Quag looks Fab for Juve

  • By: David John
  • Last Updated: April 2 2013, 20:36 BST

Fabio Quagliarella is fancied to boost the chances of Juventus with a goal against Bayern Munich in the Champions League.

Quagliarella: Can make an impact for Juventus
Quagliarella: Can make an impact for Juventus

There are just eight teams left in this season's Champions League with two of our pre-event outright picks - Barcelona and Juventus - in action on Tuesday.

The former travel to Paris Saint Germain and proved in the last round they can have an off night just as well as anyone else by losing 2-0 in the first leg at AC Milan.

They were sluggish and lethargic and Milan were well worth their advantage going back to the Nou Camp but it only took five minutes for Lionel Messi to turn the tide on the way to a 4-2 aggregate success.

So at least there is some cause for optimism for Carlo Ancelotti's men in the French capital, who have been given the task of winning this cup within the next five years by their wealthy Qatari owners.

Statistically, PSG had the best defence in the group stage and also currently in the domestic Ligue 1 - led by Thiago Silva - and for that reason I think that under 2.5 goals at 21/20 looks pretty tempting.

Ancelotti has huge experience to draw on in Europe at the top level so you can expect him to ensure the tactics and formation are right as he bids to keep a lid on Messi and co for as long as possible.

And while I don't expect a repeat of the feeble display in Milan, I have little doubt the visitors will be happy that the advantage turns considerably in their favour by hosting the second leg.

Barca have been re-energised by the return of coach Tito Vilanova following two months of undergoing treatment for cancer in New York and he was available to take training on Friday.

He will be without the likes of Carlos Puyol (injured) and Pedro (suspended) but I can still see this game revolving on a piece of magic from the Catalan side to put them narrowly in the driving seat for next week.

Last year's beaten finalists Bayern Munich entertain Juve and could not be in better nick after a 9-2 drubbing of Hamburg in the Bundesliga over the weekend.

Juventus have won all five of their European quarter-finals against German rivals and look to be warming up just at the right time as well having won five straight in the competition to this point.

They were last in the quarter-finals in 2006 and should be fresh enough for the challenge ahead after cruising past Celtic at the last-16 stage.

Bayern though had a real attack of the jitters against Arsenal in the last round's second leg and almost shot themselves in the foot - the display required a slap on the wrist post-match from coach Jupp Heynckes.

But the path to glory at this level is never without the odd close shave and I expect the Germans will learn hugely from the experience.

I think this opening gambit will be closer than the betting suggests and I can see Juve scoring through Fabio Quagliarella, who is a 7/2 anytime chance to do just that.

He has had to wait until this season for a debut in the Champions League but the 30-year-old has taken his opportunity with four goals already.

I admire the confidence he has in his ability too - "if there is a 70/30 chance of missing, I still take it anyway" - and at this stage results can come down to that one moment of inspiration.

Antonio Conte tends to rotate his front line but Mirko Vucinic is down with the 'flu at the moment so our selection will more than likely start up front with Alessandro Matri.

He scored the opener in the win at Inter Milan on Saturday in Serie A and very much catches the eye at the price.

  • Preview posted at 1335 BST on 01/04/2013.