte tries to bed in several new players.
Officially the Italian Supercoppa takes place at a neutral venue but Rome is home to Lazio so the underdog has a real edge over the favourite. Lazio boss Vladimir Petkovic has gone to great lengths to pump up the tyres of his players in the Italian media in recent days, telling everyone who is willing to listen that his side does not fear Juventus. And Lazio should not be scared. Lazio met Juventus four times last term and honours were shared down the middle with each team winning one game and two matches resulting in draws. Interestingly, Lazio won the non-Italian Serie A game that took place in the capital, triumphing 2-1 and even having the nerve to score its winning goal after Juventus had levelled the scores two minutes into stoppage time.
Probably the best way to attack the Italian Supercoppa from a betting perspective is to lay Juventus, which is the same as backing Lazio to win or draw. The double chance of Lazio or the draw is available at 2.00 with Bet365 and that appeals more than backing Lazio to lift the trophy.
Monaco is the star bet in European league action on Sunday, with the big-spending promoted side worth backing at 1.57 at WillHills to register a home win over Montpellier. Monaco confirmed that it will be a French Ligue Un powerhouse this season by winning 2-0 at Bordeaux the day after Montpellier held on to draw 1-1 at home with Paris Saint-Germain after being reduced to 10 men with 20 minutes remaining.
Montpellier’s results in its warm-up games were mediocre and that it earned a point from its first French Ligue Un game had more to do with how poorly Paris Saint-Germain played than how it performed. Montpellier lost each of its last five French Ligue Un away matches last term. Indeed, Montpellier lost eight of its last nine road games.
Spanish La Liga title favourites Barcelona and Real Madrid kick off their domestic campaigns at home to Levante and Betis respectively. Tread carefully with Barcelona since Lionel Messi is under an injury cloud. Real Madrid is an interesting proposition at 1.60 with BetVictor to be in front at both half time and full time. Real Madrid scored goals for fun in its pre-season matches and it landed the half-time/full-time wager in the overwhelming majority of its Spanish La Liga home games last term. Anything above 1.40 would be worth taking in the circumstances, with Real Madrid stronger than last season and Betis having been weakened by the departures of key personnel, including midfielders Jose Canas and Benat Etxebarria.