Torino captain Kamil Glik believes beating Juventus in Sunday’s Turin derby would prompt a “national celebration”, as the champions close in on a fourth successive Serie A title.
A win at Estadio Olimpico could see them claim the Scudetto for the 31st time, though such an outcome relies on Roma losing at Inter on Saturday and Chievo beating in-form Lazio a day later in Rome.
With Juve boasting a superior head-to-head record against their nearest rivals, it would not be possible for either to usurp them.
But Torino and Glik are looking to ensure that results elsewhere are rendered irrelevant by claiming a first derby win since April 1995.
And Glik, who has been captain since July 2013, believes that a Torino triumph would be celebrated throughout the country, providing they can buck the trend which has seen them suffer seven consecutive defeats to their illustrious neighbours.
“If we beat Juventus it will be a national celebration,” Glik told Tuttosport. “We are looking to prepare for this match like any other and want to give as little thought as possible to the fact that it’s a derby.
“It’s the most important match of the year for us, but we must let our adrenaline levels rise only a few minutes before the whistle blows for kick off.”
Juventus will be re-adjusting their focus back to Serie A duty after successfully edging past Monaco in the UEFA Champions League, securing a semi-final clash with Real Madrid thanks to a 1-0 aggregate win.
Although Massimiliano Allegri’s men look destined to seal the title eventually, Juve’s supporters will be keen for their side to cement their dominance against their local rivals, who themselves are still hoping to secure Europa League football.
Recent history will not provide much inspiration for Torino, though, having registered just a single goal in 11 meetings across all competitions since 2002.
Juve defender Andrea Barzagli wants his side to show no mercy once again, though he cited ex-Juve forward Fabio Quagliarella as a potential threat.
“What now matters are the next three league matches in which we’ll hope to put the title race to bed,” he said. “We know how important the derby is and we’ve already got our thoughts focused on the game.
“It will be a difficult match, not just due to its nature, but also because they’re an organised outfit who have a constant threat in Quagliarella up front.”
Torino will have to contend with the return of Carlos Tevez, who has scored 18 league goals this season, but missed the trip to Monaco with flu. Patrice Evra (hip) will definitely miss out.
Giampiero Ventura has Gaston Silva (thigh) back into contention following a month out, while Migjen Basha is available after missing the Roma defeat due to suspension.
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