Torino v Juventus Serie A Match Preview
A POOR 2016 HAS TORINO LOOKING OVER THEIR SHOULDERS
What promised to be an optimistic season is slowly turning into one to forget for Torino, as they continue to live in the shadow of their more illustrious neighbours. Just two wins in the league since the start of 2016 has the club looking over its shoulder, desperate to avoid getting sucked into a relegation dog-fight. Coach Giampiero Ventura is under no pressure according to club president Urbano Cairo, but that statement has failed to appease the frustrated fans at the Stadio Olimpico. Last weekend perfectly summed up Toro’s season; 2-0 up in 15 minutes and cruising away to Genoa, they somehow managed to pluck defeat from the jaws of victory, despite the return of prodigal son Ciro Immobile, who scored both goals in the port city. His second spell at the club is a perfect example by Cairo of keeping the fans optimistic whilst everything else is crumbling around them. If punters fancy the Italian striker to find the net on Sunday, the best football websites currently price him at *3.60 to be an anytime scorer.
BUFFON CLOSING IN ON SERIE A RECORD
The disappointment of Wednesday’s Champions League exit to Bayern Munich, will be the last thing on Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon’s mind as he attempts to write himself into Italian football folklore. Having already managed 10 consecutive clean sheets in Serie A, the great man needs to keep his goal intact for just another three minutes on Sunday to beat Sebastiano Rossi’s record that has stood for over 20 years. As he enters the twilight of his career, no-one in football will begrudge him being the undisputed king of goalkeepers (not even Torino supporters). A cruel Champions League exit in mid-week is bad news for the rest of Serie A, as the defending champions look to consolidate their place at the top of the table. It just might be that their city rivals feel the full force of their anger this weekend.
Apart from Brazilian defender Danilo Avelar whose season is finished due to injury, Ventura has pretty much a full-strength squad to choose from. His main selection headache will be whether to play the experienced Cristian Molinaro as the attacking left-back, or 23-year-old Davide Zappacosta. Daniele Baselli should be preferred to Marco Benassi in Ventura’s five-man midfield.
Juventus are hit by injuries to several key players; Claudio Marchisio and Giorgio Chiellini will both miss out and star striker Paulo Dybala is doubtful. Daniele Rugani will come into a three-man defence, with Brazilian Hernanes continuing to deputise for Marchisio in the midfield. Simone Zaza may get a starting berth alongside Alvaro Morata in attack. The Spaniard is quoted on the betting exchanges at *5.50 to be first or last scorer.
THE DERBY DAY SQUADS
Torino(from) Padelli, Moretti, Glik, Maksimovic, Molinaro, Baselli, Gazzi, Acquah, Peres, Immobile, Belotti, Ichazo, Castellazzi, Bovo, Jansson, Gaston Silva, Vives, Zappacosta, Benassi, Obi, Farnerud, Maxi Lopez, Martinez
Juventus (from) Buffon, Neto, Barzagli, Bonucci, Rugani, Evra, Lichtsteiner, Khedira, Pogba, Hernanes, Asamoah, Sturaro, Pereyra, Zaza, Dybala, Mandzukic, Morata, Cuadrado
HEAD TO HEAD
Juventus has lost only two of their last 20 Serie A meetings with Torino; their last defeat coming in the corresponding fixture last season, when the Old Lady had already been crowned champions. Prior to that, you have to go back to April 1995 for Toro’s last home win. Torino has only managed to find the net on three occasions in the last 13 league encounters with their city rivals. The first meeting this season ended in a 2-1 win for the bianconeri, a 93rd minute winner from Juan Cuadrado securing the points for the hosts.
Torino 4.75 Draw 3.10 Juventus 1.95
*odds courtesy of Bet365
By: Steve Mitchell