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Juventus’ Cristiano Ronaldo goes for the ball during the match between Napoli and Juventus, March 3, 2019. (Cesare Abbate/ANSA via AP)
Juventus’ Cristiano Ronaldo goes for the ball during the match between Napoli and Juventus, March 3, 2019. (Cesare Abbate/ANSA via AP)|Associated Press
Soccer

Miller’s picks: Juventus v Udinese & Norwich City v Swansea City

Norwich City currently sits on top of the EFL Championship table

Sean Miller

Sean Miller

After a strange day of UEFA Europa League play, where we were a Sevilla goal away from a huge payout, the action Friday is much lighter.

Almost every league match will be on the weekend, but there are two games the stand out this afternoon: one in the English Football League (EFL) Championship, and the other in the Italian Serie A.

Juventus continues to roll through its domestic league, but has to overturn a massive 0-3 deficit in the UEFA Champions League Tuesday at home against Atletico Madrid (4 p.m. TNT and Fubo.tv). The Old Lady will want to go into that contest with some momentum, and the match today against 15th place Udinese is the perfect opportunity to do that. Udinese has seen a little uptick in performance, but just have not been able to score many goals. That task should be tougher against a formidable Juventus defense.

Norwich City currently sits on top of the EFL Championship table by two points over Leeds United, and by four over third place Sheffield United.

Why is that important?

The top two teams in the league after 46 matches earn automatic promotion into the richest league in the world, the Premier League. The three teams that were promoted last season were expected to make over $150 million this year alone from the various television and commercial deals, and that is before the upturn in attendance and other commercial deals the clubs can cut.

It is a huge deal, and Norwich City currently leads that race. The Canaries also lead the form table, with five wins in their last six matches, so they are playing well at the right time of year.

Swansea City has played well in the F.A. Cup, making a run to next weekend's quarterfinals against Manchester City. But in the Championship, the Swans have not been very good of late, with three losses in their last five matches.

Can Norwich continue to widen the gap at the top of the league?

(Home team listed first)

Juventus (-250) vs. Udinese (+750), draw (+350), Juventus -1 (+115)
Norwich City (-150) vs. Swansea City (+380), draw (+300), Norwich Asian handicap -1 (+110)

The Picks:
Juventus -1 (+115)
Norwich City AH -1 (+110)