Verdict: Home win
Best odds: 7/10
It’s the Turin Derby in the Serie A this week, or as they call it in Italy, Derby della Mole. On Tuesday evening, Torino will make the short trip across town to the Allianz Stadium where they will be welcomed by Juventus, for what will be an important match of the 24th round in the Italian top flight.
Juventus, the players and the staff, that is, should really be commended for the way they’ve responded to the 15-point deduction for alleged financial offences of some of their former chiefs. When it happened, their chances of qualifying for any of the three European competitions appeared very slim, but now they’re certainly in that race.
Of their last six matches in all competitions, Massimiliano Allegri’s men won five and drew one. The run started with a 1-0 win over Lazio in the quarterfinals of the Coppa Italia. Then they beat Salernitana away by 0-3 and Fiorentina 1-0 at home, before drawing 1-1 at home against French side Nantes in the first leg of their Europa League knockout stage play-offs. The winning run continued with a 0-2 win over Spezia and a 0-3 triumph in the rematch against Nantes, securing a place in the round of 16 of the Europa League, where they’ll face SC Freiburg next week.
Naturally, such a run has seen Juventus climb up the table, and they’re currently eighth with 32 points. There is, of course, a lot of work still to be done, but while a place in the Champions League next season seems a bit too much to hope for (except by winning the Europa League this term) with AS Roma 11 points ahead in fourth place, Atalanta’s position, sixth with 41 points and one match more already played, doesn’t seem as strong. It could prove a realistic goal for the Bianconeri to aim for.
Allegri won’t be able to call upon midfielders Paul Pogba and Manuel Locatelli. The former is injured, as is striker Arkadiusz Milik, while the latter serves a suspension.
With Wojciech Szczesny in goal, Danilo, former Torino defender Gleison Bremer and Alex Sandro should form the back line of three. In the middle of the park, Leandro Paredes and Adrien Rabiot are expected to be joined by Nicolo Fagioli, while Filip Kostic and Juan Cuadrado cover the flanks. Upfront, Angel Di Maria will be the man playing closest to striker Dusan Vlahovic.
Torino won’t have given up on playing in Europe next season either, sitting currently directly behind Juventus with one point less, though that may prove a challenge too big for Ivan Juric’s team. Still, with the revolution under the Croatian tactician in full swing, they will likely believe it possible until the very end. A win against their great city rivals on Tuesday would go a long way in strengthening that belief.
In order to keep the dream alive, Torino will have to improve the level of consistency in their performances and results as soon as possible. Their last-six run in all competitions spells anything but that, starting with a 0-1 away win over Fiorentina, followed by 2-2 draw away to Empoli and a 2-1 defeat to Fiorentina in the Coppa quarterfinals. Then they beat Udinese 1-0 at home, lost 1-0 away to AC Milan, and eventually played a highly disappointing 2-2 draw against bottom side Cremonese last week.
Though Antonio Sanabria broke the deadlock from the spot in that game in the 41st minute, Wilfried Singo (79′) had to rescue a point from the match as Frank Tsadjout (54′) and Emanuele Valeri struck in between for the the only winless team in the league.
Midfielder Ronaldo Vieira, winger Nikola Vlasic, right-back Valentino Lazaro, centre-back David Zima and striker Pietro Pellegri are all out through injury, while right-back Ola Aina misses out through suspension.
With Vanja Milinkovic-Savic in goal, Koffi Djidji, Perr Schuurs and Alessandro Buongiorno should form the back three. Newcomer Ivan Ilic is expected to step into the lineup and pair up with Michel Adopo in the middle of the park, flanked by Mergim Vojvoda and Singo. Aleksey Miranchuk and Nemanja Radonjic should support Sanabria upfront.
Juventus are obviously the favourites to win this derby, though with just one goal likely to prove enough, given their proclivity to keeping a clean sheet in recent matches.
Verdict: Home win
Best odds: 7/10
- Soccer News Like
- Be the first of your friends!