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Prediction: Torino vs Juventus

Dan Steeden in Free Soccer Predictions, Serie A 17 Feb 2018

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Verdict: Juventus to Win and Under 2.5 Goals

Best Odds: 12/5

Bookmakers: William Hill

Torino welcome their eternal city rivals Juventus to the Stadio Olimpico Grande Torino for a Turin Derby that could have important ramifications for the Serie A title race. The Old Lady currently sit one point behind leaders Napoli, but face a tough test from a mid-table Torino side that will be eager to cause an upset. Il Toro are unbeaten in their last seven league games, but have been the masters of the draw this season.

Torino

Il Toro have been resigned to mid-table obscurity for the past few seasons, but they have by no means been a bad side in the Serie A. In this campaign they have conceded 29 times, which is the second fewest of any side not in the top four, and they have lost just four times. That tally of defeats is lower than that of fourth place Roma, and better than every side not in the top three. Walter Mazzarri has also not had to lean too heavily on any individual player for goals, with five different men having contributed three or more goals this season, and the return of the talismanic Andrea Belotti will provide a big lift for Torino.

What has been holding the Turin club back from ascending the table however is their tendency to draw games. They have managed to rack up a whopping 12 stalemates, which is three more than any other Serie A side. Many of these draws have come against sides below Torino in the table, most of which are arguably teams that they should be beating comfortably. Until they can begin grinding out wins in these games, mid-table finishes seem to be Il Toro’s destiny. They will however be incredibly keen to cause an upset against their city rivals, but they might not have quite enough to contend with the talent that Juventus possess.

Team News

Walter Mazzarri has no real injury issues, with Afriyie Acquah returning from suspension.

Juventus 

The Bianconeri have unsurprisingly been incredibly impressive this season, and in any other campaign they would likely be sitting pretty at the top of the Serie A. As it is, with the remarkable success of their rivals Napoli, Massimiliano Allegri’s side sit second in the table, one point behind the leaders. As the highest scoring side, with 61 goals in 24 games, and the joint best defensive side, with just 15 goals conceded all season, there is still little doubt of Juve’s dominance. They also managed to register a 0-1 away win over Napoli back in December, and are still perfectly poised to storm to yet another title.

There are however a few chinks in the Italian giant’s armour, and they have allowed Napoli to maintain their slender lead at the top. The Old Lady have registered costly defeats against Lazio at home and Sampdoria away, as well as draws against Inter Milan and Atalanta. Away from those results however Juventus have been unstoppable, and Paulo Dybala in particular was phenomenal at the start of the season, bagging 10 goals in his first six league games. His return from injury will likely buoy the Bianconeri, and they should have enough to ease past their city rivals.

Team News

The Old Lady have a number of key injuries, but also a lot of players returning to fitness. Benedikt Howedes, Blaise Matuidi and Juan Cuadrado are all side-lined for this game, while Stephan Lichtsteiner and Andrea Barzagli will likely face late fitness tests.

Paulo Dybala is the main man returning from injury, and will provide a massive boost for Massimiliano Allegri, who will be hoping that the Argentinian can return to his early season form.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Torino are unbeaten in their last seven Serie A games.
  • Il Toro have drawn four of the games in that stretch however, and have registered a whopping 12 draws this season.
  • Juventus have lost just two league games this season, and have the joint best defensive record in the Serie A.
  • The Old Lady are also the highest scoring side in the Italian top flight, with 61 goals in 24 games.
  • The last game between the two sides, in early January, ended in a 2-0 win for Juventus.

Conclusion

Juventus are the clear favourites in this game, but, as with any intense derby, it can be difficult to call. Torino will be incredibly motivated to get one over their city rivals, and it will likely be a cagey affair. With that in mind, a low-scoring Juve win looks to be a relatively safe bet here.

Verdict: Juventus to Win and Under 2.5 Goals

Best Odds: 12/5

Bookmakers: William Hill

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dan Steeden


Dan is a recent graduate of the University of Birmingham and an often frustrated Wigan Athletic fan. When not despairing at events unfolding at the DW Stadium he can be found fangirling over Antoine Griezmann or staying up into the early hours of the morning to cheer on the Seattle Seahawks.

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