Juventus Very Much in Contention to Win UEFA Champions League This Season

Juventus FC and UEFA Champions League logos - Year 2015Juventus would have liked to go into Tuesday's UEFA Champions clash with Monaco on a clean slate. But that was not be. They lost 1-0 to Serie A bottom scrapers Parma at the Ennio Tardini stadium on Saturday . The Scudetto holders were of course without many of their star players like Tevez, Morata, Pirlo and Pogba and will not be too worried by this loss and treat it as a minor hiccup.

Juventus at the moment are a far cry from the team that emerged second to Atletico Madrid in the Group stage of the UEFA Champions League of 2014-15.

None of the teams qualifying in the last eight of the championship have displayed the kind of form the Bianconeri have shown in recent weeks. They demolished Borussia Dortmund in their own backyard at the Westfalenstadion 0-3 when many questioned their chances to make it to the next round before the commencement of that daunting away game. It's not just that the likes of Carlos Tevez, Alvaro Morata are firing away goals. The defense is in top shape. Borussia were allowed just five shots on goal over the 180 minutes of play in the two legs of the Round of 16 encounter. The return of of Andrea Barzagli from injury will make things even harder for opponents to get past the Juventus defense from now on.

The way the Old Lady of Italian football came back from a 1-2 home loss in the 1st leg of the Coppa Italia semi-final to beat a very confident and dangerous Fiorentina in the away 2nd leg game in Florence speaks volumes of the Bianconeri's fighting qualities. In the crucial 0-3 win over their Florentine opponents it was not the usual suspects Carlos Tevez & co who scored. Goals from Alessandro Matri, Roberto Pereyra and Leonardo Bonucci - one a striker, a midfielder and the other a defender - is a testimony to Juventus's bench strength and variety.

With the legendary Buffon between the posts, Barzagli, Bonucci and Chiellini at the back there's not a defense among the other seven qualifiers more formidable than this. Andrea Pirlo and Arturo Vidal in the midfield are in the top bracket. Carlos Tevez and Alvaro Morata are scoring goals like there is no tomorrow and we haven't even taken into the account the return of the brilliant Paul Pogba to the starting XI. Tevez is in the form of his life getting as many as 26 goals from 30 appearances for his club this season.
So, it's no surprise that the Italian giants are running away with the Serie A with a whopping 14-point lead over their nearest rival AS Roma, which is undoubtedly the biggest gap among all the European leagues . They have lost just two matches in 2015 (one being against Parma last night) and in their last seven matches scored 11 goals and conceded just one.

It's their away-games form and the great ability to come back from behind that's causing opponents to sit up and thus making Juventus potentially the hardest team to beat. None of the other teams to qualify in the Last eight of the Champions League have registered the kind of emphatic away wins Juventus managed at Dortmund and Florence and that too in very crunch games . Their outing with Monaco at the Juventus stadium in Tuesday's 1st leg Round of 8 clash is predicted to be a cakewalk for them.

The last the Bianconeri won the European title was in the 1995-96 season during the heydays of Alessandro Del Piero and this time the Italian giant is truly in the hunt for another one. The bookmakers seem to be sensing the Bianconeri's recent momentum. Not surprisingly, they are fourth, odds-wise, in line to take the European title after Bayern Munich, Barcelona and Real Madrid and ahead of Atletico Madrid and PSG. In fact, their odds could very well improve in the coming weeks.

Odds to win the UEFA Champions title

Bayern Munich 7/4

Barcelona 5/2

Real Madrid 4/1

Juventus 7/1

Atletico Madrid 16/1

Paris St. Germain 16/1