Following a weekend in which three important Serie A matches were called off due to the coronavirus outbreak that struck northern Italy, defending champions Juventus were able to strengthen their hold on a ninth straight title with a 2-1 defeat of SPAL, behind goals from Cristiano Ronaldo and Aaron Ramsey. The Italian side has not won a UEFA Champions League trophy since 1996, and they will need to go into France and take goals off of Olympique Lyonnais on Wednesday to put themselves in position to make it happen in 2020.
Ronaldo’s goal at the weekend meant that he had scored in 11 consecutive Serie A matches, according to Sports Mole, equaling a record set in 1994/1995 by Argentine striker Gabriel Batistuta, then of Fiorentina. In fact, the record-tying goal came in Ronaldo’s 1,000th game as a professional as well.
Ronaldo will attempt to take a step in pursuit of another milestone on Wednesday, hoping to become only the second player to win Champions League trophies with three different clubs. Dutch international Clarence Seedorf pulled off the feat with Ajax, AC Milan (twice), and Real Madrid, according to UEFA.com. Ronaldo has won the pan-European competition as a member of Manchester United and four times with Real Madrid, including three straight from 2016 to 2018.
But first, Juventus must get past the current seventh-place team in the French Ligue 1. Lyon pushed their way to seventh place with a win over Metz on Friday. The club has struggled in February, winning just two of their last six in both league and cup competitions, with two losses and a pair of draws.
As expected, the Italian titleholders have been installed as heavy favorites, despite playing the first leg of the Round of 16 showdown in France. According to moneyline odds published by Sports Betting Dime, “The Old Lady” enters the match as -118 favorites. That means that to win $100, a bettor would need to wager $118.
At the same time, Olympique Lyonnais are heavy dogs at +310. In other words, a bet of just $100 would pay off $310 if the French side manages the unlikely upset victory.
In the group stage, Juventus breezed through all six matches without a loss, while Lyon barely made the cut, with a 2-2-2 record in their group. The Italian champs have not lost to a team from France in their last eight matches, and only two of those have ended in draws.
The Olympique Lyonnais vs. Juventus UEFA Champions League Round of 16 match kicks off at Parc Olympique Lyonnais in Lyon at 9 p.m. Central European Standard Time on Wednesday — 3 p.m. EST, noon PST in the United States, where the match will be viewable only via a pay-per-view online stream provided by B/R Live.