Bookies.com consider the potential impact of Pogba on Real and Juve's Champions League tussle
Paul Pogba’s much-anticipated return to the Juventus starting XI, following a spell on the sidelines, has been heralded as a potential game-changer against Real Madrid in their upcoming Champions League semi-final second leg clash.
Here are five reasons, plus tasty tips to back them up, why bookies.com think Pogba can rule the roost at the Bernabeu and spur the Old Lady on to success.
The most obvious advantage of the formidable France international’s return is Pogba’s penchant for stunning long-range strikes.
There are few players able to really turn a tie with a moment of true quality and, while Real boast a roster packed with such superstars, Pogba’s unpredictability in attack has been a big miss for Juve.
After emphatically announcing his return with the winner against Cagliari, ardent Old Lady fans will be hoping for a repeat against Real, so Pogba is worth backing at 6/1 by Betfred to be on target anytime.
Midfield shackles released
Pogba’s physique brings added power to Juve’s midfield and should Sergio Ramos, who looked a risk last time in Turin, be deployed as a defensive midfield shield again, the Frenchman could have a field day.
If Madrid have Pogba in mind, playmaker extraordinaire Andrea Pirlo (19/2 in the anytime market with 888.com) will be afforded extra time and space to weave his magic, as will energetic Arturo Vidal (5/1 with Coral), who struck against Madrid last campaign.
Carlos Tevez unleashed
In the same vein, with Pogba also occupying Los Blancos’ backline, Argentina international Tevez could terrorise. The former Manchester United and City frontman won a penalty with trickery in Turin, and is 8/1 from Ladbrokes to fire home last. Likewise, Madrid graduate Alvaro Morata broke the first leg deadlock and is 10/1 with Paddypower to poach the opener again.
Pogba’s return will surely impact Carlo Ancelotti’s tactical choices. Will he risk a 4-4-2 formation again? If he does, Juve can seize control.
Despite Pogba’s excellent attacking attributes, the accomplished 22-year-old can also put in a defensive shift, and with light-weight Toni Kroos a possible opponent, the Old Lady are priced at 16/5 by Bet365 to squeeze out a draw in 90 minutes.
The Old Lady tend to play it safe on their travels in Europe, but cannot afford too much caution in the Spanish capital. Given the chance, Real can rip any team apart, so the Italian giants must stay on the front foot and, with Pogba pushing forward, are a tempting 2/1 with Boylesports to be the team to strike first.
Betting tip: Pogba @ 6/1 to score anytime with Betfred
All odds were correct at time of posting.