ITALY: Serie A
Time: 5:00 PM
Venue: Stadio Olimpico di Torino (Turin)
With the resumption of the Serie A (SA) programme plunged into chaos due to Covid-19 outbreaks at several clubs, mid-table Torino have been given the green light to proceed with this fixture a day later than scheduled as their health authority-imposed quarantine has ended. However, they might need to call on some of their youth players to do so, which could hurt their chances of improving a sequence of one league defeat in five (W2, D2).
Nevertheless, playing here should give them a boost as the ‘Maroons’ are unbeaten in six home league games (W5, D1), opening the scoring inside the opening 30 minutes in each of those fixtures. Avoiding early setbacks could be key as they’ve conceded just twice before half-time in home SA action this term.
Visitors Fiorentina saw their midweek game against Udinese called off and a fixture pile-up is the last thing they need as they battle to stay in contention for European qualification – with or without star striker Dušan Vlahović, who seems likely to leave this month. Even without the Covid-19 confusion, they would expect to resume their campaign strongly as they’re unbeaten in four competitive H2Hs (W3, D1) with manager Vincenzo Italiano also unbeaten against Torino (W2, D1).
There were encouraging signs away from home before the winter break (W1, D1) after the ‘Purples’ snapped a sequence of four consecutive SA away losses. Action might come later rather than sooner though, as their league away matches this term haven’t witnessed any scoring before the 15th minute and their last four such fixtures saw an average of 1.25 goals per game after the 80th minute.
Players to watch: Tommaso Pobega netted first-half openers in two of Torino’s last three home league matches, while Fiorentina’s Vlahović netted between the 55th and 70th minute in two of their last three league away games.
- Torino’s form in last 5 matches: LWLWD.
- Fiorentina’s form in last 5 matches: DDWWW.
PREDICTION: Draw/Away and Over 1.5